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Miners, banks send ASX lower

Miners and banks have weighed down the Australian sharemarket after Wall Street slipped lower over the weekend on increasing sentiment that interest rates will stay higher for longer.

The S&P/ASX 200 was down 28.5 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 7040.3 about 12.15pm AEST, despite most sectors keeping their heads above the water.

Wall Street closed a sorry week with more losses.

Wall Street closed a sorry week with more losses.Credit: AP

Energy companies (up 0.1 per cent) were among the strongest companies on the index led by coal miners Whitehaven (up 2.7 per cent), Yancoal (up 1.8 per cent) and New Hope (up 1.3 per cent).

Information technology firms (up 0.7 per cent) and the consumer discretionary sector (up 0.5 per cent) were also stronger as Altium gained 1.1 per cent and JB Hi-Fi added 1.5 per cent.


On the losing end, healthcare companies (down 0.6 per cent) were among the weakest on the local bourse as Ramsay Healthcare lost 2.4 per cent.

Lithium miners also dragged the ASX lower with Allkem (down 3.3 per cent), Pilbara Minerals (down 3.9 per cent) and IGO (down 1.9 per cent) among the biggest large-cap decliners. Gold miners Evolution (down 2.1 per cent) and Northern Star (down 1.7 per cent) also weighed on the broader mining sector, which lost 1.2 per cent. Heavyweight Fortescue shed 1.9 per cent despite the iron ore price increasing 3 per cent overnight.

Financials companies (down 0.6 per cent) also declined as all four big banks and Macquarie (down 1.2 per cent) traded lower. CBA slipped 0.8 per cent and NAB, ANZ and Westpac all dropped 0.6 per cent.

Shares in Qantas fell 1.3 per cent after it said it would spend another $80 million in customer improvement initiatives and flagged a $200 million hit from increasing fuel costs.

Meanwhile, property group GPT (down 0.1 per cent) has appointed Russell Proutt as its new chief executive replacing outgoing CEO, Bob Johnston. He will take up the position by March next year. Proutt was most recently the chief financial officer at another property group, Charter Hall and prior to that worked at Brookfield Asset Management, a global asset manager.

GPT’s chairman, Vickki McFadden, said the GPT board is “delighted to announce the appointment of Proutt as the new CEO of GPT”. She said there was an extensive selection process to appoint Proutt who is set to lead the diversified group through its next phase of growth.

Johnston, who is retiring, joined GPT eight years ago after being the CEO at property developer Australand. He said he was “confident in the future of GPT under Proutt’s new leadership.”

Wall Street wheezed to more losses as it limped to the finish of its worst week in six months.

The S&P 500 slipped 9.94 points, or 0.2 per cent, after a late-day swoon erased a modest gain it had held for most of the day. It capped an ugly slide caused by Wall Street’s growing understanding that interest rates likely won’t come down much anytime soon.


The Dow Jones fell 0.3 per cent and the Nasdaq composite dipped 0.1 per cent.

Pressure has built on Wall Street as yields in the bond market climbed to their highest levels in more than a decade. They’d been rising for months and accelerated this week after the Federal Reserve indicated it’s unlikely to cut its main interest rate by as much in 2024 as investors had hoped. The federal funds rate is at its highest level since 2001, which grinds down on investment prices as it undercuts high inflation.

Yields eased a bit on Friday, which helped the S&P 500 stabilise somewhat following its 1.6 per cent drop a day before, which was its worst since March. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 4.44 per cent from 4.50 per cent late on Thursday. It’s still near its highest level since 2007.

The two-year Treasury yield, which moves more closely with expectations for the Fed, dipped to 5.10 per cent from 5.15 per cent.

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