By Oliver Gray
Investing.com - The S&P/ASX 200 fell 17.40 points or 0.23% to 7,388.00 in Thursday’s trade, snapping four sessions of consecutive gains, with investors assessing Omicron news overnight as Pfizer (NYSE: PFE ) and BioNTech noted that a booster dose of their vaccine provided a high level of protection against the new omicron variant, while British Prime Minister Boris Johnson imposed fresh restrictions, including a return to working from home in a bid to slow the spread of the new strain.
ASX 200 Futures were trading up just 0.08%.
Among stocks, major miners were mixed as iron ore prices steadied, with Rio Tinto Ltd (ASX: RIO ) and BHP Billiton Ltd (ASX: BHP ) down 0.78% and 0.66% respectively, while Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (ASX: FMG ) added 0.28%.
Technology stocks traded mixed, with Appen Ltd (ASX: APX ) and Technology One Ltd (ASX: TNE ) up 1.38% and 1.3% respectively, while Xero Ltd (ASX: XRO ) , Wisetech Global Ltd (ASX: WTC ) and Nextdc Ltd (ASX: NXT ) fell 3.54%, 1.15% and 0.25% respectively.
However, big banks traded higher as Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ASX: ANZ ) added 0.14%, Commonwealth Bank Of Australia (ASX: CBA ) gained 0.11%, National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB ) lifted 0.35% and Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC ) gained 0.28%.
Meantime, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission announced today that it will not object to Cleanaway's (ASX: CWY ) proposed acquisition of parts of Suez waste assets in Australia, nor the Sydney Aviation Alliance’s proposed acquisition of Sydney Airport (ASX: SYD ).
In policy news, Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe noted today that the fast evolution of technology could see the central bank support ‘central bank digital currency’ in the retail market, as more consumers pay for things using ‘tokens’ held in digital wallets instead of money from a bank account.
In New Zealand, the NZX 50 lost 0.62% to 12,797.
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