Aust share market set to fall for 7th straight week


The local share market has given up more ground as markets continued to digest the Federal Reserve decision and the Bank of England raising rates overnight.

At noon AEDT on Friday, the S&P/ASX200 index was down 31.2 points, or 0.45 per cent, to 6,937.4, while the broader All Ordinaries was down 29.6 points, or 0.41 per cent, to 7,119.

Since last Friday’s close the ASX200 was down 57 points, or 0.8 per cent, meaning this week will almost certainly be the index’s seventh straight week of losses, its longest such stretch since nine-week streak in mid-2008, during the GFC.

Overnight the Bank of England raised rates by 25 basis points, a widely anticipated move after inflation figures released on Wednesday showed consumer prices rose 10.4 per cent in the year to February.

Nine of the ASX’s 11 sectors were lower at midday, all except mining and utilities.

Financials were the biggest losers, falling 1.1 per cent as all Afterpay owner Block plunged 19.5 per cent to a three-month low of $87.79 following a lengthy critical report by short-seller Hindenburg Research, which accused it of facilitating fraud against consumers and the government with its Cash App business.

Block said it would working with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and explore its legal options over the “the factually inaccurate and misleading report”.

All the big banks were lower with ANZ and Westpac down 0.7 per cent, CBA down 0.9 per cent and NAB falling two per cent.

In the heavyweight mining sector, BHP was down 0.2 per cent but Fortescue was up 0.6 per cent and Rio Tinto had gained 0.2 per cent.

Aged care operators Estia Health and Regis Healthcare were both up by double-digits after Estia confirmed it had received a tentative takeover offer from Bain Capital for $3 per share, or $775 million.

Estia was up 14.7 per cent to $2.685 while Regis had gained 13.9 per cent to $1.845.

The Australian dollar was buying 66.66 US cents, from 67.39 US cents at Thursday’s ASX close.



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