Australian shares drop, but set for best weekly gain since 2011; NZ higher

Australian shares drop, but set for best weekly gain since 2011; NZ higher

Reuters  | Mar 27, 2020 14:12

Australian shares drop, but set for best weekly gain since 2011; NZ higher

(Corrects to remove extraneous words in fourth paragraph, fixes typographical error in the 11th paragraph)

* Benchmark set for best weekly gain since 2011

* Financials, miners lead decline

* Woodside Petroleum drops, cuts spending

By Pranav A K

March 27 (Reuters) - Australian shares fell on Friday as investors booked profits amid rising coronavirus cases at home, but the index was set for its best weekly gain since 2011 as policymakers launched a raft of stimulus efforts to buttress the global economy.

Federal and state leaders of the country are slated to meet later in the day, as a sharp rise in infections boosted expectations the largest states could enforce a wide-ranging lockdown to contain the pandemic. S&P/ASX 200 index .AXJO was down 1.6%, or 81.70 points, at 5,031.6 by 0152 GMT, having risen 2.3% on Thursday.

The index had gained as much as 2.4% in early trade, in line with global peers, as a spike in U.S. unemployment filings raised bets of even more stimulus.

"The global guys are the buyers boosting markets on the open ... then local guys are selling to lock in profit," said Mathan Somasundaram, a market portfolio strategist at Blue Ocean Equities.

Still, the benchmark has gained 5.3% so far this week, as the Reserve Bank of Australia made a historic foray into quantitative easing and the United States looked all but certain to pass a $2 trillion stimulus package.

"Are we past the worst? Economically we are just getting started, clearly, but equity markets dance to a different beat and it is true that the most vigorous forced selling appears to be over now the Fed has brought out the bazookas," ANZ Research said in a note.

On Friday, the selling was concentrated in mining stocks and financials, with BHP Group BHP.AX dropping 2.7% and the "Big Four" banks sliding between 1.8% and 2.6%.

Even supermarket chains, one of the bright spots during the past few weeks due to the pandemic-fuelled buying frenzy, were not spared. Woolworths Group WOW.AX and Coles Group Ltd COL.AX slipped 2.5% and 3.6%, respectively.

The energy sector .AXEJ dropped more than 2%, pulled down by losses in the country's top oil and gas producer Woodside Petroleum WPL.AX , which fell up to 2.6%. in the day, Woodside said it would defer investment decisions on a number of its major projects, and slashed total forecast spending in 2020. New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index .NZ50 rose 1.6%, or 154.3 points, to 9,786.7, and was set for its best weekly gain on record.

Oceania Healthcare OCA.NZ , the top percentage gainer in the index, jumped 15.5%, while Vista Group VGL.AX added 12.9%.

Related News

Latest comments

Add a Comment
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Discussion
Write a reply...
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.

Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.
Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.
Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.
It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.
Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.

English (USA) English (UK) English (India) English (Canada) English (South Africa) English (Philippines) English (Nigeria) Deutsch Español (España) Español (México) Français Italiano Nederlands Português (Portugal) Polski Português (Brasil) Русский Türkçe ‏العربية‏ Ελληνικά Svenska Suomi עברית 日本語 한국어 中文 香港 Bahasa Indonesia Bahasa Melayu ไทย Tiếng Việt हिंदी
Sign out
Are you sure you want to sign out?
NoYes
CancelYes
Saving Changes

+

Download the App

More markets insights, more alerts, more ways to customize assets watchlists only on the App

Download the App

More markets insights, more alerts, more ways to customize assets watchlists only on the App