The Australian share market has had its worst day in three weeks with the financial and energy sectors weighing heavily as analysts await economic clues from the US and China.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index finished 26.1 points, or 0.41 per cent, lower to 6,359.5 points at 1615 AEST on Monday, while the broader All Ordinaries slipped 23.6 points, or 0.36 per cent, to 6,449.6 amid thin volumes.
IG Market analyst Kyle Rodda said it had been a mostly flat day across Asian markets with Japan on a 10-day holiday, though industrial profit reports had begun to flow from China.
He said the China data, as well as the highly anticipated meeting of the US Federal Reserve, were at the forefront of analysts’ minds this week.
“There has been a little activity in (Australian) energy stocks, but otherwise we’re in a little bit of a trading in a vacuum until we can get into some solid data next week,” Mr Rodda said.
“Data out of China will be significant to watch – and the US Fed meeting will be particularly important, something we might feel the impact of here.”
The domestic energy sector suffered a 0.74 per cent drop after US President Donald Trump pressured the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to raise crude production to ease petrol prices at the weekend.
Santos, Woodside Petroleum, Oil Search, Origin Energy and Beach Energy were down between 0.4 per cent and 1.24 per cent.
All four major banks were lower as all but CBA prepare to release their first-half results over the next week, dragging down the heavyweight financial sector by 0.6 per cent.
ANZ was down 0.26 per cent to $27.33, Commonwealth was down 0.45 per cent to $75.11, NAB was down 0.9 per cent to $25.44, and Westpac was down 0.58 per cent to $27.58.
The relatively small property trusts sector was the biggest loser in percentage terms, dropping 1.76 per cent.
In materials, mining giant BHP was up 0.59 per cent to $37.82, Rio Tinto was up 0.13 per cent to $97.75, and Fortescue Metals was up 0.83 per cent to $7.25.
Buy-now-pay-later company Zip Co climbed 16.53 per cent to $2.89, and rival Splitit pay surged 25.41 per cent to $1.16 after both firms released positive quarterly updates.
Afterpay Touch rose 4.62 per cent to $24.92.
Coles lifted 0.32 per cent to $12.64 after reporting a 2.1 per cent increase in third-quarter food and liquor sales that the supermarket said was helped by its children-focused collectables campaign.
The Australian dollar was worth 70.55 US cents, up from 70.25 on Friday.
ON THE ASX:
* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 26.1 points, or 0.41 per cent, at 6,359.5 points at 1615 AEST on Monday
* The All Ordinaries was down 23.6 points, or 0.36 per cent, to 6,449.6
* At 1630 AEDT, the SPI200 futures index was down 27 points, or 0.42 per cent, to 6,341.0.
CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEDT:
One Australian dollar buys:
* 70.55 US cents, from 70.15 on Friday
* 78.78 Japanese yen, from 78.28
* 63.22 euro cents, from 63.00
* 54.56 British pence, from 54.40
* 105.71 NZ cents, from 105.74