ASX falls as tech drags, Pendal dives 15%: ASX down 0.8% over the week

Market Reports

by Lauren Evans

The Australian sharemarket continued its losses in the afternoon session as the technology sector weighed, ending the week 0.8 per cent lower. Friday’s session saw a fall in all sectors except utilities, with consumer staples finishing as the second-worst performer.

The tech sector was dragged down by Afterpay (ASX:APT) tumbling 9.2 per cent, with Xero (ASX:XRO) also weighing on the sector down 5.1 per cent. 

While supply chain concerns and staff shortages continue to be of concern, poultry producer Inghams (ASX:ING) fell 3.5 per cent in the afternoon session, while Woolworths (ASX:WOW) closed 2.9 per cent lower.

Shares in Qantas (ASX:QAN) made a comeback in the afternoon, closing 0.6 per cent higher after the airline said it will cut its domestic capacity to 70 per cent of pre-Covid levels and international capacity to 20 per cent pre-Covid levels. Meanwhile, Flight Centre (ASX:FLT) tumbled 4.4 per cent.

In the retailer space we had two companies announce news. City Chic (ASX:CCX) soared 11.5 per cent after a trading update which disclosed higher inventory to manage the impact of Covid-19. Meanwhile, jewellery retailer Michael Hill (ASX:MHJ) lifted 1.1 per cent after reporting strong Christmas results despite a number of store closures.

Fund manager Pendal (ASX:PDL) dived 15.8 per cent after reporting on its December quarter which was weighed down by funds under management. 

Energy stocks were down as Santos (ASX:STO) closed 1.4 per cent lower, Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) closed 0.7 per cent lower and Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) closed 0.3 per cent lower.

Across the miners, Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) closed 1 per cent lower, BHP Group (ASX:BHP) closed 0.4 per cent lower and Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) closed 0.1 per cent lower.

Gold miners Northern Star (ASX:NST) lifted 1.1 per cent, while Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) closed 0.3 per cent higher and Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM) closed 0.04 per cent higher.

In the financial space major banks closed lower, led by Westpac Banking (ASX:WBC) down 1.3 per cent, Commonwealth Bank (ASX:CBA) down 1.2 per cent and Macquarie Group (ASX:MQG) down 1 per cent, while National Australia Bank (ASX:NAB) closed 0.6 per cent lower and ANZ Banking (ASX:ANZ) closed 0.04 per cent lower.

At the closing bell, the S&P/ASX 200 was 1.1 per cent or 81 points lower at 7,394. Over the week, it lost 0.8 per cent or 59 points.

Local economic news

The Australian Bureau of Statistics posted the lending figures for November. New loan commitments rose 6.3 per cent for housing, gained 4.5 per cent for personal fixed term loans, while business construction fell 35.2 per cent.

Company news

The Star Entertainment (ASX:SGR) said Austrac has expanded the scope of investigation regarding previous allegations to other entities within the company.

Due to the NSW Government suspending all non-elective surgery from January 10, Virtus Health (ASX:VRT) are unable to quantify the financial impact.

Futures

The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a rise of 39 points.
The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a rise of 4 points.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a rise of 10 points.
The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 69 points when the market next opens.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector was Utilities, up 0.4 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Information Technology, down 3.9 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was ResMed (ASX:RMD), closing 3.6 per cent higher at $34.79. It was followed by shares in Ramelius Resources (ASX:RMS) and AGL Energy (ASX:AGL).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Pendal Group (ASX:PDL), closing 15.8 per cent lower at $5.00. It was followed by shares in Afterpay (ASX:APT) and Zip Co (ASX:Z1P).

Asian markets

Japan's Nikkei has lost 1.4 per cent.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng has lost 1 per cent.
China's Shanghai Composite has lost 0.6 per cent.

Wall Street

Over the last four trading days, the Dow Jones lost 0.3 per cent, the S&P 500 lost 0.4 per cent and the Nasdaq lost 0.9 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1826.89 an ounce.
Iron ore is 2.8 per cent lower at US$127.95 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 2.9 per cent.
Light crude is trading $0.25 lower at US$81.37 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 72.79 US cents.
 

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