The Australian equity market ended its session lower on Thursday, March 31, 2022, ending a seven-day winning streak as investors opted to secure recent profits amid concerns over the Russia-Ukraine crisis after that hopes for a negotiated resolution to the Russo-Ukrainian war were quickly dimmed. on the news of the bombing of Moscow in the outskirts of kyiv.
Market sentiment was also dampened by a decline in Chinese PMI indices and speculation that the US central bank could take an aggressive approach in raising interest rates as it seeks to control persistent inflation.
At the close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 fell 14.93 points, or 0.2%, to 7,499.59. The broader All Ordinaries index fell 10.37 points, or 0.13%, to 7,789.57.
Retailer Harvey Norman Holdings lagged the most with a decline of more than 6%, its shares trading without the right to the last dividend. Capital goods firm Reece, software firm Xero, retail firm Premier Investments all fell more than 4%. Pharmaceutical company Imugene fell more than 3%.
Bucking the trend, Novonix led the gains with a nearly 10% rally as the EV segment was expected to keep lithium prices high.
Iron Champion added 5%. Mineral Resources, Fortescue Metals Group, telecommunications service TPG Telcom, all gained more than 4%.
ECONOMIC NEWS: Australia’s private sector credit up 0.6% month on month in February – Australia’s private sector credit rose 0.6% month on month in February, the Reserve Bank of Australia announced on Thursday. Australia, unchanged from the January reading. Home credit also increased by 0.6% over the month, while personal credit remained stable and business credit gained 0.8%. On an annual basis, overall credit jumped 7.9% from 7.6% the previous month.
Australian building permits rise in February – The total number of building permits in Australia jumped 43.5% in February, seasonally adjusted, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday, reaching 18,675, after the contraction 27.9% in January. Approvals for private sector homes jumped 16.5% in March to 10,240, while approvals for private sector housing excluding houses soared 78.3%. On a yearly basis, housing permits fell 27.4%, non-residential permits jumped 25.5% and overall permits lost 7.8%.
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