ASX trims losses, but still subdued at 16:30 AEST Wednesday 4 Sept

Alex Druce
(Australian Associated Press)

 

The Australian share market has trimmed its losses late in the session but still finished the day lower, while the Aussie dollar has touched its highest point in more than a week.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed on Wednesday down 20.4 points, or 0.31 per cent, at 6,553.0 points, while the broader All Ordinaries was down 17.4 points, or 0.26 per cent, to 6,656.1 points.

The bourse had been as low as 6503.9 in early trade on a weak lead from Wall Street, but climbed late in the day as the Asian session picked up.

Burman Invest portfolio manager Julia Lee said it had been a negative day for the local share market, though US futures had supported the afternoon trade.

Ms Lee said expectations around lower interest rates had provided some support, with further PMI data and US payroll information to provide further clarity in an already data-heavy week.

“It’s been a big (domestic) week already with RBA rates, but we’ve got a lot more PMI numbers coming through which should a better read on how global manufacturing is going,” Ms Lee said.

Ms Lee also said the gold miners had provided welcome support for the resources sector, holding firm as the rest of the market endured a sell-off.

Healthcare stocks proved the biggest drag on the market, with only consumer-based and mining stocks edging into the black.

Pharma giant CSL was down 1.49 per cent, ResMed shed 0.73 per cent, Cochlear fell 1.33 per cent and Ansell slumped 1.66 per cent.

Telco stocks also dragged, with Telstra down 1.11 per cent to $3.57, TPG down 1.27 per cent to $6.21, and REA Group down 0.63 per cent to $105.03.

The big four banks were all lower, with ANZ down 0.37 per cent to $26.58, Commonwealth Bank down 0.11 per cent to $78.69, NAB down 0.04 per cent to $27.32 and Westpac down 0.32 per cent to $28.25.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank climbed 0.28 per cent, having earlier taken a dive after after ASIC announced it was taking it and Bank of Queensland lenders to court over allegations of unfair small business lending terms.

BoQ remained subdued, closing 0.88 per cent lower, while Macquarie Group dipped 0.45 per cent to $122.94.

Mining giant BHP was down 0.3 per cent to $36.32, Rio Tinto was up 0.29 per cent to $88.41 and Fortescue was up 2.04 per cent to $8.00.

Gold miners Northern Star, Newcrest Mining, and Evolution each rose by between 2.51 per cent and 3.13 per cent.

The Aussie dollar jumped to 67.81 US cents after the release of June quarter GDP data – it’s highest since August 27 – and at 1630 AEST was worth 67.77 US cents.

ON THE ASX

* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed down 20.4 points, or 0.31 per cent, at 6,553.0 points.

* The All Ordinaries closed down 17.4 points, or 0.26 per cent, to 6,656.1 points.

* The SPI200 futures index closed down 18 points, or 0.27 per cent, to 6,536.0.

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEST

One Australian dollar buys:

* 67.79 US cents, from 67.25 US cents on Tuesday

* 71.96 Japanese yen, from 71.41 yen

* 61.71 euro cents, from 61.45 cents

* 55.91 British pence, from 56.10 pence

* 107.02 NZ cents, from 106.87 cents.

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