Range-bound ASX drops more than 1 per cent
The Australian share market has given up most of Monday's gains, with all but two sectors falling amid fears of a second wave coronavirus cases spreading in Europe and Asia.
The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index closed Tuesday down 58.2 points, or 1.07 per cent, to 5,403 points, while the All Ordinaries index finished 61.8 points lower, or 1.11 per cent, at 5,497.3.
"Same old, same old really," said Australian Stock Report senior advisor Tom Armstrong.
On Monday the ASX gained 70.1 points to finish at 5,461.2, only to sell off on Tuesday, repeating a similar pattern.
"We've seen the trading range develop and we're sticking to it quite rigidly," Mr Armstrong said.
"We get near 5,500 and we sell off quite heavily."
After losing more than 2,000 points from late February to March, the ASX has mostly stuck to a fairly narrow 200-point range of between about 5,200 to 5,400 ever since April 1, Mr Armstrong noted.
Eventually, the ASX must either explode through that 5,500 mark or crater beneath the 5,100 level, he said.
"There has to be a critical mass part where something has to give."
Sentiment was jittery on Tuesday after Germany and South Korea saw a spike in coronavirus infections upon lifting their lockdowns, as well as ahead of key economic data set to be released in the next 24 hours.
US inflation figures will be released overnight and on Wednesday the Reserve Bank of New Zealand will announce its latest decision on Wednesday on that country's cash rate, in a possible sign of how Australia's cash rate is headed.
Consumer staples and health care were the only sectors in the green on Tuesday, with energy the worst hit, dropping 2.5 per cent as Woodside retreated 1.3 per cent and Santos fell 3.2 per cent.
All of the big banks were down, with Commonwealth falling 0.7 per cent to $59.71, NAB down 2.9 per cent to $15.52, ANZ dipping 2.0 per cent to $15.50 and Westpac retreating 2.6 per cent to $15.23.
Macquarie Group dropped 4.1 per cent to $107.01, a day after it rose 6.0 per cent.
Construction materials supplier CSR jumped 10.1 per cent to $3.72 after reporting its full-year profit rose 61 per cent to $125.3 million.
Just Jeans and Peter Alexander store owner Premier Investments dropped 0.1 per cent to $15.41 after announcing it would this week reopen all its stores in Australia and New Zealand that remain closed, while highlighting a surge in online sales during the lockdown period.
Kogan.com rose 5.9 per cent to a two-year high of $8.85 after the online retailer announced that gross sales in April were double what they were a year ago, while gross profit was up 150 per cent.
Online furniture store Temple & Webster hit an all-time of $4.47 before retreating to close up 2.7 per cent at $4.13.
In the heavyweight mining sector, BHP fell 2.6 per cent to $30.72, Rio Tinto dropped 1.7 per cent to $62.60 and Fortescue Metals retreated 3.2 per cent to $11.72.
Packaging provider Amcor rose 1.2 per cent to $13.89 after announcing net income rose 10.8 per cent to $1.1 billion in the nine months to March 31.
One Australian dollar was buying 64.70 US cents, down from 65.40 at the close of trade on Monday.
ON THE ASX:
* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed Tuesday down 58.2 points, or 1.07 per cent, at 5,403 points
* The All Ordinaries closed down 61.8 points, or 1.11 per cent, at 5,497.3 points
* At 1731 AEST, the SPI200 futures index was up 21 points, or 0.39 per cent, at 5,409 points
One Australian dollar buys:
* 64.76 US cents, from 65.40 US cents on Tuesday
* 69.70 Japanese yen, from 70.10 yen
* 59.89 euro cents, from 60.35 cents
* 52.51 British pence, from 52.75 pence
* 106.49 NZ cents, from 106.68 cents.
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