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Australian share market falls for the second straight day

Australian share

The S&P/ASX200 closed 0.17 per cent lower at 7033.8 while the All Ordinaries Index slumped 0.17 per cent to 7295.5

The Australian share market ended in the red for a second day in a row, with travel stocks among those weighing on the market on alarm over India’s coronavirus outbreak.

The S&P/ASX200 closed 0.17 per cent lower at 7033.8 while the All Ordinaries Index slumped 0.17 per cent to 7295.5.

It’s quite a slow start we’ve had to this trading week, CommSec analyst Steve Daghlian said. Still the good news at the moment is that this is the best month that we’ve had so far in 2021, as long as we can avoid a significant and nasty decline. If that doesn’t happen, it would be the seventh straight month of gains.

The question, I guess, is whether or not we can gain enough momentum to get us to those record highs which the market has struggled to really get to. Every time it has been approaching the best levels on record, it has been fading a bit, he said.

OpenMarkets Group chief executive Ivan Tchourilov said tech stocks dragged, led by buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) stocks.

Market leader Afterpay shed 5.53 per cent to $115.96, smaller rival Zip lost 6.31 per cent to $8.02 and accounting software provider Xero dropped 2.24 per cent to $139.55.

OpenMarkets traders are seeing the pullback in tech as an opportunity, with Zip being the single most purchased stock today, followed closely by Fortescue, Mr Tchourilov said.

Fortescue rose 1.15 per cent to $22.96, Evolution Mining added 3 per cent to $4.80, Rio Tinto gained 0.92 per cent to $123.64 and BHP advanced 1.13 per cent to $48.38.

Rio Tinto announced external affairs and chief legal officer Barbara Levi had accepted the position of group general counsel at UBS and would leave the miner by the end of October.

BHP spin-off South32 added 0.7 per cent to $2.89 after releasing a mixed March quarter production report but Macquarie Research said cash flow was better than expected.

Nickel Mines, however, tumbled 12.06 per cent to $1.13 after reporting a near 13 per cent slump in quarterly production and sharply lower earnings.

In the healthcare sector, biotech giant CSL erased 1.24 per cent to $268.37.

Travel stocks came under pressure, with Sydney Airport dropping 1.94 per cent to $6.06, Corporate Travel Management losing 3.11 per cent to $19.01 and Flight Centre declining 1.37 per cent to $17.27.

We’re still having of course concerns over coronavirus even though we’ve had the three-day snap lockdown lifted in Perth last night – there are concerns about the outbreak in India with something like 350,000 cases being identified per day at the moment, Mr Daghlian said.

Waste management company Bingo Industries agreed to a $2.3bn takeover offer from Macquarie Infrastructure, sending its shares 6.25 per cent higher to $3.40.

Tabcorp Holdings advanced 4.17 per cent to $5 after one of the world’s biggest sports betting and gaming groups, London Stock Exchange-listed Entain, upped the stakes in its bid for the wagering and media business from a previously rejected $3bn offer to $3.5bn.

Tabcorp said it had not yet formed a view on the improved proposal.

It’s been a busy day in the M&A (mergers and acquisitions) space today, which is a healthy sign for the overall market, Mr Tchourilov said. When deals of this nature are going on, it indicates business confidence and that things are improving.

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