ASX losing streak looks set to hit 4th day

The local share market has hit a fresh five-week low and looks set to suffer its longest losing streak in six months.

At noon AEDT on Tuesday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 50.5 points, or 0.71 per cent, to 7082.9, while the All Ordinaries had fallen 57.4 points, or 0.78 per cent, to 7263.6.

Barring a dramatic turnaround in the afternoon, Tuesday will be the fourth straight losing session for the local bourse.

The last time the ASX200 had such a long losing streak was from June 9 to 20, when it dropped seven sessions in a row as it became clear that inflation was a far bigger problem than central banks had been forecasting and that rapid interest rate hikes would be necessary to tame it.

This latest losing streak has much the same cause. Seven central banks hiked interest rates again last week, including the Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank and the Bank of England, and showed no signs of easing their hawkish stance.

“Since then, the case for the Santa rally has weakened, and now traders know that it is very unlikely that anything else will change the sentiment as trading activity is likely to slow down as we move toward the end of the year,” wrote Avatrade chief market analyst Naeem Aslam in a note.

Minutes from the Reserve Bank of Australia’s December 6 meeting, released on Tuesday, showed that board members were concerned about “acting consistently” and not inclined to shift to either larger increases or to pause rate hikes, absent a “clear impetus from the incoming data”.

Every sector was lower at midday except for energy, which was flat.

Tech was the biggest loser, down 1.9 per cent as Wisetech Global fell by 3.2 per cent and Xero dropped 3.0 per cent.

In communication services, Domain had dropped 7.4 per cent to a six-month low of $2.64 after downgrading guidance on a stark drop in real estate listings in Sydney and Melbourne.

Nine Entertainment, which holds a 54.6 per cent stake in Domain, was down 4.4 per cent to $1.8875.

In the heavyweight mining sector, BHP was down 0.9 per cent to $45.60, Rio Tinto had fallen 0.3 per cent to $114.25 and Fortescue Metals was down 0.4 per cent to $20.14.

The big banks were having a quiet day, with Westpac and CBA flat, ANZ down 0.3 per cent and NAB down 0.2 per cent. Insurance companies were generally higher, however, with IAG up 1.3 per cent and QBE adding 0.6 per cent.

Johns Lyng Group had dropped 10.9 per cent to a two-month low of $6.065 after the building restoration company announced its CEO had sold a million shares in the company. The sale was taken to diversify Lindsay Barber’s assets and still leaves him with 8.9 million shares, the company said.

City Chic Collective had plummeted another 22 per cent, to a four-year low of 46c, after announcing that sales have been down 24 per cent in the three weeks since its annual general meeting last month. City Chic shares have dropped 91.7 per cent so far this year.

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