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Commonwealth Bank leads market losses

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Published on: Friday, August 04, 2017

The Australian market has ended the day lower after losses from the Commonwealth Bank bled into the broader market and the energy sector took another hit on global oil price volatility.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 was down 0.25 per cent to 5720.6 points at 1630 AEST on Friday.

A dark day of trade for the influential Commonwealth Bank has weighed heavily on the financial sector – and the ASX as a whole – after the government’s financial intelligence unit, AUSTRAC alleged CBA was in breach of money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws.

CBA shares closed down 3.9 per cent at $80.72.

ANZ was 0.3 per cent lower at $29.49 and Westpac was down 0.5 per cent at $31.54.

National Australia Bank bucked the trend, ending the day 0.2 per cent up at $29.93.

ASR Wealth Advisers senior adviser Gary Huxtable said there was a lot of innuendo at play on the markets from the outset with a lot of over-selling, too much negativity priced in and nothing at this stage substantiated regarding CBA.

“And bear in mind it may be difficult for AUSTRAC to impose these penalties and they may need to strike a balance between sending a message and impacting a lot of Australians,” Mr Huxtable said.

After another weakening in global oil prices overnight, the local energy sector took a hit, with Santos down 2.4 per cent and Oil Search down 2.1 per cent.

But Origin Energy was up 0.3 per cent and Woodside Petroleum had gained 0.2 per cent.

Meanwhile, shares in online travel agency Webjet were up ten per cent at $12.08 as the company resumed trading at pace, $93 million the better after a successful institutional capital raising.

Crown Resorts lost earlier gains to finish three per cent lower at $12.40 after the casino operator nearly doubled full-year profit to $1.9 billion, after pocketing $1.6 billion from the China sale of its Melco Resorts & Entertainment interest.

Fellow gaming giant Tabcorp was up 1.4 per cent to $4.35, after reporting a full-year net loss of $20.8 million on the back of costs related to its proposed merger with Tatts, legal wrangles and its new UK business.

Mr Huxtable said a pattern is emerging with the last six Friday sessions on the ASX heavily sold off.

“A lot of short-term traders are liquidating their positions going into the weekend. With looming US non-farm payrolls just hours away, today was no different.”

The Australian dollar has also regained some of Thursday’s losses against a still-weakened greenback, trading at 79.68 US cents, up from 79.28 US cents on Thursday.

ON THE ASX:

* At 1630 AEST, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 was down 14.5 points, or 0.25 per cent, at 5,720.6 points.

* The broader All Ordinaries index was down 13.5 points, or 0.23 per cent, at 5,773.3 points.

* The September SPI200 futures contract was down 5 points or 0.09 per cent at 5,660 points.

* National turnover was 2.9 billion securities traded worth $5.8 billion.


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