Views Article – Sharenet Wealth

Australasia, News

Australian shares drop 1% as travel stocks weigh

April 21 (Reuters) – Australian stocks fell a percent on Wednesday, extending losses into a second straight session, as travel stocks dropped after a new COVID-19 case in New Zealand sparked worries of a pause in the trans-Tasman quarantine-free travel.

The S&P/ASX 200 index was down 0.7% to 6,968.1 by 0030 GMT. It fell as much as 1% to mark its worst intraday drop in about five weeks.

A new case of the novel coronavirus detected at Auckland airport comes just a day after the country opened a travel bubble with Australia.

That pulled down ASX-listed travel stocks, with Qantas Airways falling 2.8% and Sydney Airport Holdings slipping 1.3%. Flight Centre Travel and Helloworld Travel shed about 2% and 1.5%, respectively.

In other markets, Japan’s Nikkei dropped 1.56% to 28,631.87. The S&P 500 E-minis futures were down 0.13%, while all three major U.S. indexes closed lower overnight.

In Australia, the top percentage gainers on the benchmark were Corporate Travel Management, up 4.52%, followed by IDP Education, gaining 2.92%, and Hub24, up 2.58%.

Heavyweight miners fell 1.5%. Lithium miners Galaxy Resources and Orocobre were the biggest losers on the index, falling nearly 6% each.

Iron ore giant BHP Group fell more than 2% after it reported a slight drop in its third-quarter output. However, it expects iron ore production at the upper end of its forecast range for full-year.

Energy index fell 2.1​%, led by Beach Energy , down 2.8% and Ampol, losing 1.3%. Oil prices dropped from their one-month highs on fears that world’s third-biggest oil importer India may impose new restrictions.

In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.4% to 12,628.8.

The top percentage losers on the benchmark are Auckland International Airport, down 2%, followed by Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, losing 1.7%, and Meridian Energy, down 1.6%. (Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)

© 2019 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved. Reuters content is the intellectual property of Thomson Reuters or its third party content providers. Any copying, republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Thomson Reuters. Thomson Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. "Reuters" and the Reuters Logo are trademarks of Thomson Reuters and its affiliated companies.