Aussie shares suffer worst day since May 1

Investors have had their worst day on the Aussie market since May 1 after their broad sell-off mirrored a similar result from US markets.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index closed down 187.1 points, or 3.06 per cent, at 5925.5 points on Friday.

The drop is the steepest since a 5.01 per cent decline on May 1.

The loss also meant the index dropped 2.44 per cent for the week. It’s the third consecutive week of losses.

The All Ordinaries index closed down 192.2 points, or 3.05 per cent, to 6108.8.

Materials, which includes the miners, dropped 3.05 per cent.

Financials fell 2.95 per cent.

Information technology had the greatest losses, 5.59 per cent, after their counterparts were unwanted on US markets.

IG Markets analyst Kyle Rodda said the ASX was hammered as expected.

Similar results played out across Asia, where markets had their worst session in two weeks.

However, “the ASX200 has proven the biggest loser in the region,” Mr Rodda said of the result.

He believed investors would soon buy back into the market, which has seen plenty of volatility during the coronavirus pandemic.

In other financial news, Virgin Australia creditors have approved Bain Capital’s $3.5 billion acquisition of the airline.

The decision will see Virgin continue to operate as Australia’s second major domestic airline and completes its voluntary administration process.

Meanwhile, ANZ’s chief says he expects banks to feel the worst of the pandemic in the middle of next year.

Shayne Elliott believes the economy will be at its low point between now and the end of 2020, which will flow on to the banking sector.

He expects people to then find their businesses unable to operate.

“We think that’s probably more like the middle of next year, when the crisis will start to hit the banks,” Mr Elliott told a Senate inquiry.

Australian Bureau of Statistics figures showed retail trade rose 3.2 per cent in July as virus restrictions started to ease across most of the country.

Turnover for the month was 12 per cent higher than July 2019, dominated by sales of household goods, clothing and takeaway food.

Online sales made up 9.8 per cent of total retail turnover.

There were rises in all states and territories but Victoria, where fresh outbreaks of coronavirus triggered a second round of lockdowns.

In company results on the ASX, big miners could not escape the market’s plunge. BHP dropped 3.78 per cent to $36.19, Rio Tinto shed 2.78 per cent to $95.58 and Fortescue lost 3.42 per cent to $17.52.

Among the big banks, ANZ slipped 3.05 per cent to $17.81, Commonwealth Bank declined 2.13 per cent to $66.73, NAB fell 3.02 per cent to $17.35 and Westpac shed 3.07 per cent to $17.06.

Elsewhere, online shopping business Kogan had one of the biggest losses, down 10.84 per cent to $19.32.

Fellow tech sector company Afterpay dropped 6.67 per cent to $78.20.

The losses came after Wall Street’s main indexes closed sharply lower and marked their deepest one-day declines since June as investors dumped the high-flying technology sector.

Data showed the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits amid the pandemic fell more than expected last week, but remained high. The next data focus for investors is the monthly payrolls report.

Separately, a survey showed US services industry growth slowed in August.

Looking ahead, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews will on Sunday reveal the plan for the state to ease its tight coronavirus restrictions and improve trade.

On Monday, items of interest will include data on the Australian services industry for August.

The Aussie dollar was buying 72.73 US cents at 1713 AEST, down from 73.09 US cents at the close on Thursday.

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