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  • Australia S&P/ASX200 falls 0.8%
  • March 04,2021  18:38
  • The Australian market closed session lower on Thursday, 04 March 2021, as investor sentiment was dented by following negative cues overnight from Wall Street, worries of market stability and corporate finances amid rising U.S. interest rates.

    At closing bell, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 declined 57.27 points, or 0.84%, to 6,760.71. The broader All Ordinaries dropped 67.22 points, or 0.95%, to 7,000.65.

    Healthcare and materials finished as the two biggest drags on the local bourse today, as CSL, BHP and Rio Tinto all went ex-div, falling between 4 and 7% respectively. Woolworths was also ex-dividend today, dropping 2.64%.

    Shares in Afterpay had lost 2% by 4:00pm to $118.32, while Zip Co was down 4.3% to $10.09. Small business accounting firm Xero was down 2.61% to $115.90 despite unveiling its largest acquisition to date, a $284 million purchase of European workplace platform Planday.

    The local financial sector provided a counterbalance to today's fall, with the big four banks posting gains along with insurance company QBE, which rose 2.8% as investor welcomed the announcement of a new CEO.

    In economic news: Australia Retail Sales Up 0.5% On Month In January-Australia total value of retail sales was up a seasonally adjusted 0.5% on month in January, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday, coming in at A$30.512 billion, following the 4.1% decline in December. Individually, sales were higher for food (1.6%), household goods (0.1%) and other (1.4%). Sales were down for clothing (-3.6%), department stores (-0.4%) and restaurants (-0.8%). On a yearly basis, the value of retail sales was up 10.6%.

    Australia Posts A$10.142 Billion Trade Surplus In January-Australia posted a seasonally adjusted merchandise trade surplus of A$10.412 billion in January, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday, following the upwardly revised A$7.133 billion surplus in December. Exports were up 6.0% on month or A$2.316 billion to A$39.849 billion after gaining 3% in the previous month. Imports were down 2.0% on month or A$694 million to A$29.707 billion after slipping 2% in December.

    CURRENCY NEWS: The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7801, weaker than levels above $0.792 seen last week.

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