The Australian share market finished lower for second consecutive session on Wednesday, 29 July 2020, with investor sentiment dampened by a worsening domestic coronavirus crisis and as data showed Australian consumer prices fall by a record last quarter.
At closing bell, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index fell 14.16 points, or 0.24%, to 6,006.39. The broader All Ordinaries dropped 18.82 points, or 0.31%, to 6,127.98.
Losses were heaviest among resources and tech stocks. Gold miners mostly traded in the red even as the price of the precious metal remains near all-time highs. Banks rallied after a release from financial services regulator, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) eased its stance for financial institutions to pay out dividends this year. APRA is now satisfied with institutions to pay up to 50% of its earnings in capital distributions, while conducting stress testing, where before it leaned towards deferring any payments.
The major lenders firmed 1-2%. St Barbara (SBM) is slid 7.6% after its June quarter update underwhelmed investors this morning, even though gold production and realised gold prices lifted on the previous quarter. ECONOMIC NEWS: Australia Inflation Down 0.3% On Year In Q2 - Australia consumer prices were down 0.3% on year in the second quarter of 2020, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Wednesday, following the 2.2% increase in the previous three months. On a quarterly basis, consumer prices sank 1.9% after adding 0.3% in the three months prior. The Reserve Bank of Australia's trimmed mean was down 0.1% on quarter and up 1.2% on year, while the weighted mean gained 0.1% on quarter and 1.3% on year. CURRENCY NEWS: The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7168 following its rise from levels around $0.71 early in the trading week.
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