Australian share market in the red, travel stocks lead falls

The Australian share market remains firmly in the red, after rising coronavirus cases in the United States saw a sharp sell-off on Wall Street on Friday.

Key points:

  • Banks and energy stocks led the falls on the ASX in early trade
  • Gold miners were one of the few bright spots on the Australian share market
  • On Friday, the Dow Jones fell 2.8pc as coronavirus cases continued to rise in the US

    By 11:55am AEST, the benchmark ASX 200 index was down by 1.1 per cent to 5,838 points, while the All Ordinaries index had lost 66 points to 5,945.

    The Australian dollar had risen slightly to around 68.7 US cents.

    The major bank stocks remained in the red but off their early lows, including ANZ (-1.8pc), the Commonwealth Bank (-1.8pc), NAB (-2.7pc) and Westpac (-2pc), as well as Bank of Queensland (-3.4pc) and Macquarie Group (-2pc).

    Energy was one of the worst performing sectors, as oil prices declined — Brent crude had fallen 1.3 per cent to $US40.47 a barrel.

    Shares in Santos (-2.6pc), Woodside (-2.8pc), Origin Energy (-3pc) and Worley (-3.6pc) were weighing on the market.

    Gold miners were among the few bright spots, with Perseus Mining (+4.5pc) one of the best performing stocks among the top 200.

    Travel stocks continued to decline sharply, including Flight Centre (-6.4pc) and Webjet (-4.1pc), as well as Qantas (-5.1pc).

    However, shares in airline Regional Express (Rex) rose by 4.5 per cent, after it announced plans to launch flights between Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane next year, which would see it compete with Qantas and a likely scaled-down Virgin Australia.

    The board of Rex has approved plans to raise $30 million to fund the expansion, which will include an initial fleet of five to 10 narrow-body jet aircraft based out of Sydney or Melbourne.

    Rex, which normally services 60 destinations nationally, began

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