all sectors on the asx end in the red as investors sell into the rally 1585412015

Banks and retailers are the big losers

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By :  ,  Financial Analyst

Australian stocks sold off heavily Thursday as investors dumped stocks in the consumer retail and mining sectors, as well as the four major banks, taking note of the escalating rhetoric in the Greek credit crisis, and the correction in iron ore prices. As a result, the market gave up the solid gains clocked in the previous trading session.

Indices and sectors

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 fell 70.5 points, or 1.3 per cent, and closed at 5,524.9, while the broader All Ordinaries index was down 67.6 points, or 1.2 per cent, at 5,522.7.

All sectors closed with gains. The biggest losing sectors were information technology (-2.08 per cent), consumer staples (-1.91 per cent), real estate investment trusts (-1.73 per cent), consumer discretionary (-1.49 per cent), industrials (-1.48 per cent) and healthcare (-1.44 per cent).


Amongst miners, BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP) fell 0.71 per cent to AU$27.97, Rio Tinto Limited (ASX:RIO) plunged 1.93 percent to AU$54.95 and Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX:FMG) fell sharply by 4.05 per cent to AU$2.13.

In energy, Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX:WPL) was down 0.87 per cent to AU$35.35, Origin Energy Ltd (ASX:ORG) fell 0.92 per cent to AU$12.91 and Oil Search Limited (ASX:OSH) fell 2 per cent to AU$7.36. However, Santos Ltd (ASX:STO) bucked the trend and gained 1.84 per cent to AU$8.31.

The major banks ended with sizeable losses. Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) fell 1.26 per cent to AU$83.20, Westpac Banking Corp (ASX:WBC) was down 1.28 per cent to AU$32.48, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX:ANZ) declined 1.49 per cent to AU$32.37 and National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX:NAB) dipped 0.72 per cent to AU$33.13.

Amongst retailers, with the exception of Caltex Australia Limited (ASX:CTX) which gained 3.36 per cent to AU$32.30, the others ended in the red. Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX:WES), the owner of supermarket chain Coles, was off nearly 3 per cent at AU$40.20, Woolworths Limited (ASX:WOW) fell 0.75 per cent AU$26.60 and Myer Holdings Ltd (ASX:MYR) plunged 3.49 per cent to AU$1.25. Retail stocks were hit by comments from ratings agency Moody’s that German retailer Lidl’s entry into Australia could spark price wars amongst supermarkets.

Economic news, currency and market outlook

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 180.1 points, or 1 percent, to 18,115.84 the S&P 500 gained 20.8 points, or 0.99 percent, to 2,121.24 and the Nasdaq Composite added 68.07 points, or 1.34 percent, to 5,132.95 to hit a closing record.

The Australian dollar has surged higher following weakness in the US dollar as the markets took note that the Fed would hike interest rates only gradually. According to the Business Spectator, at 07:05 this morning (AEST) the Aussie was trading at 78.01 US cents, up from 77.31 US cents on Thursday.

The Australian stock market is likely to open higher today given that at 7.05 am (AEST) this morning the September ASX SPI200 Index (AP) Futures was up 39 points at 5,505, according to the Business Spectator.

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