ASX flat despite tech sector turmoil

The Australian share market has closed flat, boosted by the property sector and dragged by turmoil in tech stocks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index shrugged off early losses to finish Monday on the highs of the day, up 2.8 points, or 0.04 per cent, to 6,652.5 point.

The broader All Ordinaries was down 0.7 points, or 0.01 per cent, to 6,757.7 points.

"There's a little bounce today - all told we're down, but not out," Australian Stock Report senior advisor Ben Le Brun said shortly before the market closed.

Tech and consumer staple shares had the steepest falls, sliding 2.2 per cent and 1.8 per cent, respectively.

Logistics software company WiseTech Global had a topsy-turvy day as it resumed trading after rebutting allegations of financial impropriety made last week by short-selling group J Capital Research.

It fell 12.3 per cent in an hour to a four-month low of $26.30 - only to enter a second trading halt at 1055 AEDT after J Capital released a second scathing research report, this time about numerous companies WiseTech has acquired in recent years.

Afterpay Touch fell 3.3 per cent to $28.66 as it fended off claims that its business model could be vulnerable to regulation from the Reserve Bank of Australia over merchant surcharges.

Fellow buy now, pay later companies Zip Co dropped 4.8 per cent, Splitit fell 2.3 per cent, Sezzle dropped 1.7 per cent and Flexigroup dropped 1.0 per cent.

In the consumer staples sector, Treasury Wine Estate plummeted 11.8 per cent to $16.30 after announcing that chief executive Michael Clarke would retire next year.

A2 Milk was down 1.6 per cent, BWX Limited down 4.5 per cent and Bubs Australia down 1.6 per cent.

Property stocks gained after leading residential developer Stockland declared at its annual general meeting it was confident that Australia's property market had hit bottom earlier in the year and was now rebounding.

Stockland closed up 6.5 per cent - their biggest single-day move in years - while Mirvac climbed 1.9 per cent and Charter Hall gained 1.5 per cent to $12.02.

The big banks were mixed, with ANZ dropping 0.2 per cent to $27.71, but NAB up 0.4 per cent to $28.86, Commonwealth up 0.2 per cent to $79.79 and Westpac up 0.2 per cent to $28.89.

The heavyweight mining sector was up, with BHP gaining 0.6 per cent to $34.98, Rio Tinto up 0.3 per cent to $88.12, and goldminer Newcrest up 0.9 per cent to $33.44.

In health care, CSL dropped 0.6 per cent to $249.42 while Cochlear gained 2.6 per cent to $214.52.

Cash Converters soared 30 per cent after settling a class action brought on behalf of Queenslanders who took out credit loans with the payday lender.

The Aussie dollar is buying 68.59 US cents, from 68.31 US cents on Friday.

ON THE ASX:

* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed up 2.8 points, or 0.04 per cent, to 6,652.5 points

* The All Ordinaries closed down 0.7 points, or 0.01 per cent, to 6,757.7 points.

* The SPI200 futures index closed up three points, or 0.05 per cent, to 6,619.

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEDT

One Australian dollar buys:

* 68.59 US cents, from 68.31 US cents on Friday

* 74.41 Japanese yen, from 74.16 yen

* 61.49 euro cents, from 61.42 cents

* 53.17 British pence, from 53.13 pence

* 107.27 NZ cents, from 107.26 cents.

Austrlaian Associated PressBack to Breaking News

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