Tech stocks drag markets lower

By Meagan Evans. Published at Sep 4, 2020, in Market Wrap

The S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.81% on Thursday to reach 6,112.60 points, however the futures are pointing to a lower open on the local market this morning with the ASX SPI200 Index down 119 points at 8:30 AEST.

This follows a tough session in the US overnight where the main indexes marked their biggest one-day falls in months led by a selloff in tech stock.

Dragged down by the majors — Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, — the Nasdaq closed down 4.96%, a sharp pull back from record high levels. Microsoft lost 6.2% and Apple was down 8%.

Despite its overnight fall of almost 5%, the Nasdaq is still up more than 60% since early April.

The S&P 500 also pulled back from record highs, dropping 3.51% to 3,455 points. The Dow lost over 800 points for the day.

The number of US jobless claims dropped by more than expected last week but remained considerable elevated. The US monthly payrolls report is due out tonight.

Growth in the US services industry slowed in August, likely as the boost from the reopening of businesses and fiscal stimulus faded.

The VIX volatility index crossed above its 200-day moving average to hit its highest level in weeks.

Continuing a weak couple of days for oil, US oil lost 0.5% to $US41.29/barrel and Brent crude dropped 1% to $44.01/barrel.

Iron ore rose 2.1% to reach $US129.92 a tonne. Supporting iron ore demand is a return to demand for real estate after the COVID crisis began. ANZ report that, particularly in China, housing transactions have picked up strongly on the back of pent-up demand.

Spot gold fell 1.4% to $US1943.58 an ounce

The Aussie dollar is currently buying US$0.7267.

September 21 will see a rebalancing of S&P indexes. Buy now pay later provider Zip Money will be added to the closely watched S&P/ASX200 Index, which fund managers often use as a performance benchmark. Payments providers Sezzle and Splitit will join the S&P/ASX All Technology Index.

The ASX report that the average daily number of trades was down 13% in August compared to August 2019. This marks the second month straight of double digit declines in trading volumes.

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