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Australia Shares fall on soft offshore lead

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The Australian share market finished session lower on Monday, 13 January 2020, as risk sentiments weighed down by a soft lead from Wall Street, geopolitical uncertainty in the Middle East and lingering concern about the impact of recent bushfires on the broader economy. At closing bell, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index declined 25.36 points, or 0.37%, to 6,903.67, while the broader All Ordinaries sank by 21.72 points, or 0.31%, to 7,020.16.

Energy and healthcare companies were hardest hit on Monday. Oil and gas companies have been dragged lower by lower oil prices on Friday following a volatile couple of weeks for the commodity due to US-Iran tensions. Among oil stocks, Origin Energy declined 1.8%, Woodside Petroleum was down 1.28%, and Santos tumbled 0.7%. Oil Search was off by 1.9%. CSL Limited (CSL) was the main weight on healthcare stocks. The company fell by 1.6 %.

Retailers were also pressured, coinciding with the release of data from ANZ Bank that warned card spending at retailers ahead of Christmas was particularly weak. Woolworths fell 1 % to A$37.43 while rival Coles Group slipped 1.2 % to A$15.47.

Gold stocks rallied after prices fell following declining U.

S.-Iran escalation risks. Evolution Mining rose 2.51%, and Kingsgate Consolidated surged 2.27%.

Zip (Z1P) added to earlier improvements, surging by 3.1 % on Monday. The buy-now-pay-later stock posted well received quarterly numbers. Revenue jumped by 24 % between October and December to a record $38.5m, customer numbers rose to 1.8 million while more than 20,000 merchants are now using its payments platform. Shares in competitor, Afterpay (APT) jumped by 4.5 %.

Shares in The A2 Milk Company (A2M) slipped by 1.1 % as it announced another change in leadership. Chief Technical Officer, Phil Rybinski announced his departure 'to pursue other interests'.

CURRENCY NEWS: The Australian dollar, sensitive to shifts in broader risk appetite, rose against the U. S. dollar. The Australian dollar was at around $0.6915, strengthening after sliding last week.

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

First Published: Mon, January 13 2020. 12:28 IST
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