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Australia Market sinks as Covid-19 cases rise

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The Australian share market finished lower on Friday, 31 July 2020, on following the mostly negative cues from Wall Street overnight after data showed a record contraction in U. S. economic activity in the second quarter as well as an increase in U. S. jobless claims.

Meanwhile, selloff pressure mounted on fears of stricter lockdowns after the country recorded its deadliest day of the coronavirus pandemic on Thursday with 14 deaths, taking total fatalities from the virus to 190, more than half of which have been in Victoria.

At closing bell, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index dropped by 123.30 points, or 2.04%, to 5,927.78. The broader All Ordinaries shed 119.16 points, or 1.93%, to 6,058.31.

Shares of energy companies declined, with Woodside Petroleum and Santos giving up 2% and 3%, respectively. Power and gas retailer Origin Energy dropped 5% on posting a fall in fourth-quarter revenue from its share in the Australia Pacific LNG (APLNG) project.

Financials were also notable lower, with the "big four" banks losing between 2.2% and 3.3%. Mining stocks fell, with global miners BHP Group and Rio Tinto falling 2.9% and 2.4%, respectively.

CURRENCY NEWS: The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7217 after yesterday's turbulent trading saw it slide below $0.716.

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

First Published: Fri, July 31 2020. 15:36 IST