The Australian sharemarket extended this week’s volatile trend and back-flipped into the red zone after a strong morning session.
Bank and supermarket stocks reversed broader gains by miners and healthcare companies.
Pessimistic consumer confidence data defying expectations have also intensified the downward pressure.
Financials cancelled out the most gains, as the big four banks, except for ANZ. (ASX:ANZ)
, were tracking lower by the end of trade.
The Australian benchmark’s weak finish in midweek means the weekly movement is shaping up to be a zig-zag trajectory.
At the closing bell, the S&P/ASX 200 was 0.31 per cent or 22.40 points lower at 7270.20.Economic news
Pandemic-driven anxiety has taken its toll on consumer sentiment, as the extended Melbourne lockdown has weighed down Westpac’s consumer confidence figures by 5.2 per cent. The data contradicted the consensus of a 0.8 per cent rise.
The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a fall of 11.00 points.
The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a fall of 1.50 points.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a rise of 1.25 points.
The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 29 points when the market next opens.
Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector was Utilities, up 0.37 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Consumer Staples, down 1.44 per cent.
The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Brickworks (ASX:BKW), closing 11.32 per cent higher at $23.40. It was followed by shares in Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (ASX:URW) and Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC).
The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Altium (ASX:ALU), closing 7.50 per cent lower at $34.30. It was followed by shares in WiseTech Global (ASX:WTC) and Appen (ASX:APX).
Japan's Nikkei has lost 0.30 per cent.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng has lost 0.21 per cent.
China's Shanghai Composite has gained 0.17 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1892.64 an ounce.
Iron ore is 3.50 per cent higher at US$209.50 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 4.07 per cent.
Light crude is trading $0.23 higher at US$67.71 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 77.42 US cents.