Australian shares struggled for momentum on Monday after falling to their worst week in more than two years, as energy and mining stocks countered gains in banks, while automotive software firm Infomedia jumped after receiving a third buyout proposal.
The S&P/ASX 200 index had eased 0.01% to 6,474.4 by 0038 GMT.
The benchmark sank 1.8% on Friday in its sixth straight session of falls.
Global stocks on Friday closed out their steepest weekly slide since the pandemic crisis of March 2020, as investors fretted that stricter monetary policies by inflation-fighting central banks could drag the global economy into recession.
In Australia, mining stocks fell about 2.1% after benchmark iron ore prices extended losses on Friday as Chinese steel mills opted to reduce output amid weak profits and deteriorating demand prospects.
Sector heavyweights BHP Group, Rio Tinto and Fortescue skidded between 2.5% and 3.4%, with Foretscue touching its lowest since March 17.
Energy stocks fell 3.1% to be the biggest laggards on the main index, after oil prices dropped on Friday on worries that interest rate hikes by major central banks could cut energy demand.
Sector heavyweights Woodside Energy and Santos skidded 4.1% each. Financials rose 1.5% after a nine-session losing streak, with the “Big Four” banks trading in positive territory.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the country’s biggest lender, led gains with a 1.9% rise, while Westpac was up 1.3%.
Among individual stocks, Infomedia jumped 9.1% and was headed for its best day since May 16 after receiving a A$638.8 million ($443.90 million) buyout proposal from US-based software company Solera Holdings LLC. Across the Tasman sea, New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.11% to 10,600.6.