ASX falls after US tech rout

ASX falls after US tech rout

The Australian share market was dragged lower on Wednesday after an overnight tech rout on the Nasdaq weighed heavily on the local benchmark.

The S & P/ASX 200 was down 53 points, or 0.7 per cent, to close at 7,153.9 points. The broader All Ordinaries fared worst, dropping 57.3 points, or 0.8 per cent, to 7,345.6 points.

Tech stocks had their worst session for September, down 1.56 per cent, followed by losses in Real Estate and Industrials, both down 1.2 per cent.

IT giants Wisetech and Xero fell by 2.2 per cent and 1.4 per cent respectively as local traders tracked moves on Wall Street.

The poor performance of IT stocks followed the Nasdaq fall overnight. Software giant Oracle helped lead the losses for tech stocks after reporting its revenue for the latest quarter fell just short of what analysts expected.

Apple dropped 1.8 per cent after it unveiled the latest models of its phones and other devices.

Energy stocks defied the broader losses across the benchmark, finishing up just 0.1 per cent, after crude oil prices increased 2 per cent to a near 10-month high on Tuesday. Fresh forecasts by OPEC+ and the US overnight showed a tighter supply outlook in the months ahead.

Brent futures rose $1.42 or 1.6 per cent, to $92.06 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate crude rose $1.55, or 1.8 per cent, to $88.84 a barrel.

Utilities climbed higher by 0.2 per cent.

Energy sector heavyweight Woodside climbed 0.5 per cent to $37.88, Santos up 0.7 per cent to $7.77, and Beach Energy up 0.5 per cent to $1.60.

Viva Energy fell 2.1 per cent to $2.87 a share after the fuel retailer confirmed that major shareholder Dutch oil trading giant Vitol was selling a 16 per cent of its stake in the company. The sale will bring Vitol’s remaining stake to approximately 30 per cent.

Lithium miner IGO was the worst performer on the benchmark, with shares losing 7.7 per cent of their value to fall to $13.15 a share after the stock traded ex-dividend.

At Qantas, the controversy continued after the High Court dismissed an appeal over a 2022 Federal Court decision which found the airline had acted illegally in sacking some 1700 staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In what the airline hopes will cap off a turbulent few weeks, Qantas shares dipped 0.2 per cent lower, to $5.57 a share, and could face penalties and compensation orders in excess of $200m.

Small-cap Pental, which sells household cleaning products surged 30.2 per cent, following the announcement it will sell its consumer products business to paints group Dulux. The deal is valued at $60m.

Markets reaction to the new iPhone was fruity. After Apple unveiled the 15th iteration of the device, stocks slid by 2 per cent.

Traders will be closely monitoring US CPI data for August which will be released later this evening.

It comes after recent statements from Federal Reserve officials have largely downplayed any chances of an interest rate hike when the board meets next week.