Australia shares tumble 1% as tech stocks track Nasdaq peers lower
Friday, January 14, 2022       14:25 WIB

Jan 14 - Australian shares dropped 1% on Friday, with tech and software firms leading broad losses, after their Wall Street peers succumbed to multiple U.S. Federal Reserve officials making hawkish remarks about interest rate hikes soon.
The S&P/ASX 200 index (. AXJO ) ended 1.1% lower at 7,393.90. The benchmark rose 0.5% on Thursday. For the week, it fell 0.8%.
Tech-heavy Nasdaq stocks led Wall Street losses overnight, snapping a three-day rally, on talks signalling Fed would hike interest rates as early as in March.
Global markets also took a hit as investors braced for tighter monetary conditions. MKTSGLOB/
In Australia, tech stocks (. AXIJ ) fell nearly 4% to hit a seven-month low. Buy now, pay later darling Afterpay (APT.AX), soon to be bought over by Block Inc, slid as much as 9% to its lowest level since August 2020.
With interest hikes expected soon, "tech sectors are probably going to continue to struggle", said Henry Jennings, senior analyst and portfolio manager at Marcustoday Financial Newsletter.
Financials (. AXFJ ) dipped nearly 1% and ended 1.2% for the week, after six consecutive weekly gains. Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA.AX) and Westpac (WBC.AX) both fell more than 1%.
With the earnings coming in for the Unites States, "the (local) banks may take their cues from the U.S. Banks, but I think they're going to face some headwinds because we got the RBA meeting at the beginning of February where we'll hear more on the pace of interest rate hike in Australia," Jennings added.
COVID-19 hospitalisation rates in Australia's most populous state of New South Wales could plateau next week, although pressure on hospitals will likely remain for "the next few weeks," said Susan Pearce, the state's health deputy secretary. read more
New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index (.NZ50) fell 0.3% to close at 12,790.16, with retirement village operator Ryman Healthcare (RYM.NZ) down as much as 3%.

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