ASX 200 edges lower as Wall Street’s selling spree continues

Highlights

  • The ASX 200 slid 0.46% or 33.7 points to 7,255.6 in early trade.
  • World equity markets and crude oil prices tumbled on Tuesday.
  • Bearish sentiment is prevailing today with nine out of the 11 sectors trading in the red zone.

The Australian share market edges lower at the opening on Wednesday, after the country reported its first community case of a highly contagious Omicron variant of coronavirus, further instilling worries over the reimposition of new restrictions and creating hindrance in the economic recovery. The ASX 200 slid 0.46% or 33.7 points to 7,255.6 in early trade.

A trader with his laptop

Image Source: Copyright © 2021 Kalkine Media Pty. Ltd.

World equity markets and crude oil prices tumbled on Tuesday after Moderna commented that current vaccines might not to be as effective against the newly emerged Omicron variant, triggering fear among market participants and forcing them to pile into safe-haven assets.

All Wall Street's main indices fell more than 1% each on Tuesday amid US Fed Chair Jerome Powell signalling that the US central bank would consider ramping up its withdrawal of bond purchases to curb running inflation, further fuelling an ongoing selling spree.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed Tuesday’s session 1.86% down at 34,483.73, while the S&P 500 ended 1.9% lower at 4,567.01. The NASDAQ Composite tumbled 1.55% to 15,537.70.

Read More: Five ASX penny stocks on investors’ radar for 2022

How has the market performed so far?

As of 11:00 AM AEDT, the ASX 200 fell 0.5% or 36.6 points to 7,219.4, while the ASX All Ordinaries index was down 0.63% or 47.5 points to 7,539.9. The A-VIX shot up by 6.32% to 15.29, gaining 25.01% in the last five days.

Top 5 ASX gainers and losers

Data Source: ASX Website (as of 1 December 2021, 11:00 AM AEDT)

Stocks that were putting the most pressure on the index were Pro Medicus Limited (ASX:PME) and GUD Holdings Limited (ASX:GUD), both shedding 5.27% and 4.86%, respectively. On the contrary, top stocks trying to hold the market were GrainCrop Limited (ASX:GNC) and South32 Limited (ASX:S32), both rising 2.79% and 2.55%, respectively.

Coming to the market breadth, bearish sentiment is prevailing today with nine out of the 11 sectors trading in the red zone. The real estate, utilities, IT and consumer staples sectors were all trading with a cut of over 1% each. The energy sector was also down 0.59% as crude oil tumbled overnight. The healthcare and materials sectors were giving relief to investors with their respective gains of 0.55% and 0.31%.

Newsmakers

  1. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ASX:ANZ)
  • The bank is set to face a class action by law firm, Phi Finney McDonald.
  • The case has been filed on behalf of certain credit card holders.
  • They alleged that the bank’s credit card contracts breached contravened the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act.
  1. Charter Hall Group (ASX:CHC)
  • The real estate investment trust has agreed to acquire a 49% stake in 20 Ampol Fuel and Convenience retail centres.
  • It will be shelling out AU$50.5 million for this acquisition.
  • The deal will be funded by debt facilities.
  1. Crown Resorts Limited (ASX:CWN)
  • The casino operator has appointed Dr Ziggy Switkowski as its new chairman.
  • Ziggy Switkowski has replaced interim chairwoman Jane Halton.
  • Jane Halton will remain an independent non-executive director of Crown.
  1. Collins Foods Limited (ASX:CKF)
  • Broker Wilson has increased the valuation of Collins Food from AU$15.30 to AU$15.75, maintaining the overweight rating,
  • On Tuesday, the company announced 1H FY22 results, noting an 8.5% jump in revenue to AU$534.2 million, over AU$492.3 million in 1H FY21.
  • Statutory NPAT from continuing operations stood at AU$26.4 million in the reported period versus AU$20.9 million in 1H FY2
  1. Australian Ethical Investment Limited (ASX:AEF)
  • The company’s management expects a net profit between AU$5 million to AU$5.5 million for the six months ending 31 December 2021.
  • The company’s funds under management (FUM) increased to AU$6.64 billion as at 31 October 2021, a 9% increase over previous quarter.
  • Performance fees from the High Conviction Fund and Emerging Companies Fund are expected to crystallise by June 2022.

Read More: Holding Tesla shares? Here’s a technical view

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