ASX slumps at open on trade tensions

The Australian share market has opened sharply lower amid investor pessimism about the prospects for a US-China trade deal.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 67.2 points, or 1.02 per cent, to 6,526.2 points at 1030 AEDT on Wednesday, while the broader All Ordinaries was down 66.4 points, or 0.99 per cent, to 6,647.3 points.

Tech shares led losses in the first half hour of trading, sliding 2.12 per cent.

Appen tumbled 3.51 per cent, Afterpay fell 3.35 per cent, Xero was down 1.92 per cent and Bravura Solutions fell 1.30 per cent.

The financial, consumer discretionary, energy and healthcare sectors also lost more than 1.0 per cent as every segment on the ASX fell.

The big four banks were all lower, with ANZ down 1.33 per cent to $27.055, Commonwealth down 1.10 per cent to $77.735, NAB down 0.75 per cent to $27.88 and Westpac down 1.15 per cent to $28.35.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank was down 0.63 per cent, Bank of Queensland was down 1.09 per cent and Macquarie Group was down 1.90 per cent.

Domino’s Pizza fell 2.64 per cent, Webjet was down 1.45 per cent and Flight Centre slipped 1.50 per cent.

Pharma giant CSL was down 1.95 per cent and ResMed dropped 1.88 per cent.

Mining giant BHP was down 1.15 per cent to $35.20, Rio Tinto was down 1.22 per cent to $87.50 and Fortescue Metals was down 1.09 per cent to $8.645.

A media report suggested the US administration was considering limiting capital flows, particularly investments by US government pension funds, to China as delegates from both countries prepared for new talks set to start on Thursday.

On Wall Street overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 1.19 per cent, the S&P 500 was down 1.56 per cent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite was down 1.67 per cent.

The FTSE 100 in London slipped 0.8 per cent and the larger pan-European STOXX 600 index lost 1.0 per cent.

The Aussie dollar is buying 67.29 US cents from 67.51 US cents on Tuesday.


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