Markets close: ASX posts worst session in a week as mining giants and consumer stocks slide

Australia’s stock market more than gave up its gains from the previous session as a slew of blue-chip companies slipped into the red.

Losses at iron ore miners and retail giants Woolworths and Wesfarmers helped erase Wednesday’s gains and confined the local stock market to its worst session in a week.

The S&P/ASX 200 quickly came back to earth on Thursday after an early rebound to drop 49.3 points, 0.7%, and end at a session low of 7105.9.

The broader All Ordinaries slipped 52.4 points, also 0.7%, to end the day at 7339.3.

The Australian dollar, meanwhile, fell slightly to US70.75c.

Rio Tinto lost 1.1% to $110.78, BHP fell 0.9% to $42.62 and Fortescue Metals plunged 3.7% to $19.92 in a disastrous day for the metals sector. materials, strongly influenced by a decline in iron ore futures.

City Index analyst Tony Sycamore noted that this came after China signaled that its “economic slowdown was spiraling through the backstop of fiscal stimulus, with no end in sight to the strategy. Covid Zero of the country”.

“(This was) underscored by Premier Li Keqiang, who said overnight: “Economic indicators in China have fallen significantly, and the difficulties in some respects and to some extent are greater than when the epidemic has hit us many in 2020,'” Sycamore said. mentioned.

Champion Iron fell 2.3% to $7.58 and Mount Gibson Iron lost 1.5% to 67.5 cents, while South32 fell 0.6% to $4.65.

Coal miner Whitehaven fell 4.7% to $5.04 and the New Hope report fell 7.8% to $3.78 after revealing labor markets remained tight and total coal sold had decreased during the quarter.

Gold miners also lost their shine with Newcrest down 2.5% at $24.64 and Northern Star down 3.4% at $8.80 as the precious metal fell within minutes of the mark. US Fed which indicated that it would continue with its rate hike program as planned.

Wall Street had given the local market a positive lead after the Fed signaled that a 50 basis point hike would likely be appropriate in the next two meetings.

This was particularly helpful for battered tech stocks, with Telsa, Apple, Amazon and Meta all rising to boost the Nasdaq.

It also meant a much better day for local tech companies, although one in particular eclipsed the others.

This is the artificial intelligence services company Appen, which ended the day up nearly 30% to a nearly three-month high of $8.27 after learning that it had become the target. of an unsolicited $1.2 billion takeover proposal from Telus International.

Elsewhere, Block Inc climbed 1.2% to $110.59 and Wisetech Global rose 2.4% to $40.80.

The big banks were mostly down except for a 0.1% gain for Westpac at $23.90.

Commonwealth Bank fell 0.7% to $105.43, ANZ fell 0.4% to $25.53, NAB fell 0.3% to $31.57 and Macquarie Group lost 0.3 % at $177.81.

Worse still were major retailers, with Woolworths losing 2.6% to $34.17 and Coles down 2.2% to $17.60.

Westfarmers fell 1.8% to $45.98 and joined CSL, Transurban and Telstra in negative territory.

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