Australia Market falls on hawkish Fed

September 21,2023

Australia stock market finished lower for fourth straight session on Wednesday, 20 September 2023, after the Federal Reserve stiffened its hawkish stance with a further interest rate hike projected by the year-end.

The U.S. Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged on Wednesday as widely expected, but signalled another hike by the year-end and much tighter monetary policy through 2024 than previously expected to fight high inflation.

At closing bell, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 96.10 points, or 1.37%, to 7,065.23. The broader All Ordinaries index dropped 95.35 points, or 1.3%, to 7,266.60.

All 11 sectors ended lower along with the S&P/ASX 200 Index. Energy was the bottom performing sector, falling 1.96%, followed by financial (down 1.76%) and materials (down 1.17%) sectors.

Shares of materials declined with lithium miners Allkem (down 4.6%), Pilbara Minerals (down 3.9%) and IGO (down 4.1%) all dropping lower. Sector majors BHP Group and Fortescue declined 0.7% and 0.2%, respectively.

Interest rate-sensitive financial stocks fell, with the so-called big four banks down between 0.3% and 0.7%.

Energy stocks were lower on weak oil prices. Woodside (down 2.6%) and Santos (down 1.4%) closed weaker,

Shares of Transurban Group (down 3.7%) dropped after the competition watchdog blocked the company's bid for another toll road in Melbourne,

Shares of drinks, pubs and pokies giant Endeavour Group's slipped 1.9% after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission flagged preliminary concerns about its proposed acquisition of Rye Hotel in Victoria.

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