Australian stocks fall more than 2% as China lockdown fears hit commodities – Markets

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Australian stocks fell more than 2% on Tuesday, in line with a fall in global stocks as concerns over rising interest rates and fears of new COVID-19 restrictions in China sparked a sell-off.

The S&P/ASX 200 index was down 2.4% at 7,297.30, by 0043 GMT, hitting a five-week low and marking its biggest intraday decline since February 24.

The benchmark index fell 1.6% on Friday. Fears over prolonged COVID lockdowns in Shanghai and potential restrictions in Beijing after the city’s largest district began mass testing spooked investors already worried about a slowdown in China, the top consumer of raw materials. commodities, and aggressive increases in global interest rates.

Australian miners led the decline on the national stock market, falling as much as 5.7% in their biggest intraday decline in nearly two years, as iron ore fell to a low of more than a month months and industrial metals fell.

Sector majors BHP Group, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group slipped between 4.2% and 6.6%. South32 Ltd fell 6.8% even after posting a jump in quarterly production of metallurgical coal.

Energy stocks posted their worst intraday decline since June 2020, down 5.1%, as crude oil prices hit their lowest level in two weeks.

Miners and financiers push Australian stocks higher

Industry heavyweight Woodside Petroleum fell 6.2%, even after reporting a more than double jump in quarterly revenue.

Gold and financial stocks fell 2.9% and 1.3%, respectively. Meanwhile, payment solutions provider EML Payments fell 32.7% to become the benchmark’s biggest loser after cutting its FY22 EBITDA forecast by around 8%.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.7% to 11,830.97.

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