By Oliver Gray
Investing.com - The S&P/ASX 200 moved 73.6 points or 0.98% lower to 7438.4 in early trades on Thursday, following losses of 0.24% in the previous session as market participants tracked losses in U.S. benchmark indices overnight, while lower Iron ore prices also hit mining heavyweights.
On the coronavirus front, Victoria reported a fresh yearly high of 324 new cases today, while New South Wales tallied a near record 1405 new cases as health authorities prepare to outline when and how parts of the state will emerge from its three-month lockdown.
Among stocks, Rio Tinto Ltd (ASX: RIO ) BHP Billiton Ltd (ASX: BHP ) and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (ASX: FMG ) fell 2.2%, 1.42% and 1.06% respectively as Iron ore prices dipped 4% to extend 8-month lows overnight. Healthcare stocks were mostly positive, with Resmed Inc DRC (ASX: RMD ) up 2.1%, while Sonic Healthcare Ltd (ASX: SHL ) added 1.25%. Epsilon Healthcare Ltd (ASX: EPN ) also surged 13.33% after the business announced a partnership agreement with Canadian biotech Valens Groworks Corp (TSX: VLNS ). Bankers and tech stocks fell, with Commonwealth Bank Of Australia (ASX: CBA ) down 1.14%, National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB ) falling 0.76% and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ASX: ANZ ) down 1.05%. Afterpay Touch Group Ltd (ASX: APT ) also slid 2.8%.
In New Zealand, the NZX 50 lost 44.28 points or 0.34% to 13158.02.
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