Australian sharemarket has negative start to 2021-22, with banks down but gold, buy-now-pay-later soars

The Australian sharemarket had a negative start to the new financial year, with banks weighing the heaviest but gold stocks shone brightly. Picture: NCA NewsWire/David Swift The Australian sharemarket had a negative start to the new financial year on Thursday after rallying 24 per cent in the past 12 months, with banks weighing the heaviest but gold stocks shining.

The S&P/ASX200 closed 0.65 per cent lower at 7265.6 while the All Ordinaries Index fell 0.57 per cent to 7541.5.

“Banks are the main drag on the market with the regional Bank of Queensland and Bendigo Bank both down,” OMG chief executive Ivan Tchourilov said.

BOQ completed its $1.325bn acquisition of Members Equity Bank, which will remain a separate entity until the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority approves consolidation of the two businesses.

BOQ slid 1.43 per cent to $8.98 while Bendigo and Adelaide Bank slid 1.81 per cent to $10.30.

ANZ eased 0.43 per cent to $28.03, Commonwealth Bank gave up 1.17 per cent to $98.70, National Australia Bank backtracked 0.69 per cent to $26.04 and Westpac retreated 0.62 per cent to $25.65 after completing the sale of its general insurance business to Allianz.

Major retailers were also down, with the wholesale distributor to IGA and Foodland, Metcash, slumping 4.51 per cent to $3.81, Woolworths dropping 1.63 per cent to $37.51, Coles declining 1.52 per cent to $16.83 and Bunnings owner Wesfarmers giving up 0.8 per cent to $58.63.

In the mining sector, BHP shed 0.72 per cent to $48.22 and Rio Tinto slipped 0.5 per cent to $125.99 but Fortescue lifted 1.07 per cent to $23.59.

Among gold producers, Regis Resources rocketed 8.05 per cent to $2.55, St Barbara jumped 5.57 per cent to $1.80, Silver Lake Resources surged 4.82 per cent to $1.74, Evolution Mining firmed 2.22 per cent to $4.60, Newcrest Mining put on 2.06 per cent to $25.80 and Northern Star advanced 3.68 per cent to $10.14.

“Gold and gold stocks have had a poor past six months, but the precious metal has put together a few good sessions now and is starting to look a bit more bullish in the short term, which is reflected in the price action of gold stocks today,” Mr Tchourilov said.

He said the buy-now-pay-later sector was “on fire”, including Laybuy, which soared 9.43 per cent to 58 cents while Splitit dazzled with a 19.23 per cent leap to 62 cents.“Splitit recently partnered with Middle Eastern BNPL provider Tabby, while […]

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