By Oliver Gray
Investing.com - The asx 200 fell 31.40 points or 0.43% to 7,295.7 on Thursday, extending losses of 0.7% in the previous session, as investors remained cautious following the U.S. Federal Reserve move to tighten monetary policy quicker than expected, while local data revealed a lift in Australia’s employment as states hit their vaccination targets and lockdowns lifted across the country.
Travel related companies were also hit, with Qantas Airways Ltd (ASX: QAN ) down 0.62% after flagging a half-year loss in excess of $A1.1 billion, while Flight Centre Ltd (ASX: FLT ) lost 1.58% and Webjet Ltd (ASX: WEB ) fell 0.95%. Jayride Group Ltd (ASX: JAY ) fell 9.52%, Helloworld Ltd (ASX: HLO ) dipped 7.14% and Corporate Travel Managment Ltd (ASX: CTD ) shed 2.96%.
Big banks also put in a mixed performance, with Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG ) and National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB ) lifting 1.83% and 0.56% respectively, while Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ASX: ANZ ), Commonwealth Bank Of Australia (ASX: CBA ) and Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC ) lost 0.58%, 0.14% and 0.14%, respectively.
Real estate names were mostly higher, with Mirvac Group (ASX: MGR ) up 0.34%, Goodman Group (ASX: GMG ) adding 1.64%, Stockland Corporation Ltd (ASX: SGP ) up 2.87% while Charter Hall Group (ASX: CHC ) closed flat near record highs of $21.71.
Among data, employment lifted by 2.9% in the month of November as COVID lockdowns lifted across the country. Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe noted that while the Omicron outbreak may temper the Australian economy, but he remains confident of a strong rebound in 2022. “We do expect the positive momentum in the economy to be maintained through the summer, underpinned by the opening up of the economy, the high rates of vaccination, significant fiscal and monetary support, and the strengthening of household and business balance sheets over the past year or so.”
In New Zealand, the NZX 50 fell 0.71% to 12,778.
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