Aust shares slip amid global worries

Prashant MehraAAP
The bulk of Australia's market losses were concentrated in the mining, tech and utilities stocks.
Camera IconThe bulk of Australia's market losses were concentrated in the mining, tech and utilities stocks. Credit: AAP

The Australian share market has snapped a four-day winning streak to end almost one per cent lower, tracking losses across the Asia Pacific region amid renewed investor concerns of a global recession.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index ended 63.4 points, or 0.94 per cent lower, to 6700.2 on Wednesday.

The broader All Ordinaries lost 75.5 points, or 1.09 per cent, to settle at 6877.9.

Most of the losses were concentrated in the mining, tech and utilities sectors but a late recovery in select financial and energy stocks helped the indices rebound from the sessions lows.

"We've had a reasonable mid-session turnaround but a lot of attention is focused on tonight's GDP growth numbers in the US because there's still a lot of fear that economies around the world are headed for a recession," said Ben Le Brun, private client adviser at ASR Wealth Advisors.

The local indices started the session on the wrong foot following heavy losses on Wall Street overnight after data showed American consumer confidence fell sharply in June.

Investors have remained concerned over the last few weeks that aggressive rate hikes by central banks around the world to tame surging inflation will drag the global economy into a recession.

In the local market, technology was the worst-performing sector, mirroring the hefty losses among US peers.

ASX-listed shares of Block dropped more than six per cent, accounting software producer Xero erased five per cent while Wisetech was down nearly three per cent.

The top iron ore miners fell into negative territory on fears of a demand slowdown with BHP, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals each down between 0.5 and 1.0 per cent.

Gold stocks took a further hit as bullion prices eased. Newcrest, Northern Star and Evolution Mining were all down between three and eight per cent.

Lithium miner Liontown Resources was the sole exception, rising five per cent to $1.12 after signing a supply deal with Ford.

Energy stocks were mixed despite oil prices settling higher on the prospect of tight supplies. Woodside rose 0.5 per cent while Santos fell by a similar degree, but Beach Energy shares rose nearly two per cent.

Financial stocks also posted some gains, with three of the Big Four banks rising nearly one per cent each, although Commonwealth Bank ended 0.5 per cent down to $93.

Healthcare stocks lost ground with CSL, Cochlear and Ansell all losing between one and two per cent.

In stock-specific news, tech firm Tyro Payments dropped nearly 17 per cent to 65 cents after its CEO Robert Cooke stepped down. He has been appointed as chief executive of Star Entertainment Group, the casino operator said in a separate statement.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar slipped to 68.82 US cents by 1700 AEST after robust retail sales data for May reinforced expectations of a rate hike by the Reserve Bank next week. It had closed at 69.55 US cents on Tuesday.

ON THE ASX:

* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index ended 63.4 points, or 0.94 per cent lower, to 6700.2 on Wednesday.

* The broader All Ordinaries lost 75.5 points, or 1.09 per cent, to settle at 6877.9.

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT:

One Australian dollar buys:

* 69.82 US cents, from 69.55 US cents at Tuesday's close

* 93.49 Japanese yen, from 94.44 yen

* 65.58 Euro cents, from 65.69 cents

* 56.49 British pence, from 56.64 pence

* 110.37 NZ cents, from 110.28 cents

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