The Australian share market lost more than one percent, with financial stocks weighing heavily as renewed fears about a global growth slowdown gripped investor pessimistic about dour economic data from China.
Friday, 14th December, 2018
The slowing of retail sales and industrial production in China for November compounded investor sentiment still nervous about the wider impact of the unresolved trade dispute.
The ASX200 index was down 59.6 points, or 1.05 percent, at 5602.0 on Friday, while the broader All Ordinaries lost 0.99 percent at 5678.80.
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand said it's considering almost doubling the required capital banks would need to hold to bolster the financial system's capacity to handle any shocks dragged financial stocks lower. Shares in Australia's big four banks fell on the news as all operate within New Zealand. ANZ suffered the biggest loss, down 2.7 percent to $24.80, and NAB the least, losing 1.7 percent to $23.69.
Energy shares were higher at the open but fell consistently through the day despite higher oil prices. Santos and Oil Search, both down 2.3 percent, dragged the indices lower, while Origin, Woodside and Caltex were between 0.7 and 1.4 percent lower. The miners also reversed earlier gains, with Fortescue down 2.1 percent to $4.12, BHP lost 1.3 percent to $32.40, and Rio Tinto was 1.5 percent weaker at $74.57. South32, however, rose 0.9 percent to $3.28.
Shares in Nine Entertainment plummeted nearly nine percent after major investor Deutsche Bank halved its stake in the newly merged media giant, while fellow telco TPG lost ground again. It was down 2.3 percent to $6.30 the day after the competition watchdog raised concerns about its planned merger with Vodafone Australia. The healthcare sector was lower despite a dramatic jump from Sigma, up 43.2 percent to 58 cents. Drug distributor Australian Pharmaceutical Industries - up 8.5 percent - offered about $727 million to buy Sigma, aiming to consolidate in the face of increased competitive and regulatory pressures.
The Australian dollar lost momentum on the economic data from China and was buying 71.93 US cents, from 72.29 US cents cents on Thursday.
|Equities / Fixed Interest||Close||Change||% Change|
|Currency||Close||Pts Change||% Change|
|$A vs $US||0.7188||-0.0034||-0.46|
|$A vs GBP||0.5695||
|$A vs EUR||0.6331||-0.0024||-0.38|
|$A vs YEN||81.59||-0.41||-0.50|
|$A vs $NZ||