Block weighs on tech, Woodside Petroleum surges: ASX closes 1% lower

Market Reports

by Lauren Evans

The Australian sharemarket fell further in the afternoon and finished Monday’s session in negative territory. The technology sector weighed, followed by healthcare and industrials, while energy soared. 

Afterpay owner Block (ASX:SQ2) led the market lower, closing 10.3 per cent lower at $137.28. Appen (ASX:APX) acquired a minority stake in the synthetic data company Mindtech Global as part of a round of equity raising which includes other financial investors. Appen said the investment aims to deploy capital into product-led businesses that generate new sources of training data to support AI lifecycles. Shares fell 4.8 per cent to $6.75.

Qantas (ASX:QAN) tumbled 8.1 per cent amid challenges relating to the war in Ukraine, rising oil prices and concerns over profit margins.

Energy stocks rallied, thanks to Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) closing 9.5 per cent higher at $34.41. Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) rose 6.3 per cent to $1.77 and Santos (ASX:STO) closed 5.3 per cent higher at $8.17.

Meanwhile, AGL Energy (ASX:AGL) rejected a revised offer from a consortium led by Brookfield Asset Management and Grok Ventures to acquire the company for $8.25 per share. The AGL board considered the offer was below both the fair value of the company, and therefore was not in the best interests of its shareholders. Shares fell 2 per cent to $7.28.

Major banks were lower, except Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) up 0.04 per cent to $94.64. Macquarie Group (ASX:MQG) fell 2.7 per cent to $175.31, Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC) declined 2 per cent to $21.77, National Australia Bank (ASX:NAB) was down 1.6 per cent to $28.44 and ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ) closed 1.2 per cent lower at $25.00.

Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) weighed on iron ore players, down 0.5 per cent to $125.98 following its $750,000 penalty from the Federal Court for breaching continuous disclosure obligations. Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) rose 1.8 per cent to $19.54 and BHP Group (ASX:BHP) closed 0.9 per cent higher at $50.38.

Gold stocks finished higher, led by Northern Star (ASX:NST) up 6.1 per cent to $10.74. Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM) added 5.2 per cent to $27.37 and Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) closed 4.5 per cent higher at $4.39.

At the closing bell, the S&P/ASX 200 was 1 per cent or 72 points lower at 7,039.

Company news

MAAS Group (ASX:MGH) is set to acquire Ellida Estate in Rockhampton Queensland. The company said the acquisition increases the geographic diversity and sustainability of the residential real estate segment. Shares closed 0.9 per cent lower at $4.39.

Vodafone New Zealand, 49.9 per cent owned by Infratil (ASX:IFT), has said the potential sale of Vodafone’s passive mobile tower assets has commenced. Shares rose 0.7 per cent to $7.66.

Futures

The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a fall of 331 points.
The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a fall of 53 points.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a fall of 227 points.
The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 77 points when the market next opens.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector was Energy, up 5.2 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Information Technology, down 4.7 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL), closing 9.5 per cent higher at $34.41. It was followed by shares in Ramelius Resources (ASX:RMS) and IGO (ASX:IGO).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Block (ASX:SQ2), closing 10.3 per cent lower at $137.28. It was followed by shares in Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (ASX:URW) and Imugene (ASX:IMU).

Asian markets

Japan's Nikkei has lost 3 per cent.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng has lost 3.6 per cent.
China's Shanghai Composite has lost 1.5 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1988.12 an ounce.
Iron ore is 0.4 per cent lower at US$152.40 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 2.95 per cent.
Light crude is trading $10.29 higher at US$125.97 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 74.22 US cents.
 

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