By Oliver Gray
Investing.com - The S&P/ASX 200 lost 56.5 points or 0.76% to 7403.7 on Friday, reversing gains of 0.52% in the previous session and closing near 7-week lows as a further retreat in Iron ore prices pushed heavyweight miners lower.
In coronavirus news, New South Wales tallied 1284 cases as lockdown restrictions begin to ease across the state amid surging vaccination rates, while Victoria recorded a near outbreak high of 510, with restrictions set to ease tonight after the state reached its 70% first-dose vaccination target.
Among stocks, Rio Tinto Ltd (ASX: RIO ) lost 4.66%, BHP Billiton Ltd (ASX: BHP ) fell 3.67% and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (ASX: FMG ) plummeted 11.48% to a fresh yearly low, with Iron ore prices extending 10-month lows overnight, as China moves to cut its steel output and reduce carbon emissions for the third straight month. Meantime, technology names advanced, with Afterpay Touch Group Ltd (ASX: APT ) up 3.92% and Wisetech Global Ltd (ASX: WTC ) adding 4.35%. Iress Ltd (ASX: IRE ) shares dropped 10.72% after news that suitor EQT wouldn’t be proceeding with a takeover offer.
ASX 200 Futures contracts were 67 points or 0.9% lower, trading at 7369.5.
In New Zealand, the NZX 50 added 155.04 points or 1.19% to 13234.55, closing the week 1.23% higher.
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