Santa rally looking shaky as ASX extends slide

Australian shares eased throughout Monday’s trading session, dragged lower by weakness in all sectors aside from consumer staples and technology.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 lost 31.2 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 6785.1, closing at a fresh one-week low. At three sessions, the current losing streak is the equal-longest since early August, trimming the bourse’s gain for the year so far to 20.2 per cent.

The ASX fell for a third session on Monday, equaling its longest losing streak since early August.
The ASX fell for a third session on Monday, equaling its longest losing streak since early August.Credit:AAP

“The ASX was victim to the ‘good news is bad news’ dynamic last week after a combination of better-than-expected local jobs data and growing optimism about the global economic outlook saw bets of an RBA interest rate cut diminish and risk-taking curbed,” IG Markets analyst Kyle Rodda told clients.

Reflecting the continued unwind of rate cut bets, the Australian dollar climbed 0.2 per cent 69.10¢ in late Asian trade, extending its rebound from November 29 to 2.3 per cent. Benchmark Australian 10-year bond yields were also sitting at 1.3 per cent, 30 basis points higher than where they were late last month.


By sector, materials led the losses, with a decline of 1.1 per cent, undermined not only by the higher Aussie dollar but also weakness in iron ore and crude oil prices on Friday. BHP Group lost 1.3 per cent to $39.22, while rival Rio Tinto shed 1.8 per cent to $101.83.

Energy, industrials, utilities and healthcare also posted falls ranging from 0.6 per cent to 0.9 per cent, the latter partially reflecting a 1 per cent decline in CSL shares which closed at $278.64.

Aside from consumer staples and information technology, all other sectors finished with losses of between 0.1 per cent to 0.3 per cent.

Outside of the blue chip names, Bega Cheese was the top performer on the benchmark index after affirming its profit guidance and announcing executive chairman Barry Irvin will resume his role after battling a bout of illness. Shares in the dairy producer climbed 4.4 per cent to $4.29 on the news.

Accounting software provider Xero also rose 3.4 per cent to $83.23, closing at a fresh record high.

On the downside, online lottery retailer Jumbo Interactive remained under pressure after delivering a trading update on Friday that fell well short of expectations. The stock lost a further 6.9 per cent to $14.65, adding to Friday’s 14.5 per cent slide.

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