By Oliver Gray
Investing.com - The S&P/ASX 200 was sharply lower on Monday, dropping 155.50 points or 2.10% to 7,248.20, extending last week’s declines of 0.2% and closing at 9-week lows amid broad-based losses lead by mining companies as Iron ore prices continued to fall.
In coronavirus news, New South Wales tallied 935 cases today, its lowest daily case figure since late August as Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced an easing of restrictions for Sydney's COVID hotspots, but warned that as freedoms in Greater Sydney returned, so would infection numbers. Meantime, Victoria recorded a fresh outbreak high of 567 cases as Premier Daniel Andrews announced Sunday that Melbourne’s lockdown will be lifted once 70% of adults are fully vaccinated.
Among stocks, miners plummeted as Iron ore dipped to yearly lows after China stepped up restrictions on industrial activity, with Rio Tinto Ltd (ASX: RIO ) down 3.6%, BHP Billiton Ltd (ASX: BHP ) 3.93% lower and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (ASX: FMG ) falling 3.34%. Lynas Rare Earths Ltd (ASX: LYC ) also fell 11.41% and Orocobre Ltd (ASX: ORE ) dipped 8.45%. Among gainers, Electricity operator AusNet Services Ltd (ASX: AST ) closed 18.69% higher after news of Brookfield’s $9.6 billion takeover bid for the company.
Later in the week, the U.S. Federal Reserve’s upcoming September meeting will be closely monitored by market participants for clues on the central bank’s proposed tapering of monthly asset purchases.
In New Zealand, the NZX 50 moved 55.97 points or 0.42% to 13178.58.
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