- The ASX 200 fell 0.5% or 36.1 points to 7,206 in the few minutes after the opening.
- Crude oil prices and safe haven assets fell on Wednesday as market participants are still concerned with the newly emerged Omicron variant.
- The IT sector was taking the biggest hit of 3.24%, followed by the Materials sector’s 1.3% fall.
The Australian share market opened lower on Thursday as the new variant of COVID-19 - Omicron continues to jitter global markets, with increasing inflation risks further adding to worries over earlier-than-expected tapering of monetary stimulus by the US Federal Reserve. The ASX 200 fell 0.5% or 36.1 points to 7,206 in a few minutes after the opening.
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Global equity markets were mixed, while crude oil prices and safe haven assets fell on Wednesday as market participants are still concerned with the newly emerged Omicron variant of coronavirus that might hamper the global economic recovery.
The S&P 500 rose in early trade on Wednesday, paring much of the losses of previous session, but by late afternoon, nosedived to lower levels as investors were still jittery over Omicron, rising inflation and the US Federal Reserve policy.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 1.34% to 34,022.05, while the S&P 500 lost 1.18% to 4,513.03. The NASDAQ Composite ended the session 1.83% down at 15,252.06.
How has the market performed so far?
As of 11:00 AM AEDT, the ASX 200 was trading 0.54% or 38.9 points down to 7197, while the ASX All Ordinaries index was down 0.58% or 43.8 points to 7,514. The A-VIX has risen 4.86% to 15.94, setting a new 20-day high.
Data Source: ASX Website (as of 2 December 2021, 11:00 AM AEDT)
Afterpay Limited (ASX:APT) was the top loser, falling 5.46%, followed by Netwealth Group Limited’s (ASX:NWL) shares, shedding 5.3%. Xero Limited (ASX:XRO) was another IT stock on the list of top losers, falling 5.28%. On the other side, Chalice Mining Limited (ASX:CHN) and G.U.D Holdings Limited (ASX:GUD) were the top gainers, gaining 3.84% and 2.6%, respectively.
On the sectoral front, nine out of the 11 sectors were trading in red. The IT sector was taking the biggest hit of 3.24%, followed by the Materials sector’s 1.3% fall. The energy space was also down 0.5% as crude oil kept on tumbling. The industrial and utilities sectors were trading in green.
- Woolworths Group Limited (ASX:WOW)
- The supermarket chain is trying to outbid Wesfarmers’ bid to acquire Australian Pharmaceutical Industries.
- Woolworths has proposed a 20% higher bid at AU$1.75 per share for API.
- This would value the total business at AU$872 million.
- Afterpay Limited (ASX:APT)
- The company will postpone the meeting with Square for a potential takeover, originally set for 6 December 2021.
- The company said it was yet to receive regulatory approval from the Bank of Spain.
- All regulators have approved the required nod for the takeover except the Bank of Spain.
- Shopping Centres Australasia Property Group RE Limited (ASX:SCP)
- SCA Property Group has entered into a Joint Venture (JV) with Singapore-based GIC.
- The JV will establish metropolitan convenience retail centres across Australia.
- The combined entity will be named as SCA Metro Convenience Shopping Centre Fund.
- Crown Resorts Limited (ASX:CWN)
- The casino operator has dismissed a takeover offer from US private equity behemoth, Blackstone.
- Crown Resort’s board said it did not consider the offer representing fair value for the company.
- The offer provided Crown’s shareholders AU$12.5 per share.
- Premier Investments Limited (ASX:PMV)
- In a recent trading update, the company witnessed a rebound in retail sales since pandemic-induced restrictions eased.
- In FY22, retail sales for the three weeks to 27 November 2021 jumped 10.1% over the same period in FY21.