The Australian share market has suffered its worst session in 10 weeks as traders reconsidered whether the US can tame inflation without tipping the world’s largest economy into recession.
The S & P / ASX200 closed on Friday down 159.1 points, or 2.2 per cent, to 7205.6, while the broader All Ordinaries fell 171.6 points, or 2.3 per cent, to 7467.6.
For the week the ASX fell 3.1 per cent, its worst stretch since a 3.9 per cent loss for the week ending 30 October 2020. It was also the ASX’s worst daily loss since a 3.0 per cent drop on February 24 of this year. The market is now down 3.2 per cent for the year.
Every sector on Friday fell at least 1.5 per cent, except for consumer staples which dipped just 0.2 per cent.
Sydney-based City Index analyst Tony Sycamore told AAP it was a day of “complete carnage” as sentiment cratered with rising interest rates.
“While Fed chair (Jerome) Powell stated yesterday that he is confident he can engineer a soft landing for the US economy, he is attempting the central banker equivalent of landing an Airbus 380 on Bankstown airport,” Sycamore wrote in a note.
“There is a considerable risk of overshoot.”
The sell-off followed an even worse session on Wall Street, where the S & P500 dropped 3.6 per cent and the Nasdaq fell 5.0 per cent.
The ASX’s tech stocks were hit worst on Friday, collectively falling 4.5 per cent as Xero fell 9.1 per cent to a nearly two-year low of $ 86.57.
Whispir, Redbubble, Airtasker, Nuix, Temple & Webster, Domain, Kogan.com, Megaport, EML Payments and Seek were among the tech or tech-focused companies sinking to their lowest levels in at least a year, with Temple & Webster and Whispir both down by double-digits.
Macquarie Group fell 8.0 per cent to a two-month low of $ 186.90 after cautioning it would be tough to maintain current growth levels in view of market volatility and rising interest rates. Still, the diversified financial giant delivered a record profit for fiscal 2022.
All four big four banks were down, with NAB dropping 2.0 per cent to $ 31.62, CBA down 1.3 per cent to $ 102.40, Westpac dipping 0.8 per cent to $ 23.83 and ANZ falling 0.6 per cent to $ 26.76.
In the heavyweight mining sector, BHP dropped 1.4 per cent to $ 46.80 and Rio Tinto retreated 2.1 per cent to $ 109.26, while Fortescue Metals was flat at $ 20.83.
News Corp’s ASX-listed shares were down 7.8 per cent to $ 26.60 despite the media giant announcing third-quarter net income was up eight per cent to US $ 104 million.
Chief executive Robert Thomson said that News was continuing its transformation to a digital-led company and had benefited from surging digital advertising revenue.
REA Group dropped 8.1 per cent to $ 112.15 after the realestate.com.au operator predicted national listings would be down year-on-year in the fourth quarter, given the strong prior period listings and potential impact from the federal election.
But chief executive Owen Wilson said that “the Australian property market is very healthy” with solid economic fundamentals, despite house price moderation in some areas.
Atomos plummeted 49.2 per cent to a two-year low of 30.5 cents after the video technology company downgraded its full-year revenue guidance to between $ 80 million and $ 90 million, after previously forecasting it would make at least $ 95 million.
A changed marketing approach, which has since been corrected, resulted in fewer sales during the first four months of the year, Atomos said.
Coles Group was one of a dozen ASX200 companies to gain ground, rising 1.0 per cent to $ 18.67. Woolies were flat.
Cryptocurrencies were struggling, with Bitcoin down 7.9 per cent to a two-and-a-half-month low of US $ 36,400.
The Aussie dollar had fallen to a four-day low against the greenback after yesterday’s bounce. It was buying 70.70 US cents, from 72.43 US cents at Thursday’s close.
ON THE ASX:
* The benchmark S & P / ASX200 index finished down 159.1 points, or 2.16 per cent, to close at 7205.6 on Friday.
* The All Ordinaries index dropped 171.6 points, or 2.3 per cent, to 7467.6.
One Australian dollar buys:
* 70.70 US cents, from 72.43 US cents when the ASX closed on Wednesday
* 92.24 Japanese yen, from 93.57 yen
* 67.34 Euro cents, from 68.14 cents
* 57.42 British pence, from 57.58 pence
* 110.46 NZ cents, from 110.79 NZ cents.