Finance: ASX slumps to 10-week low; Woodside, Ampol, Santos, Westpac, Transurban, Qantas, Endeavour Group

The Australian share market shed more than 90 points on Thursday after signals from the US Federal Reserve overnight that rates would need to stay higher for longer triggered a broad sell-off.

While the Fed didn’t raise rates in line with market expectations, it was its more hawkish tone that sent US equities tumbling overnight.

The S & P/ASX200 shed 1.4 per cent or 98.1 points to close at 7065.2 points, its lowest level in 10 weeks. After four consecutive days of losses, the benchmark is down about 3 per cent since Monday.

The broader All Ordinaries fared almost as poorly falling 1.4 per cent or 95.3 points to 7.266.6 points.

The benchmark was a sea of red, with all 11 sectors closing lower. Energy and financial stocks were the worst performing, falling 2 per cent and 1.8 per cent respectively.

Energy giants Woodside fell 2.6 per cent to $36.04, Ampol slumped 1.6 per cent to $32.71, and Santos was also down 1.4 per cent to $7.59.

The big four banks all took a hit, dropping more than 1.5 per cent. Westpac was the worst performer dropping 2.5 per cent to close at $20.99.

The healthcare, real estate and materials sectors also suffered losses of more than 1 per cent.

In company news, infrastructure heavyweight Transurban fell 3.7 per cent on news that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission was blocking its takeover of Melbourne’s EastLink toll road.

The watchdog also dampened Endeavour Group’s quest to buy the iconic Rye Hotel on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, citing “competition concerns”, with shares slumped 1 per cent to $5.21.

Shares in Qantas also slumped further to an 11 month low of $5.31 a share after chair Richard Goyder refused to stand aside and said that he maintained the support of major shareholders.

After unveiling a FY2022-23 dividend of 50c a share, Fonterra jumped 4.5 per cent to $3.24 a share.

Battery materials miner IGO sank 4.1 per cent to $12.12 a share after Morgan Stanley downgraded the company’s shares to an underweight rating with an $11.60 price target.

The Bank of England and the Bank of Japan are expected to make crucial interest rate decisions in the coming hours.

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