ASX suffers worst week since October 2020

·3-min read

The Australian share market has suffered its worst week in more than two years after another major drop, and slumped to its lowest closing level in 14 months.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index finished Friday down 87.7 points to 6,932.0, a fall of 1.25 per cent. The broader All Ordinaries closed 95.2 points lower at 7,145.2, a 1.31 per cent drop.

The ASX200 declined 4.24 per cent for the week, its worst performance since the week ending 24 April 2020, after declining every day except Wednesday. Its close was its lowest since April 7, 2021.

"Quite a pullback, obviously," said CommSec market analyst Stephen Daghlian.

"To be honest, it's not overly surprising, given what we saw from the Reserve Bank," which raised interest rates more aggressively than many were expecting on Tuesday.

The financial sector declined 9.0 per cent for the week, its worst loss since March 2020, the beginning of the pandemic.

All the big banks gave up their morning gains and finished lower on Friday, with the biggest, Commonwealth, close to a one-year low at $93.78. CBA was down 1.2 per cent on the day and 10.7 per cent on the week.

Westpac fell 1.5 per cent to $20.85, ANZ dropped 1.2 per cent to $23.07 and NAB retreated 0.7 per cent to $28.06. National Australia Bank is down 10.3 per cent fall in the past five days.

Nonbank lenders Australian Finance Group, Peppermoney and Resimac were all down from 5.5 to 7.3 per cent amid fears that rising rates will result in bad debts and collapse the property market.

Property was in fact the worst performer on Friday, down 2.9 per cent. The sector has also suffered its worst week since March 2020 with a 7.0 per cent drop.

Goodman Group fell 2.8 per cent, Stockland was down 2.7 per cent and Dexus fell 3.8 per cent.

Every sector was lower, with energy - the one area that has held up lately - falling 1.6 per cent even as Brent crude hovered around US$122 a barrel.

Woodside was down 1.6 per cent and Santos fell 1.5 per cent.

The heavyweight mining sector was down 1.1 per cent, with BHP basically flat at $46.22 but Rio Tinto down 1.3 per cent to $115.90 and Fortescue falling 0.5 per cent to $21.45.

Among consumer discretionary stocks, JB Hi-Fi fell 4.6 per cent to a nearly two-year low of $41.69, Harvey Norman was down 3.6 per cent to a similar low of $4.08, and Eagers Automotive fell 4.2 per cent to a year and a half low of $9.43.

Tiny Bubs Australia was a rare bright spot on the market, gaining 9.2 per cent to 65 cents after advising that the air cargo flight of baby formula chartered by the US government would be purchased by American supermarket giants Krogers and Albertsons. Bubs formula is being imported on an emergency basis to help relieve a major infant food shortage in the US.

The Australian dollar meanwhile was buying 71.24 US cents, from 71.79 US cents at Thursday's close.

Looking ahead, Aussie traders on Friday evening will be watching the release of US inflation data, as it will likely influence the pace of future Federal Reserve interest rate hikes.

ON THE ASX:

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index finished Friday down 87.7 points, or 1.25 per cent, to 6,932.0

The All Ordinaries index closed down 95.2 points, or 1.31 per cent, to 7,145.2.

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT:

One Australian dollar buys:

71.25 US cents, from 71.79 US cents when the ASX closed on Wednesday

95.23 Japanese yen, from 95.84 yen

67.00 Euro cents, from 66.99 cents

57.06 British pence, from 57.32 pence

110.80 NZ cents, from 111.27 cents

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