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Australian Shares Close 0.3% Lower as Risk-Off Prevails

Stock MarketsDec 01, 2021 16:42
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© Reuters.

By Oliver Gray

Investing.com - The S&P/ASX 200 lost 20.10 points or 0.28% to 7,235.90 on Wednesday, retracing gains of 0.22% in the previous session as risk sentiment soured after U.S. Fed Chair Jerome Powell noted yesterday that the central bank would consider a quicker than anticipated tightening of monetary settings despite the potential threat of the coronavirus Omicron variant.

Among stocks, major miners closed higher, with Rio Tinto Ltd (ASX:RIO) up 2.42%, BHP Billiton Ltd (ASX:BHP) up 1.35% and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (ASX:FMG) adding 1.53%, while Lynas Rare Earths Ltd (ASX:LYC) also gained 2.71% to close at a fresh record high.

Travel-related stocks fell, with Qantas Airways Ltd (ASX:QAN) down 2.17%, Flight Centre Ltd (ASX:FLT) losing 1.92%, Webjet Ltd (ASX:WEB) falling 2.74% and Sydney Airport Holdings Ltd (ASX:SYD) down 0.48%.

Technology and financials were mixed, with Appen Ltd (ASX:APX) and Xero Ltd (ASX:XRO) up 2.29% and 2.69% respectively, while Technology One Ltd (ASX:TNE) lost 1.94% and Wisetech Global Ltd (ASX:WTC) eased 0.27%. Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX:MQG) and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ASX:ANZ) fell 0.53% and 0.22% respectively, while Commonwealth Bank Of Australia (ASX:CBA) added 0.75%, National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX:NAB) gained 0.29% and Westpac Banking Corp (ASX:WBC) lifted 0.49%.

BNPL names were also lower with Zip Co Ltd (ASX:Z1P) down 2.32% and Afterpay Touch Group Ltd (ASX:APT) falling 2.16%.

Oil stocks were mixed as crude prices dived to the lowest level in three months amid concerns about the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines against the omicron variant. Woodside Petroleum Ltd (ASX:WPL) and Oil Search Ltd (ASX:OSH) added 0.33% and 1.31% respectively, while Santos Ltd (ASX:STO) fell 0.94% and Beach Energy Ltd (ASX:BPT) lost 0.84%.

On the bond markets, Australia 10-Year yields ticked higher to 1.739% while United States 10-Year rates were at 1.477%.

Among currencies, the Aussie traded above yearly lows, adding 0.58% to 0.7167, while the US Dollar Index was little changed at 95.93.

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 finished flat at 12,724.

Australian Shares Close 0.3% Lower as Risk-Off Prevails
 

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