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Australia Market falls on fears of new virus strain

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The Australian share market has finished session lower on Thursday, 02 December 2021, on following weak lead from Wall Street overnight and concerns over the effects of the new Omicron coronavirus variant on the global economic recovery. However, market losses capped after official data showed Australia's October's retail sales advanced 4.9% and trade surplus came in better than expected A$11.22 billion.

At closing bell, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 declined 10.67 points, or 0.15%, to 7,225.18. The broader All Ordinaries index dropped 21.70 points, or 0.29%, to 7,536.14.

Total 7 of 11 sectors ended lower along with the S&P/ASX 200 Index, with information technology sector was worst performer, down 3.2%, followed by healthcare (down 0.88%), materials (down 0.83%), and energy (down 0.58%), while utilities was best performing sector, up 1.5% followed by financials (up 0.62%) and consumer discretionary (up 0.55%).

The top performing stocks in this index were WORLEY and AGL ENERGY, up 6.1% and 4% respectively. The bottom performing stocks in this index were NETWEALTH GROUP and AFTERPAY, down 6.47% and 6.08% respectively.

Shares of Afterpay skidded to 4-month low after Buy now, pay later giant postponed the shareholder meeting to vote on its US$29 billion deal with Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey led Square.

ECONOMIC NEWS: Australia Retail Sales Advance 4.9% In October- Australia retail sales advanced a seasonally adjusted 4.9% on month in October, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday, coming in at A$31.130 billion following the 1.3% gain in September. Individually, sales for clothing, household goods, department store items, restaurants and other retailing all were higher, while sales for food were slightly softer. On a yearly basis, retail sales advanced 5.2%.

Australia Trade Surplus At A$11.22 Billion In October- Australia posted a seasonally adjusted merchandise trade surplus of A$11.22 billion in October, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday, following the downwardly revised A$11.82 billion trade surplus in September (originally -A$12.243 billion).

Exports dropped 3% on month or A$1.491 billion to A$43.053 billion. Goods were down 3% on month, while services fell 6%. Imports also slipped 3% on month or A$887 million to A$31.833 billion. Goods were down 3% on month, while services fell 2%.

CURRENCY NEWS: The U. S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 96.116 after briefly spiking above 96.5 earlier in the week. The Australian dollar was at $0.7107 after recently dropping from above $0.715.

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Thu, December 02 2021. 15:26 IST
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