Weighed down by geopolitical tensions between the United States and China and steep falls in financials, local shares tumbled on Wednesday, logging the largest one-day fall since October 3.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 shed 91.8 points, or 1.4 per cent, to close at 6722.4 points, unwinding sharply after closing within 1 per cent of a record high on Tuesday.
“The emergence of new trade war risks sparked relatively heavy selling,” IG Markets analyst Kyle Rodda told clients. “Volumes are high with a clear conviction in the market underpinning this sell-off.”
Financials tumbled 2.2 per cent, undermined by news AUSTRAC has launched legal proceedings against Westpac Bank allegeing it breached Australia’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism finance laws 23 million times.
Westpac skidded 3.3 per cent to $25.67. The other major banks were also pressured with the Commonwealth, ANZ and NAB all sliding between 1.3 and 3.1 per cent.
Aside from consumer discretionary which rose 0.5 per cent, all other sectors finished lower with industrials, utilities, energy, healthcare and REITs all declining more than 1 per cent.
Communications and materials fell 0.9 per cent apiece, consumer staples 0.7 per cent while information technology finished flat.
ALS Limited was the top performer, soaring 12.1 per cent to $9.06 after its full-year profit beat guidance. In contrast, Saracen Minerals skidded 8.9 per cent to $3.03 after a discounted equity raising.
Outside of the major banks, all other stocks in the S&P/ASX 20 – the largest companies by market cap – finished in the red.
CSL fell 1.5 per cent to $270.17, Macquarie Group 2 per cent to $135.03, Goodman Group 2.4 per cent to $14.44 while South32 slid 1.9 per cent to $2.64.
Source: Thanks smh.com