The Australian share market finished lower for second day in row on Tuesday, 20 July 2021, following the broadly negative cues from Wall Street overnight, on anxiety over surge in Delta variant coronavirus cases and its potential impact on a slowdown in global economic recovery.
At closing bell, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 fell 62.14 points, or 0.85%, to 7,285.98. The broader All Ordinaries dropped 70.99 points, or 0.93%, to 7,559.74.
Traders remain concerned about the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus variants in more states. Victoria has recorded 13 new local cases of coronavirus, with the total active cases reaching 96 and the fifth lockdown extended for a further seven days.
New South Wales reported 78 new local cases and South Australia starts a one-week lockdown after reporting five cases, schools, retail, and construction will pause.
Shares of materials and resources declined, due to drop in base metal prices amid revived worries about a slowdown in economic recovery. Perenti Global and Champion Iron were the biggest losers, while BHP Group shares slipped after the world’s largest listed miner reported a drop in its fourth-quarter iron ore output, and lower annual production across four of its six major divisions.
Energy stocks fell due to drop in crude oil prices overnight, as OPEC+ agreed to boost output, causing concerns about a crude surplus if an economic slowdown comes to pass, with Worley and Beach Energy being the top drags. Oil Search shares jumped after it rejected a takeover offer by Santos, which valued the Papua New Guinea-focused oil and gas producer at A$8.83 billion, saying it was “not in the best interest of shareholders”.
CURRENCY NEWS: The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7321, off levels around $0.738 seen yesterday.
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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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