Australian Shares Fall 1.2% in Early Trades

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Australian Shares Fall 1.2% in Early Trades
Credit: © Reuters.

By Oliver Gray

Investing.com - The S&P/ASX 200 fell 91.5 points or 1.24% to 7312.2 in early trade, extending losses of 0.2% last week and trading at 9-week lows as falling Iron ore prices continued to weigh on heavyweight mining stocks, while markets in mainland China, Japan and South Korea remained closed on Monday for public holidays.

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 effective from today. Meantime, Victoria recorded 567 cases as Premier Daniel Andrews announced Sunday that Melbourne’s lockdown will be lifted once 70% of adults are fully vaccinated, expected about 26 October.

Among stocks, lower iron ore prices hit heavyweight mining stocks, with Rio Tinto Ltd (ASX: RIO ), BHP Billiton Ltd (ASX: BHP ), Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (ASX: FMG ) falling 2.56%, 3.68% and 5.04% respectively. Meantime, Electricity operator AusNet Services Ltd (ASX: AST ) popped 19.19% after news of Brookfield’s $9.6 billion takeover bid for the company, while Zelira Therapeutics Ltd (ASX: ZLD ) added 10.81% on news it will enter the German market.

Investor focus for the week will likely be on the U.S. Federal Reserve’s upcoming September meeting for clues on the central bank’s proposed tapering of monthly asset purchases.

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 moved 84.61 points or 0.64% to 13149.94.

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