Australia shares fall as mining, tech sell-off offsets Fed stance

(Reuters) – Australian shares fell on Thursday, dragged by mining and tech stocks, as investors took cues from a renewed tech rout on Wall Street that led major indexes into the red despite initial optimism surrounding the U.S. Federal Reserve’s low-rate stance.

FILE PHOTO: A board displaying stock prices is seen at the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in Sydney, Australia, February 9, 2018. REUTERS/David Gray

The S&P/ASX 200 index .AXJO fell 0.5% to 5,924.5 by 0033 GMT.

The S&P 500 .SPX and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC ended in the red overnight, reversing initial gains with tech sector .SPLRCT weighing on S&P 500 the most, offsetting optimism stoked by Fed’s dovish comments. [.N]

The Fed pledged to keep the interest rates near zero until inflation was on track, marking a shift in monetary policy aimed to offset years of weak inflation and allow the economy to keep adding jobs for as long as possible.

Local tech shares followed their bigger U.S. peers, losing as much as 2%. Afterpay APT.AX fell 3.5%, while investing services provider Computershare CPU.AX slipped 0.8%.

Miners, reliant on exports to China, were the biggest drags on the benchmark, giving up more than 1%. [IRONORE/]

Tensions with top trading partner China remained at a high as Australia on Wednesday named the world’s second-largest economy in a court document as the foreign state under investigation by police in its first foreign interference investigation.

Global miners Rio Tinto RIO.AX and Fortescue Metals Group FMG.AX were the biggest losers, giving up 1.7% and 4%, respectively.

In New Zealand, benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index .NZ50 rose as much as 0.50% to a one-week high of 11,873.380.

Investors shrugged off dire economic data that showed the country officially entered recession in the second quarter, posting its sharpest quarterly contraction on record as coronavirus-related curbs paralysed business activity and impacted growth.

Financials were the top boosts to the index, with local shares of Westpac Banking Corp WBC.NZ and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group ANZ.NZ adding as much as 1.5% and 1.8%, respectively.

Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

Read More Here...

Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.