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Australia stock market lower as COVID hits Sydney, Europe


The ASX 200 also closed flat on Monday amid a fresh outbreak of the pandemic in Sydney, following a fall on Friday

Losses from miners and major banks caused Australia’s stock market to finish lower on Tuesday, after a reportedly new strain of COVID-19 in the UK hit European stocks and Sydney battles with its own resurgence of the virus.

The S&P/ASX200 finished 1.05 per cent lower on Tuesday at 6599.6.

BHP Group was down 1.8 per cent to $42.89, Rio Tinto fell 2.7 per cent to $115.41 and Fortescue Metals Group dropped 2.3 per cent to $23.48.

The bottom performing stocks at close were Silver Lake Resources down 6.79 per cent and Ramelius Resources down 5.97 per cent.

The ASX 200 also closed flat on Monday in the face of a fresh outbreak of the pandemic in Sydney. That followed a fall on Friday.

Bio-tech company Mesoblast closed 5.7 per cent lower at $2.17, off the back of the company’s announcement last week that its COVID-19 treatment trial was not living up to expectations.

Meanwhile, oil prices plunged as tighter restrictions and fresh travel curbs sparked worries about a slower recovery in fuel demand.

As a result, the Australian energy index tumbled more than 2 per cent to hit its lowest since November 23.

A2 Milk company was the market’s best performer, closing almost 5 per cent higher. And superannuation management company Netwealth closed the second-best performer, adding 2.9 per cent to its share price on Tuesday.

Preliminary retail data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics for November has shown a massive surge in sales of 7 per cent.

That data shows the surge in shopping as Melbourne was released from its second lockdown and Victoria’s borders started to reopen with other states. Black Friday sales were another sweetener.

Overall, Victoria saw a large rise of 21 per cent. Excluding Victoria, retail sales rose 2.7 per cent. Overall, turnover increased 13.2 per cent when compared to November 2020.

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