ASX moves lower as big miners slump

The Australian share market has fallen following an overnight sell-off on Wall Street, with the heavyweight mining sector a particular drag on the local market.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 41.1 points, or 0.61 per cent, to 6,707.8 points at 1200 AEST on Wednesday, while the broader All Ordinaries was down 42.5 points, or 0.62 per cent, to 6,814.1 points.

The energy, mining and healthcare sectors each fell 1.3 per cent by midday.

Santos, Woodside Petroleum, Oil Search and Beach Energy were down between 0.25 per cent and 4.28 per cent after a slide in oil prices.

Mining giant BHP was down 1.95 per cent to $36.525, Rio Tinto was down 2.68 per cent to $90.55, and Fortescue Metals was down 2.29 per cent to $8.54 following a drop in iron ore futures.

But Newcrest Mining was up 1.02 per cent and fellow gold miners Northern Star and Evolution added 1.11 per cent and 1.56 per cent respectively.

Pharma giant CSL was down 1.42 per cent and Cochlear slipped 1.51 per cent.

Utilities, property trusts and tech shares were the only sectors to advance.

Afterpay was up 11.84 per cent after it said AUSTRAC had been handed an interim report on the buy-now, pay-later company’s compliance with various laws.

The big four banks were mixed, with ANZ flat at $28.29, Commonwealth down 0.54 per cent to $81.655, NAB down 0.23 per cent to $29.85, and Westpac down 0.23 per cent to $29.85.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank was down 0.52 per cent, Bank of Queensland was up 0.20 per cent and Macquarie Group was down 0.87 per cent.

Fonterra, which is due to report its full-year results on Thursday, was up 0.33 per cent after the New Zealand dairy giant announced it would sell its stake in drug supplier DFE Pharma.

Retail Food Group was down 5.41 per cent after the troubled Donut King and Gloria Jeans owner said it was still considering an equity raising.

Qantas, whose Jetstar subsidiary announced it was cutting five regional routes in New Zealand, was down 0.32 per cent.

The Aussie dollar is buying 67.88 US cents from 67.72 US cents on Tuesday.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 0.53 per cent, the S&P 500 was down 0.84 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite was down 1.46 per cent.


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