While the ASX 200 saw slight gains throughout the day, a heavy loss to the financials sector dragged it into the red.
The index closed down 13 points, or 0.19 per cent, at 6,955.2 points.
Most Asian markets ran a similar trajectory, although the Asia Dow managed to buck the trend, up one per cent. The Hang Seng was down 0.6 per cent, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 was down 0.1 per cent.
IN THE GREEN
Five sectors closed in the green today — a slight improvement on yesterday which saw only two sectors make gains. While utilities and materials made slight gains, it wasn’t enough to offset losses.
Among the winners was the Australian aged care giant Regis Healthcare (REG), which jumped almost 14 per cent.
Fintech Sezzle (SZL) continued to climb off the back of yesterday’s news that its total income for February increased nearly 30 per cent from the same time last year.
And McArthur Minerals (MIO) also continued to reap rewards on the back of Thursday’s news that it was granted a five-year licence extension to the existing licence at its Strelley Gorge iron project in the Pilbara.
IN THE RED
The financials sector was dragged down a hefty 1.2 per cent today.
The talk of the town was the blow to Afterpay parent Block (SQ2) which lost 18 per cent, following a critical report by short-seller Hindenburg that accused the company of deceiving investors.
The big banks felt the heat, with NAB copping the biggest loss of 1.6 per cent, while Commonwealth Bank dropped 1.2 per cent.
And fresh recruit to the ASX 300 Weebit Nano (WBT) lost over 10 per cent after announcing its biggest-ever capital raise, comprising a $45 million placement and $10 million share purchase plan.