ASX falls in early trade as tech drags

Shares have dropped on the ASX in early trade after Wall Street closed lower following a sell off in technology shares and California’s decision to extend closures to slow the coronavirus.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index was lower by 34.8 points, or 0.58 per cent, at 5942.7 points after 15 minutes of trade on Tuesday.

The All Ordinaries index was 36.5 points, or 0.6 per cent lower, at 6052.8.

In the local market, the information technology sector recorded the biggest fall, down 1.65 per cent, taking cues from the selling in IS technology heavyweights.

Materials and energy also recorded heavy falls, down 0.94 and 0.9 per cent respectively, the heavyweight financials sector was down 0.37 per cent, while the only sector higher was consumer staples.

California, which accounts for 15 per cent of the US economy, was the main reason for the late turn in the US markets.

Selling accelerated after its Governor ordered a scaling back of the state’s reopening, shutting bars and banning indoor restaurant dining statewide and closing churches, gyms and hair salons.

Also adding to nervousness in the market was the White House’s decision to reject nearly all Chinese claims in the South China Sea.

The Australian dollar was buying 69.35 US cents at 1015 AEST, lower from 69.75 US cents at the close of trade on Monday.

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