Share market falls as investors leave banking sector

The Australian share market has finished lower as investors sold out of the banking sector, though a recovery in gold and oil companies helped offset broader gains.

The All Ordinaries finished 0.2 per cent lower to 5,423, while the ASX 200 also lost 0.2 per cent to 5,359.

Among banks, Westpac dumped 3.6 per cent as it traded ex-dividend, while Commonwealth Bank edged 0.3 per cent higher.

The banking sector was also dragged lower as shares in Australia's biggest wealth manager, AMP, tumbled 5.3 per cent to one-month lows of $5.51.

The firm said its wealth management cash flows have slumped nearly 40 per cent, from $342 million to $209 million during the quarter.

AMP's total assets under management also fell 2 per cent to $112.6 billion.

Elsewhere, a jump in oil prices overnight helped boost energy stocks. Woodside Petroleum gained 2.4 per cent, while Santos jumped 5.4 per cent.

Among retail stocks, department store Myer soared 6.7 per cent to six-weeks highs of $1.20.

The company reported improved sales growth, with turnover up 2.1 per cent in the third quarter compared to a year earlier.

Meanwhile, global investment bank JP Morgan said the Reserve Bank was likely to cut the official cash rate to just 1 per cent to head off deflationary pressures and to get economic growth up to speed.

The Australian dollar has fallen against the greenback, buying 73.3 US cents, while also fetching 64.2 euro cents, 79.8 Japanese yen and 50.8 British pence.

On the commodities market, spot gold slipped 0.5 per cent to $US1,271 an ounce, while oil dipped to $US46.23 a barrel after jumping overnight.

Source: ABC News

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