New Zealand Markets closed

Shares fall amid broad profit taking

 

The share market has closed lower, due to significant falls by healthcare and energy stocks and weakness in the materials and industrial sectors.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 stock index was down 0.4 per cent at 5,945.7 points at 1630 AEDT.

Citi director of equity Karen Jorritsma said some investors were moving out of resources and energy companies after the materials sector peaked in November at an almost five year high.

"While there has been some support for the banks today, we are seeing significant profit taking in the big mining and energy stocks, there's no underlying softness, but investors have recognised value in the solid run of companies like Origin Energy and South32," Ms Jorritsma said.

Origin Energy dropped 2.3 per cent, Santos shed 2.4 per cent, Oil Search fell one per cent and Woodside Petroleum was down 0.25 per cent.

Among the miners, Rio Tinto fell 2.5 per cent, BHP BIlliton shed two per cent and South32 was 4.1 per cent weaker.

Incitec Pivot dropped 1.8 per cent after informing the market that its 2020 and 2021 full year profits will be hit by the end of a supply contract with BHP Billiton.

Blood products maker CSL was another major stock to lose ground, dropping 2.1 per cent.

The major lenders were mixed, with Commonwealth Bank falling 0.2 per cent, while ANZ gained 0.7 per cent, National Australia Bank rose 0.3 per cent and Westpac was 0.5 per cent stronger.

TPG Telecom gained 1.3 per cent to $6.11 after chairman David Teoh expressed confidence in the telco's mobile and fixed-line projects at the company's annual general meeting.

Telstra also climbed, adding 0.6 per cent to $3.63.

The Australian dollar slipped back below 76 US cents as September quarter economic growth of 0.6 per cent proved slightly weaker than expected.

The local currency was trading at 75.78 US cents at 1630 AEDT on Wednesday, from 76.48 US cents on Tuesday.

ON THE ASX:

* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 stock index was down 26.1 points, or 0.44 per cent, at 5,945.7 points at 1630 AEDT.

* The broader All Ordinaries index was down 27.4 points, or 0.45 per cent, at 6,029.9 points

* The SPI200 futures contract was down 30 points, or 0.5 per cent, at 5,950 points.

* National turnover was 5.3 billion securities traded worth $6.4 billion.