• The ASX has closed at a 20-day low of 7020.10, down 0.94%
  • Growth concerns and rising covid-19 cases in China spook global markets
  • Energy stocks lead losses on ASX, with health the only sector in green


The Australian sharemarket has tracked Wall Street lower today as hopes of an end of year rally fade and concerns mount about the global economy in 2023.

In afternoon trade the S&P/ASX 200 index hit a seven-week low of 6998.10, before closing at a 20-day low of 7020.10 – down 0.94%.

Almost all sectors were in the red, except health which gained 0.10%. Energy was the hardest hit, falling 3.82%, followed by utilities, down 1.93%, and industrials, losing 1.59 %.

According to financial commentator Julia Lee, 2022 is shaping up as the worst December on record for the benchmark ASX 200.

Meanwhile, a drop in global crude prices overnight saw oil stocks shed strong previous session gains.

Oil prices fell on concerns easing pandemic restrictions in China, the  world’s top oil importer, may not actually boost fuel demand after all as the country tries to cope with a rapid rise in covid-19 infections.

Wall Street ended lower with the S&P 500 down 1.20% and the Nasdaq down 1.35%, while the Dow Jones rose 1.10%.

The UK was more optimistic, the FTSE 100 closed up 0.32%, and the FTSE 250 was 0.29% higher. In the EU, the DAX and the Euro Stoxx 50 fell 0.50% and 0.63% respectively.

China’s decision to reopen now has investors concerned it could further exacerbate the inflation problem, while also leading to new covid-19 variants.

The US and Italy have imposed restrictions on Chinese arrivals, while Australia has also not ruled out moves to do the same.

In the Asia-Pacific region today, South Korea led the losses with the Kospi down 1.59%, the Nikkei 225 losing 1.13% and the Topix falling 0.83%.

The Heng Seng was down 1.12% and the CSI 300 down 0.41% in afternoon trade.



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Bowen Coking Coal (ASX:BCB) bucked the trend to be among the biggest winners today after announcing it had completed the loading of its first coal train through its Mallawa train loadout (TLO) facility following refurbishment works.

The Mallawa TLO receives coal from nearby Broadmeadow East Mine, all part of BCB’s greater Burton Complex near Moranbah in Queensland’s Bowen Basin.

It also comprises the Burton and Lenton pits, the 5.5 million tonne (Mt) Burton coal handling and preparation plant (CHPP) as well as a 350 plus person camp.

Telix Pharmaceuticals (ASX:TLX) was also up today, riding today’s rise in ASX health stocks.



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Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) was the biggest laggard, while Woodside Energy Group (ASX:WDS), New Hope Corporation (ASX:NHC) and Santos (ASX:STO) also fell heavily in today’s session.