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  • Australia Market tumble as Wall Street's slide sparks risk-off mood
  • October 25,2018  09:46
  • Headline indices of the Australia market stumbled on Thursday, 25 October 2018, as risk-off mood dominated on tracking Wall Street's overnight slide which fell amid nervousness around US corporate earnings and geopolitical uncertainty added to heightened worries about global growth, Italy's free spending budget and Sino-US trade tensions. All ASX sectors lost ground, with shares of energy, materials, financials, consumer discretionary, healthcare, and telecommunication services issues being notable losers. In late afternoon trades, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index tanked 130.72 points, or 2.24%, at 5,698.30 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index shed 133.32 points, or 2.25%, to 5,793.20 points.

    Thursday's tumble follows a fall by US stocks overnight, which confirmed a correction for the Nasdaq and erased the Dow and S&P 500's gains for the year amid disappointing earnings, economic growth concerns, a spat between Italy and the European Union and the killing of a Saudi journalist. The dive also continues the ASX's worst month in more than three years, the market now down more than eight% for October - and 10% since August - edging ever closer to an 18-month low of February 2016 in its fifth straight session of losses.

    Shares of materials and resources companies suffered losses, despite iron ore prices rising for a second straight session. Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton were lower in a range of 2% to 4%. Fortescue Metals fell almost 4% as the company reported an 8.6% decline in iron-ore shipments for the first quarter, but maintained its fiscal 2019 production guidance.

    Shares of energy companies extended losses despite an increase in crude oil prices. Woodside Petroleum, Santos and Oil Search were lower in a range of 1% to 2%.

    Shares of Australian banks and financials declined. ANZ Banking, Commonwealth Bank, Westpac and National Australia Bank were lower in a range of 1% to 2%. Shares of AMP declined almost 2% despite wealth manager said it will sell its Australian and New Zealand wealth protection and mature businesses to UK-based insurance firm Resolution Life for A$3.3 billion.

    Shares of Qantas Airways fell almost 4% after the company eported a 6.3% increase in first-quarter revenue, reflecting a jump in forward bookings and higher airfares that helped offset rising fuel costs.

    CURRENCY: Australian Dollar was declined against greenback and other major currencies on Thursday, as a rout on Wall Street and weak European and US economic data dented global risk sentiment, sending investors scurrying to safe-haven assets including government bonds. The Australian dollar was quoted at $0.7063, down from $0.7099 on Wednesday.

    OFFSHORE MARKET: US stock market closed down Wednesday, as fear that the economy is exiting the peak earnings environment helped by US tax cuts that were enacted late last year. Investors also have been unnerved by comments from industrial companies saying trade conflicts have raised material costs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 2.4% to close at 24,583.42. The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index plummeted 4.4% to finish at 7,108.40, while the broad-based S&P 500 sank 3.1% to 2,656.15.

    European markets also ended down on Wednesday after widely watched Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) survey reports showed Euro zone business growth slowed more than expected this month. German private-sector growth fell to its lowest in more than three years, and manufacturing in France hit a 25-month low, according to other surveys. The European Central Bank (ECB) holds its monetary policy meeting later today, and investors will be looking for any new guidance from the ECB acknowledging the recent slowdown in growth as well as the political stand-off between Brussels and Rome over Italy's free spending budget. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index inched up by 0.1%, the French CAC 40 Index dipped by 0.3%, and the German DAX Index slid by 0.7%.

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