The ASX’s record run of green came to a screeching halt today as U.S. tariff talks, manufacture slumps, and trade jitters shook global markets.
The ASX 200 suffered its biggest loss since the October slump, shedding 150 points to nullify more than a week’s worth of gains.
Tech stocks were in the firing line for losses after the Trump administration proposed tariffs on French products in retaliation to France’s digital services tax which targetted tech giants like Facebook and Amazon.
Accounting software company Xero dipped 3.11 per cent into the red, shaving $2.56 off its share price to close at $79.80 per share. WiseTech Global was hit the hardest out of the big-caps, dropping almost six per cent to $26.01 per share. AfterPay Touch shares continued to sink after yesterday’s Reserve Bank regulation talks.
The RBA’s monthly meeting went as expected as the central bank opted to keep the cash rate at its record-low 0.75 per cent.
Yet this wasn’t enough to spare Banks from today’s global battle. Westpac and ANZ reached their lowest share price for the year as NAB and Commonwealth Bank fought against a multi-month slump.
Cochlear and CSL cut the health care party short after spending a few days at an all-time high. Cochlear dropped 2.00 per cent and CSL 2.87 per cent.
Painchek outperformed the sector, however, with the first round of U.K. orders for its aged care beds enough to see a 2.38 per cent uptake on the market. Biotech company Opthea continued to ride the wings of yesterday’s $50 million private placement and closed 2.85 per cent in the green.
Speaking of all-time highs, retail stocks sobered up today with Coles Group shaving 68 cents, or 4.16per cent, off of its share price. Woolworths came close behind at a 3.37 per cent drop.
BlueScope Steel defied the resources sector and kept its head above the water as it sits in the middle of a majors share buyback. Mining giants BHP and Rio Tinto dropped 1.41 and 0.51 per cent, respectively.
Asian markets followed global trends as Japan’s Nikkei 225 shed 160.91 points. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng managed to stifle the worst of the losses and drop a slight 0.22 per cent, or 58.89 points.
Global currencies are remaining strong in a day covered with red. The U.S. Dollar is up 35 per cent, the Pound sterling 34 per cent, and the Euro up 39 per cent.
The Aussie dollar is buying 68.4 U.S. cents.
Today’s ups and downs
Data security company Covata reopened for trade on the ASX this week for the first time since late January. The company’s shares were suspended at 1.5 cents apiece until it followed guidance requirements by reporting all necessary activity to the market. Today, Covata’s shares closed a whopping 767 per cent up, worth 13 cents each.
Caltex started the morning weak after turning down a takeover proposal from Canada-based Alimentation Couche-Tard (ATD). The takeover offer valued Caltex’s shares at $34.50 apiece, but it was not enough for the petrol brand’s board, who said the offer undervalued the company. While Caltex managed to recoup the heaviest of its loses, it still closed 0.78 per down with shares ironically priced at $34.50 each.