By Emma Koehn
Local shares extended losses during Tuesday’s session as energy and mining stocks dragging down the index while there were few winners among Australia’s largest companies.
The S&P/ASX200 had a tentative start after a choppy session on Wall Street, and see-sawed throughout the morning before sitting 0.3 per cent lower to 7129.8 at midday.
Energy and mining stocks remained the biggest weight on the index, with BHP 0.6 per cent weaker to $47.72 at 11:40am, while Woodside Petroleum lost 0.4 per cent to $34.89.
But there was red right across the board, with every sub-sector entering negative territory throughout the morning, and only information technology stocks showing glimmers of hope.
Computershare was 0.8 per cent higher in late morning trading to $24.45, while small business accounting platform Xero was up 0.6 per cent to $72.42.
Medical technology stocks also showed strength, with ResMed ahead by 1.1 per cent to $30.39 and cloud medical imaging business Pro Medicus also gaining 1.1 per cent to $57.43.
The market remains cautious about the possibility of another interest rate rise when the Reserve Bank meets in February, but confidence figures suggest that Australians are entering the year on an optimistic note.
The ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence survey released on Tuesday morning showed consumer confidence jumped 4.9 points last week to 87.4.
This is despite CoreLogic data released on Monday showing Australian property has slumped 8.4 per cent since their peak last year.
Spending data released throughout the morning showed consumer spending on transport and food jumped in the lead up to the end of last year.
Australian Bureau of Statistics data released on Tuesday morning revealed household spending was up 11.4 per cent in November compared with 2021, with spending on transport and cafes and restaurants showing the biggest increases.
However, ABS head of macroeconomic statistics, Jacqui Vitas, said the rate of overall spending growth was weakening.
“This latest rise was less significant than previous months, as COVID-19 Delta variant impacts (such as lockdowns) eased towards the end of 2021,” she said.
The numbers hinted at a retail slowdown, with spending on furnishings and household equipment down 7 per cent in November, while clothing and footwear was modestly higher at 2.3 per cent.
Consumer discretionary stocks were 0.2 per cent weaker at midday.
The Australian dollar held sat flat at 69 US cents.
In the US overnight the S&P500 ended down 0.1 per cent on Monday, or down 2.99 points to 3,892.09 on Monday after being up as much as 1.4 per cent in the early going. Gains for tech companies mostly held up, leaving the Nasdaq 0.6 per cent higher, or 66.36 points, 10,635.65. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.3 per cent, or 112.96 points, to 33,517.65.
Treasury yields fell further as traders adjust bets for what the Fed will do.
The next big marker for the market will be Thursday’s report on inflation at the consumer level. Economists expect it to show inflation slowed further to 6.5 per cent last month from 7.1 per cent in November.
with Associated Press
Source: Thanks smh.com