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Markets

Australia shares flat as focus turns to cenbank policy meeting

  • The S&P/ASX 200 index was flat at 7,514.9 points, as of 0053 GMT
Published September 7, 2021

Australian shares were flat on Tuesday as investors stayed on the sidelines ahead of the Reserve Bank of Australia's (RBA) policy meeting, while sentiment was tepid as authorities struggled to contain the Delta variant despite lockdowns.

The S&P/ASX 200 index was flat at 7,514.9 points, as of 0053 GMT.

Miners were the biggest losers on the benchmark, losing 0.7% on weaker iron ore prices, while energy stocks gained the most, adding 0.8% even as oil prices were subdued.

On the policy decision front, analysts were undecided on whether the RBA will put off its tapering plans at its September policy meeting due later in the day.

Investors also took heart from hopes that the United States would stay its interest rates low for longer.

At home, job advertisements slipped in August as coronavirus lockdowns spread from Sydney to Melbourne and Canberra, though the drop was minor compared with the losses seen during the first stage of the pandemic last year.

Among individual stocks and sectors, mining giants Rio Tinto , BHP Group and Fortescue Metals declined between 1% and 2%, whereas energy firms Santos and Whitehaven Cioal were up 0.7% and 3.1%, respectively.

Banking stocks were nearly flat as they flitted between negative and positive territory, with the "Big Four" banks trading in the red.

Gold stocks were down 0.3% as bullion prices inched lower, with gold miners Northern Star Resources and Newscrest Mining losing 0.3% and 0.6%, respectively.

In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index traded 0.2% higher at 13,319.63 points.

Shipment managing firm Napier Port Holdings and payments company Pushpay Holdings were the top gainers, adding nearly 2% each.

In other markets, Japan's Nikkei was up 1%, while the S&P 500 E-minis futures were up 0.1%.

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