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Friday 19

October, 2018 8:50 PM



Banks, telcos, energy drag ASX lower

Banks, telcos, energy drag ASX lower

Australian shares have lost ground as most sectors close lower with heavy losses led by the financial, energy and telco sectors.

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By AAP 01.06.2018 05:11 PM

The Australian share market has closed lower as most sectors lose ground, led by banking, telco and energy stocks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 0.36 per cent, at 5,990.4 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index dropped 0.32 per cent, at 6,104 points.

The S&P/ASX200 has retreated 0.7 per cent over the week.

CommSec market analyst Steven Daghlian said the banks have been a source of weakness in the past four weeks, partly because four of the five biggest banks on the ASX traded ex-dividend in May.

"More broadly, the market has not had a lot of optimism flowing through its veins in the past fortnight with this being its third consecutive week of falls," Mr Daghlian said.

He said the US's decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from the EU, Canada and Mexico have sparked fears of a trade war and were keeping investors "on edge".

US President Donald Trump surprised markets overnight with the tariffs and has sparked threats of retaliatory imposts on US goods from the European Commission and Canada.

The US surprise also hurt Rio Tinto with its shares falling on the fact its aluminium business will be affected by the tariffs.

Another fall in oil prices, which are down about five per cent over the past week, have led the energy sector lower, while Telstra continues to slide and is now around its lowest levels in seven years amid worries around its lack of growth options.

Among the banks, ANZ led falls followings news it faces criminal charges by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions over alleged cartel conduct related to a $2.5 billion share placement in 2015.

Shares in ANZ declined 41 cents, or 1.5 per cent, to $26.80, while Commonwealth Bank fell 60 cents, or 0.9 per cent, to $68.70, National Australia Bank gave up 15 cents, or 0.7 per cent, to $26.65 and Westpac dropped 11 cents, or 0.4 per cent, to $27.74.

Energy giants Woodside Petroleum, Santos and Oil Search were all about one per cent lower.

Rio Tinto shed 47 cents, or 0.6 per cent, to $82.50, while BHP Billiton was up 29 cents, or 0.9 per cent, at $33.08.

As for the telcos, Telstra was 0.7 per cent lower at $2.78, Vocus declined 1.2 per cent to $2.38 and TPG Telecom was 2.9 per cent weaker at $5.41.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar is weaker against the greenback amid fears of a global trade war linked to Washington's decision to impose tariffs on Canada, Mexico and the European Union.

At 1700 AEST, the local currency was worth 75.48 US cents, from 75.76 US cents on Thursday.

ON THE ASX:

* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 was down 21.5 points, or 0.36 per cent, at 5,990.4 points

* The broader All Ordinaries index was down 19.5 points, or 0.32 per cent, at 6,104.0 points

* The SPI200 futures contract was down 26 points, or 0.43 per cent, at 5,990 points

* National turnover was 2.7 billion securities traded worth $5.1 billion

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1700 AEST:

One Australian dollar buys:

* 75.48 US cents, from 75.76 on Thursday

* 82.39 Japanese yen, from 82.28 yen

* 64.60 euro cents, from 64.83 euro cents

* 56.85 British pence, from 56.91 pence

* 107.87 NZ cents, from 108.25 cents

GOLD:

The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1700 AEST was $US1,299.20 per fine ounce, from $US1,304.94 per fine ounce on Thursday.

BOND SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEST:

* CGS 5.75 per cent May 2021, 2.1199pct, from 2.0941pct on Thursday

* CGS 2.25pct May 2028, 2.7014pct, from 2.6729pct

Sydney Futures Exchange prices:

* June 2018 10-year bond futures contract was 97.295 (implying a yield of 2.705pct), from 97.325 (2.675pct) on Thursday

* June 2018 3-year bond futures contract was 97.845 (2.155pct), from 97.870 (2.130pct)

(*Bond market closes taken at 1630 AEST previous local session; currency closes taken from 1700 AEST previous local session)

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