Australian Sharemarket Defies China Woes, Closes on a Positive Note

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Despite the threat of China-related losses plunging it into new depths, the Australian sharemarket nudged through the day on Monday to conclude on a slightly higher note.

The ASX/S&P 200 barely finished positively, closing just 0.1 percent or 7.7 points higher at 7042.7. This level is barely a whisker above its lowest point since July 11. Concurrently, the All Ords slightly increased by 0.12 percent, and the A-VIX dramatically rose by 10.21 percent.

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Monday saw the materials sector getting hammered the hardest, recording a drop of 0.87 percent following the announcement that China’s economic growth was predicted to decelerate. This was the reaction to the ratings giant S&P revising their forecast for China’s growth from 5.2 percent to a mere 4.8 percent, attributing this to modest fiscal and monetary easing.

This announcement sent iron ore futures in Singapore plunging by 4.1 percent to $US116.25 per tonne, a considerable decrease from the previous week’s figure of $US123.60 per tonne – the highest mark in the past six months.

Iron ore heavyweights such as Fortescue and Rio Tinto bore the brunt of this effects, with their shares sinking by 1.30 percent to $20.54 and 1.21 percent to $113.18, respectively. Adding to the industry slump, BHP shares dropped by 0.43 percent to $44.15 per share.

However, this downward trend did not engulf the entire materials sector. Uranium miners experienced growth lifted by a price jump early this month. Paladin Energy flourished, enjoying a 6.09 percent rise to $1.05, along with Boss Energy leaping 5.11 percent to $4.73 and Bannerman Energy soaring by 11.74 percent to $2.76.

Compensating for the mining sector’s losses were the tech stocks, soaring by 1.52 percent. Health tech firm PolyNovo saw a notable increase of 3.28 percent after reporting a $7.7 million surge in August’s revenue. This impressive growth means PolyNovo has generated $14.9 million in revenue from January to August that year.

However, it wasn’t all growth and gains. Qantas, Australia’s beleaguered airline, saw its shares plummet 1.51 percent to $5.23, nearing a one-year low. Meanwhile, all the banks took minor hits on Monday, led by ANZ and the Commonwealth Bank registering negligible slips of 0.20 percent and 0.18 percent respectively.

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