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Aussie share market lower amid profit taking

The Advertiser 2020-08-20 12:30:00

The Australian share market closed in the red, weighed down by banks, miners and health stocks while companies that performed well yesterday saw profit taking.

Snapping a two-day winning streak, the S&P/ASX200 closed 0.77 per cent lower at 6120 while the All Ordinaries Index shed 0.67 per cent to 6271.7.

“The ASX200 is facing some stiff resistance every time it gets close to that five-month high level, which is around 6200 points,” CommSec market analyst Steve Daghlian said.

Profit takers moved on healthcare giant CSL, which dropped 3.86 per cent to $300 and logistics software company Wisetech, down 1.47 per cent to $27.46.

The big four banks were all lower, with ANZ slipping 1.18 per cent to $18.46, Commonwealth Bank easing 1.1 per cent to $70.26, National Australia Bank falling 1.06 per cent to $17.70 and Westpac declining 0.8 per cent to $17.26.

Rio Tinto, which reported a delay to restarting the smelter at a US copper mine on Wednesday, was 0.41 per cent cheaper at $101.25 while fellow mining giant BHP dipped 0.87 per cent to $38.72.

Online travel agent Webjet plunged 12.5 per cent to $3.22 while airline Qantas recovered early losses to close unchanged at $3.76 after posted a loss of $1.97 billion, describing the 2020 financial year as “the most challenging period” in its long history.

Diversified conglomerate Wesfarmers eased 0.2 per cent to $48.78 despite booking full-year earnings of more than $2 billion after the Federal Government’s COVID-19 stimulus measures boosted retail sales, particularly for hardware chain Bunnings.

Strong performers included international student-focused IDP Education, which reported a small rise in annual net profit on Thursday, soaring 28.48 per cent to $19.17.

Another was buy now pay later company Afterpay, which upped its full year earnings estimate yesterday and rose 6.78 per cent to $79.98.

Soft drink giant Coca-Cola Amatil reported an $8.8 million half year net loss after being hit hard by business closures and limited trading during the coronavirus pandemic but said it planned to increase its presence in e-commerce and online food delivery platforms.

Shares in the company put on 4.62 per cent to $9.28.

The Aussie dollar was fetching 71.63 US cents, 54.79 British pence and 60.49 Euro cents in afternoon trade.

Originally published as Profit taking, banks push ASX lower