By Oliver Gray
Investing.com - The S&P/ASX 200 was 9.70 points or 0.14% lower at 7,078.00 on Thursday, following gains of 1.17% yesterday as investor sentiment turned sour following following a sharp selloff of U.S. tech stocks in after-hours trading as Meta Platforms Inc (NASDAQ: FB ) earnings came in below market expectations.
The Technology sector accelerated its decline, down 6% as Block Inc (ASX: SQ2 ) dropped 9.32%, Zip Co Ltd (ASX: Z1P ) lost 9.63%, Appen Ltd (ASX: APX ) dropped 6.75%, Megaport Ltd (ASX: MP1 ) lost 6.26%, Novonix Ltd (ASX: NVX ) fell 14.68% Brainchip Holdings Ltd (ASX: BRN ) lost 9.66%, Altium Ltd (ASX: ALU ) dropped 7.46%, Computershare Ltd. (ASX: CPU ) fell 2.32%, Xero Ltd (ASX: XRO ) dipped 5.04% and Wisetech Global Ltd (ASX: WTC ) shed 8.05%.
S&P/ASX 200 Financials also fell 0.14% as Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG ) slumped 1.54% and Commonwealth Bank Of Australia (ASX: CBA ) lost 1.37% while Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ASX: ANZ ) gained 0.67%, National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB ) added 0.14% and Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC ) lifted 2.28%.
Materials ended 1.5% higher, as Rio Tinto Ltd (ASX: RIO ) gained 2.43%, BHP Billiton Ltd (ASX: BHP ) added 3.09%, Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (ASX: FMG ) gained 3.27%, Champion Iron Ltd (ASX: CIA ) finished up 0.74%. However, Pilbara Minerals Ltd (ASX: PLS ) lost 3.52%, Lake Resources NL (ASX: LKE ) dropped 4.32%, Magnis Resources Ltd (ASX: MNS ) fell 4.76% and Avz Minerals Ltd (ASX: AVZ )lost 3.97%.
Meantime, Sydney Airport Holdings Ltd (ASX: SYD ) finished 0.23% higher as shareholders voted to approve an A$23.6 billion cash takeover by infrastructure investors.
On the data front, Australia’s trade surplus shrank more than expected in December to $8.4 billion, posting the smallest trade surplus since March. Exports grew 1% to a four-month high, while imports increased at 5%.
In New Zealand, the NZX 50 finished 0.37% higher at 12,335.
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