Tech stock sell off: Aus shares 2.7% lower at noon

Market Reports

by Katrina Bullock

Plunging Aussie tech stocks have dragged the ASX 200 2.7 per cent lower this morning. This followed a sharp decline in US tech stock on Wall Street overnight. All of the sectors are in the red this morning, with Information Technology dropping over 4 per cent.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 163 points lower at 5,950. On the futures market the SPI is pointing to a further fall of 174 points.

Local economic news

Retail trade figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics this morning show that retail turnover rose 3.2 per cent in July 2020 in seasonally adjusted terms, coming in in line with consensus. This follows a 2.7 per cent rise in June. July 2020’s headline figure was 12 per cent higher than the retail sales achieved in July 2019, with sales in household goods particularly strong, 29.4 per cent above the same month last year. Online sales made up 9.8 per cent of total retail turnover.

Broker moves

Ord Minnett has downgraded Stockland Corporation (ASX:SGP) from a hold to a lighten, with a 12-month price target of $3.60. The broker expects further devaluations in the company’s retail and retirement portfolios. Stockland was the best performing Australian real estate investment trust in August. The share price rose 24.1 per cent compared with the broader index which only rose 7.9 per cent. Shares in Stockland Corporation (ASX:SGP) are trading 3.9 per cent lower at $3.70 at noon.

Company news

Electricity generator and retailer, Mercury NZ (ASX:MCY) has closed its green bonds offer. $200 million of green bonds have been allocated to the participants in the bookbuild process. The offer was oversubscribed by $50 million. The issue margin for the green bonds has been set at 1.25 per cent per annum. The interest rate will be announced later today. Shares in Mercury NZ (ASX:MCY) are trading 5.7 per cent higher at $4.81 at noon.

360 Capital Digital Infrastructure Fund (ASX:TDI) has agreed to take a $25 million stake in the Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets-led consortium. The consortium recently acquired an 88 per cent stake in Asia Pacific hyperscale data centre operator, AirTrunk. Shares in360 Capital Digital Infrastructure Fund (ASX:TDI) are trading 1.2 per cent lower at $1.61 at noon.

Best and worst performers

The sector with the fewest losses this morning is Industrials, losing 1.5 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Information Technology, shedding 4.7 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Skycity Entertainment Group (ASX:SKC), rising 2.2 per cent to $2.54, followed by shares in Silver Lake Resources (ASX:SLR) and Avita Therapeutics (ASX:AVH).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Appen (ASX:APX),dropping 7.3 per cent to $32.37, followed by shares in Wisetech Global (ASX:WTC) and TPG Telecom (ASX:TPG).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,940 an ounce.
The iron ore price rose 2.1 per cent to US$129.92.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 1.2 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 72.72 US cents.