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ASX 200 Snaps Two Sessions of Gains

Stock MarketsSep 01, 2021 16:41
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By Oliver Gray - The ASX Ltd (ASX:ASX) closed lower on Wednesday, dipping 7.80 points or 0.10% to 7527.10, snapping two sessions of consecutive gains and retreating from 2-week highs as lower iron ore prices pulled mining stocks lower, while many companies traded ex-dividend.

In coronavirus news, New South Wales added 1116 fresh cases as testing and vaccination rates continue to surge across the state. Victoria added 120 fresh cases as Premier Daniel Andrews abandoned the state’s COVID-zero strategy, instead embracing softer lockdown policies in order to cautiously ease restrictions if coronavirus infections are kept below their threshold. The ACT reported 23 new cases today with 11 infectious in the community after health authorities extended lockdowns for a further 2 weeks yesterday.

Among stocks, Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX:WES) closed 3.32% lower and Iress Ltd (ASX:IRE) dropped 2.03% after the companies traded ex-dividend. Major miners also traded lower with Rio Tinto Ltd (ASX:RIO) falling 2.46%, BHP Billiton Ltd (ASX:BHP) dipping 1.25% and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (ASX:FMG) falling 3.19% as Iron ore prices weakened overnight. In contrast, coal miners lifted on tight supply concerns, with Whitehaven Coal Ltd (ASX:WHC) trading 3.16% higher and New Hope Corporation Ltd (ASX:NHC) lifting 2.91% to near 18-month highs.

Among data, the Australian Q2 GDP lifted 0.7%, easing from 1.9% growth in the previous period but beating market expectations of a 0.5% rise. The ABS noted that while the reading was generally positive, the data precedes the majority of the country’s lockdown restrictions implemented to curb the spread of the coronavirus Delta variant.

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 added 22.05 points or 0.17% to 13243.49, closing at 8-month highs.

ASX 200 Snaps Two Sessions of Gains

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