By Oliver Gray
Investing.com - The ASX 200 lost 108.60 points or 1.47% to 7,275.60 on Tuesday, retreating from a 0.57% gain yesterday, as a weak lead on Wall St and a surge in long term bond yields both domestically and abroad dented risk sentiment.
In coronavirus news, New South Wales tallied 863 fresh cases today, as Health Minister Brad Hazzard noted that residents need to remain "concerned about COVID" even with 60.4% of the state’s population fully vaccinated. Victoria added a record 867 cases, with restrictions set to ease slightly tonight as the state's hits its 80% single-dose vaccine target. Meantime, the ACT recorded 13 cases and Queensland reported 3 local cases.
Among stocks, energy companies performed best, with Beach Energy Ltd (ASX: BPT ) gaining 10.28%, Whitehaven Coal Ltd (ASX: WHC ) adding 6.9% and Santos Ltd (ASX: STO ) lifting 5.64% as crude oil prices traded near 3-year highs. Meantime, BHP Billiton Ltd (ASX: BHP ) fell 1.99% after shareholders were told to reject its climate change strategy at its annual meeting in a few weeks. Finally, Origin Energy Ltd (ASX: ORG ) closed 5.54% higher after reporting a tripling of value in its investment in UK energy retailer Octopus.
On the data front, local retail sales data fell 1.7% in August, declining for the third consecutive month amid ongoing lockdown conditions, but beating expectations of a 2.5% decrease. Ben James, an official at the ABS, said in a statement that “Retail turnover continues to be negatively impacted by lockdown restrictions, with each of the eastern mainland states experiencing falls in line with their respective level of restrictions. In direct contrast, states with no lockdowns performed well with Western Australia and South Australia enjoying strong rises.
ASX 200 Futures were down 73 points or 1%.
In New Zealand, the NZX 50 fell 53.32 points or 0.4% to 13174.38.
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