Billions wiped away: ASX sinking on final day of decade

The Australian sharemarket has lost early ground in the final session of the decade, with all sectors running red as $20 billion was wiped off within the first 15 minutes of trade.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index opened more than 50 points down and has continued to tumble in early trade. At 11:30am AEDT, the ASX200 is 86 points, or 1.3 per cent lower, at 6718.7. The ASX had been tipped to close out the year with another session of losses as Wall Street continues to pull back from record highs amid thin holiday trade.

The ASX has fallen across the board.
The ASX has fallen across the board.Credit:Peter Braig

Tech stocks, consumer staples, health care, utilities and industrials each suffered percentage-plus losses in early trade, while the heavyweight mining and financial sectors were also in retreat.

BHP was down 0.76 per cent to $39.12 and Rio Tinto fell 0.53 per cent to $101.06.


South32 fell 0.74 per cent to $2.68, Fortescue Metals was 0.51 per cent lower at $10.825, and BlueScope Steel dropped 1.05 per cent to $15.11.

Gold miners were the only group of gainers, with Newcrest, Northern Star and Evolution each up by between 1.34 per cent and 2.16 per cent.

The big four banks were all lower, with ANZ down 0.58 per cent at $24.655, Commonwealth Bank down 0.81 per cent to $80.44, and NAB dipping 0.68 per cent to $24.72, and Westpac down 0.57 per cent to $24.26.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, Bank of Queensland, and Macquarie Group fell by between 0.68 per cent 1.06 per cent.

The volatile tech sector suffered the heaviest losses early on, with the so- called WAAAX contingent of Wisetech, Afterpay, Appen, Altium and Xero down by between 0.99 per cent and 2.59 per cent.

Consumer staples were dragged lower by supermarket giants Woolworths and Coles, which dropped 1.39 per cent to $36.92, and 1.11 per cent to $15.17 respectively.

Energy stocks were also in the red, with Woodside, Oil Search, Origin, Beach Energy, and Santos down by between 0.8 per cent and 1.05 per cent.

Telco Telstra was down 0.27 per cent at $3.63 while biotech giant CSL slumped 1.29 per cent to $278.31.

Health care stocks were also weighed down by a 1.42 per cent loss for Sonic Healthcare and a 0.68 per cent loss for Ramsay Health Care.

The market will close early at 1410 AEDT on Tuesday, and will resume trade on Thursday after breaking for New Year’s Day.

The Aussie dollar is buying 70 US cents, from 69.76 US cents on Monday, having moved within touching distance of a new five-month high overnight.


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