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Wall Street has sunk 2 percent as weak US factory data and the fallout of a rare sales warning from Apple fanned fears of slowing growth and spurred the latest leg of a selloff that has sent indexes to their lowest since mid-2017.MORE >
The Australian share market has shrugged off some of its earlier losses but fears of a slowdown in China have continued to drag on the local bourse.
Friday, 4th January, 2019
The ASX200 index was down 14 points, or 0.25 percent, to 5619.4, following a morning that saw it lower by more than one pe cent. The broader All Ordinaries was down 17.6 points, or 0.31 percent, to 5677.
Traders moved into higher-yielding defensive stocks such as utilities - up 1.9 percent - and telecoms - up 0.38 percent - and away from riskier plays. Information technology stocks slumped more than two percent, with cloud logistics software company Wisetech Global down 4.2 percent, to $16.47, and circuit board software company Altium Limited off 3.9 percent, to $20.79. Among telecoms, Telstra gained 1.4 percents, to $2.89, and in the utility sector natural gas and electricity company APA Group was up 3.12 percent, to $8.93.
A2 Milk Company, which has strong exposure to China through infant formula sales, fell 3.8 percent, to $10.10. Healius had another strong day, up 12 cents, or 4.5 percent, to $2.75, after Thursday's takeover news. China's Jangho Group has made a highly conditional offer of $3.25 a share for the medical centre and pathology group. Discretionary consumer stocks were also again lower following Kathmandu's warning on Thursday that its holiday sales had been lacklustre. The dual-listed outdoor retailer was down 2.2 percent to $2.20; while luxury bedding company Adairs was off 4 percent, to $1.68; and furniture importer Nick Scali was off 2.8 percent, to $4.85. Wesfarmers had a better day, up 33 cents, or 1.04 percent, to $23.08.
The gold miners were a bright spot with the precious metal price near a six-month high. Newcrest gaining 3.9 percent to $23.53, Northern Star up 1.4 percent to $9.71 and Evolution up 2.1 percent to $3.90. OceanaGold was down, however, off 14 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $5.12. It was a mixed day for the big banks. Westpac and Commonwealth were flat while NAB was up 0.2 percent, to $23.98, and ANZ was down 0.4 percent, to $24.25. Among the airlines, Qantas shares were down 0.9 percent to $5.69 and Virgin Australia flat at 19 cents.
The Australian dollar edged higher at 70.23 US cents, up 0.25 percent after Thursday's flash-crash.
|Equities / Fixed Interest||Close||Change||% Change|
|Currency||Close||Pts Change||% Change|
|$A vs $US||0.7020||0.0014||0.20|
|$A vs GBP||0.5553||
|$A vs EUR||0.6164||0.0014||0.23|
|$A vs YEN||75.89||0.36||0.47|
|$A vs $NZ||