Bank­ing sell-off drags ASX down

NT News - - BUSINESS -

THE sell off of bank­ing stocks has con­tin­ued to drag the Aus­tralian share mar­ket into the red.

The bench­mark S&P/ ASX200 in­dex was down 0.5 per cent yes­ter­day, with the fi­nan­cial sec­tor slump­ing 1.2 per cent.

The sell­off of ma­jor bank­ing stocks that be­gan on May 9 with news of the gov­ern­ment’s bank levy con­tin­ued apace, with ANZ down more than two per cent.

ANZ was the worst per­former of the big four banks, fall­ing 2.1 per cent to $28.455, but Na­tional Aus­tralia Bank and West­pac were also down, by 1.1 per cent and 1.4 per cent re­spec­tively.

Com­mon­wealth Bank was down 72 cents, or 0.9 per cent, at $80.09. As well as the fed­eral gov­ern­ment’s bank levy, in­vestors are also ner­vous about a po­ten­tial slow­down in the do­mes­tic hous­ing mar­ket and the US po­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion.

In the min­ing sec­tor, BHP lifted 1.0 per cent, Rio Tinto was up 1.7 per cent, and Fortes­cue Me­tals gained 2.6 per cent fol­low­ing a rise in iron ore fu­tures. En­ergy sup­plier Ori­gin En­ergy was 11 cents, or 1.4 per cent, lower at $7.62 af­ter an­nounc­ing it will sell its Dar­ling Downs pipe­line net­work in Queens­land to Chi­nese-con­trolled Je­mena Gas for $392 mil­lion.

Mean­while, the Aus­tralian dol­lar had pared back Thurs­day’s gains af­ter a re­bound in the green­back to sit at 74.18 US cents.

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