A rough night on Wall Street could have spelled doom and gloom on the ASX today. Instead, an early morning reversal saw stocks begin to rebound from yesterday's session in the red. Ultimately, however, it wasn't enough to clinch a green finish.
Overnight, the Dow Jones fell 900 points, entirely wiping its recent rally. While the slump looked to infect Aussie markets, it was the financial sector that eventually put an end to hopes of a green day.
The first half-hour of trade saw the market lose ground, reacting to a banking downgrade issued by credit agency Fitch. As a result, Australian banks felt the pinch, and the financial sector wobbled.
While an early morning red spell wasn't to last, the exchange experienced a last-minute dip and finished red once again on Wednesday.
As a result, our S&P/ASX 200 closed down 45 points, or 0.9 per cent. The All Ords also dipped, closing 0.8 per cent lower at 5259 points.
On our principle index, just 91 stocks saw increases. Meanwhile, 106 saw shares slide. Only four companies posted no changes by the bell.
Despite the slump, just three sectors closed red today. Financials, consumer staples and energy stocks continue to be plagued by the pandemic. Meanwhile, real estate stocks delivered a 3.69 per cent run into the green. Surprisingly, consumer discretionary stocks followed close behind with a 2.93 per cent jump.
It's a mass turnaround from midday trade, when all bar three stocks were trading down.
In financials, all big four banks closed red as they dealt with the fallout from the Fitch downgrade. Westpac endured a 5.28 per cent slide. NAB and ANZ followed suit with 4.9 and 4.84 per cent drops. CBA escaped the least scathed, with only a 3.33 per cent hit. Regional banks also felt the pinch, with Bank of Queensland downgrading its profit guidance and slashed interim dividends.
Today, commodities underwent fewer changes. Like yesterday, gold stocks closed mixed, with splatters of red, green and grey across the board. Crude oil continued its upward run. Prices hit US$24.60 a barrel by the Aussie close — a 4.19 per cent increase.
Today's ups and downs
G Medical Innovations saw a 200 per cent spike on the ASX today. The medtech leader received US FDA over-the-counter approval for its Prizma health monitoring device. Shareholders reacted strongly to the news, driving the share price to its highest level since January.
On the other hand, Esports Mogul endured shareholder wrath as its response to an ASX price query failed to cut the mustard. The online gamers one-word answers to the exchange's watchdog didn't satisfy stakeholders, causing a 22.2 per cent drop in the share price by the end of the day.