Ultimate magazine theme for WordPress.

Markets Live, Thursday February 3, 2022


The Australian sharemarket had a disappointing session on Thursday, brought down by tech stocks like Block and WiseTech off the back of an after-hours tech rout in the US.

The ASX200 dropped sharply at the open of trade and stayed in the red all day, dipping as much as 0.5 per cent in the morning before closing the day down 0.14 per cent or 9.7 points to 7078 points.

VanEck deputy head of investments and capital markets Jamie Hannah described Thursday’s session as “extremely up and down”.

The ASX has been volatile lately due to expectations of rising interest rates.

The ASX has been volatile lately due to expectations of rising interest rates. Credit:iStock

“Markets have continued to be extremely volatile. Once volatility gets into the market, it stays in for a good period of time,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

“We’ll continue to see swings up and down bigger than normal.“

Tech players Down Under drove the losses, with the sector shedding 5.9 per cent.

“We’re getting volatility coming through [from US markets] and just flowing through the greater market into Australia as well,” Mr Hannah added.

The day’s worst performer was battery company Novonix, which slid 14.68 per cent to $6.57. This was followed by Afterpay’s new owner Block, down 9.75 per cent to $145.80. WiseTech dropped 8 per cent.

Embattled investment manager Magellan also copped a 7.47 percent slide to its share price, prompting co-founder and chairman Hamish Douglass to caution investors to switch off the “day to day noise” of “emotional” equities markets during a virtual Morningstar presentation on Thursday morning.

Meanwhile, the utilities and materials sectors performed strongly, finishing Thursday up 1.63 per cent and 1.5 per cent respectively.

Nufarm was the day’s best performer, with its shares storming up 20.22 per cent after a positive trading update about revenue growth.

Mining giants Fortescue and Rio also performed strongly, finishing up 3.27 per cent and 2.43 per cent.

Sydney Airport investors have also approved a $23.6 billion takeover deal for the airport to be acquired by a consortium led by Global Infrastructure Partners and IFM Investors. The takeover offer clears the way for the ASX-listed airport to depart from the local bourse, and would make it the biggest all-cash deal in Australian corporate history.

In economic news, Australia’s trade surplus shrank more than expected in December to $8.4 billion, as stronger domestic demand drove higher than expected imports.

Overnight, all three major US bourses finished their sessions in the green, but an after-hours tech rout saw blue chip stocks lose their shine.

Meta (formerly Facebook) saw its shares tumble about 22 per cent at the end of trade overnight, losses that spread to other tech stocks. Other companies that also derive most of their revenue from digital advertising also saw their share price slide, with Snap losing more than 20 per cent while Twitter and Pinterest both slid by more than 7 per cent.

Meanwhile, PayPal slumped 24.6 per cent, its…


Read More: Markets Live, Thursday February 3, 2022