The ASX shed nearly two months of gains in just two days as the U.S.-China trade war has continued to rattle global markets.
After dropping some tariff bombshells earlier this week, President Trump said today there is no deadline for a hopeful trade deal with China. The President said he is happy to wait until after the 2020 election to ink up an agreement.
After the Dow Jones and Nasdaq took overnight hits to the tune of 1.01 per cent and 0.55 per cent respectively, the ASX 200 followed suit. The index slightly recovered from the worst of its morning session losses, but still closed 105.8 points, or 1.58 per cent, in the red at 6,606.50.
The big banks continued their decline as ANZ and Westpac continued to trade in 2019 lows. Commonwealth and NAB fared no better, copping respective 1.56 per cent and 1.61 per cent hits to battle multi-month low share prices.
The resource stocks with ties to China continued to drag the ASX down, as mining giants BHP and Rio Tinto continued their steady decline despite Rio announcing a $2.19 billion investment to extend copper operations in Utah.
Fortescue Metals, which was sitting pretty at an 11-year high on Monday afternoon, tumbled over the morning session but recouped some losses to close 1.01 per cent the red.
Newcrest Mining was the only big-cap able to defy the odds and stay green, closing 0.82 per cent up after a satisfying exploration update at its Havieron copper project was released on Monday.
Junior mining stocks outperformed the sector. Hot Chili closed 12.12 per cent up after releasing some Chilean drill results which the company claims rival the best intersections worldwide this year. Syrah Resources saw a healthy 10.96 per cent uptake in shares.
The big names in the consumer game continued their slide after sitting at all-time highs on Monday. Woolworths dipped 1.80 per cent to $37.74 per share, and Coles 2.81 per cent to $15.23 per share.
The tech sector was also in retreat, with buy-now-pay-later giant After anchoring the industry as it fell 4.50 per cent in the face of a $200 million private placement. Accounting software specialist Xero softened the blow, however, recovering from an early slump to close 1.60 per cent up.
Overseas markets performed as expected over the day. The Asia Dow dropped 0.88 per cent to 3,312.15 points. Japan’s Nikkei 225 also suffered another day of losses, down 1.05 per cent and shaving off 245.14 points as the ASX closed for the day.
Back down under, the Aussie dollar took a dip today and now buys 68.2 U.S. cents and £0.53.
Today’s ups and downs
oOh!media continued to perform on the market today after a late announcement yesterday evening upgraded the company’s 2019 earnings guidance. While the upgrade does not bring the yearly earnings forecast back to original expectations, investors responded well after the heavy August downgrade.
Small-cap mobile phone service provider United Networks was today’s biggest winner, however, rising 43.48 per cent after buying up two communication businesses.
Australis Oil and Gas took a nasty hit from a shaky drilling update at its U.S. Tuscaloosa Marine Shale project. Drilling problems over the year have seen the company’s share price drop from 40 cents apiece in February to just nine cents per share today.