Australia’s stock market has taken a hit after fears of a slowdown in global growth and demand slashed the price of big-name US technology stocks.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index had fallen by more than 100 points or 1.8 per cent at close of trading on Tuesday afternoon, equivalent to more than $30 billion being wiped off the top 200 companies.
The falls were led by information technology stocks, which were down around 2.6 per cent against the rest of the market.
— CommSec (@CommSec) November 13, 2018
Wall Street tech sell-off fuels ASX dive
The tech price plunge came on the back of a shocking session for technology giants, including Apple, Amazon and Facebook, in the US. That led the Nasdaq index to fall 2.7 per cent in its latest session, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged by 2.32 per cent.
Apple ended the day down 5 per cent, while Jeff Bezos’ online shopping behemoth Amazon dropped 4.4 per cent.
Facebook shares closed at their lowest price in 19 months on Monday, with shares in Mark Zuckerberg’s scandal-plagued social media platform down 2.4 per cent over the session. Overall, they are down 35 per cent from their peak in July.
The much-hyped “buy now pay later” business Afterpay Touch was down more than 5 per cent at lunchtime, making it one of the top 200’s worst performers.
The financial sector shed 2.3 per cent, while health fell 2.2 per cent.
“Losses are broad based on the local [market] with roughly only 10 per cent of the top 200 stocks in positive territory,” Commonwealth Bank’s stockbrokerage arm, CommSec, said.
today's ASX heat map looks like the options at a nail bar pic.twitter.com/V5hXxK4OEY
— Stuart Condie (@StuartLCondie) November 13, 2018
ASX 200 winners: Energy and real estate
Energy provider AGL bucked the trend, with a 1.7 per cent lift, underpinning the utilities sector’s 0.7 per cent gains.
The real estate sector has also offered up winners, with Stockland Group managing to climb 1.4 per cent, according to CommSec.
The stock brokerage firm noted that these two sectors, utilities and real estate, were the only ones to make any gains amid the market falls.
The hit to the market comes after last week’s 2.6 per cent increase in weekly consumer confidence, CommSec said, which placed confidence “well above” its long-term average reading.
ASX 100’s biggest loser
Multinational mining services, fertiliser, and explosives chemicals manufacturer Incitec Pivot was the worst performing of the top 100 companies on the ASX.
Shares in the company crashed by more than 7.5 per cent on Tuesday following the announcement that its full-year profit had fallen 34.8 per cent to $207.9 million.
Incitec Pivot, which paid a partly franked final dividend of 6.2 cents, did not provide profit guidance for FY19. However, it said dry conditions in NSW and Queensland could hit irrigation water availability in key summer crop markets.
Shortly before midday on Tuesday, Incitec Pivot shares were 32.5 cents, or 7.7 per cent, lower at $3.905