Energy stocks powered ahead amid the local share market’s worst performing day so far in September on a new set of weak GDP numbers.
After a negative lead from Wall Street, the S & P/ASX 200 closed 0.8 per cent lower, shredding 57.2 points to close at 7.257.1 points at the closing bell.
The broader all ordinaries fell slightly less, declining 0.7 per cent or 55.2 points to close at 7.456 points.
The share market was a sea of red after 10 of 11 sectors finished down, with tech and communication services sectors both declining more than 1.3 per cent.
Fresh GDP figures released on Wednesday revealed that under the weight of soaring inflation and 12 interest rate increases, the Australian economy had expanded by 0.4 per cent in the June quarter, bringing annual growth to 2.1 per cent.
Despite the number coming in above economists’ expectations for a 0.3 per cent increase, Australia experienced its second quarter of negative growth on a per capita basis, thus confirming that the country is now in a per-capita recession.
On the back of higher oil prices Woodside climbed 1.3 per cent to $38.52, Beach Energy up 0.9 per cent to $1.62, and Santos up 0.6 per cent to $7.93.
Brent crude eclipsed $US90 a barrel for the first time in 10 months after key OPEC+ producers, alongside Saudi Arabia and Russia extended supply cuts until at least the end of 2023.
Coal producers also dragged the sector higher with Yancoal up 2 per cent to $5.12, New Hope up 0.5 per cent to $5.95, and Whitehaven up 0.5 per cent to $6.37 a share.
Resources giant BHP closed flat at the end of trading at $46.10 a share. Meanwhile, Rio Tinto lost 1.1 per cent, falling to $115.98.
After embattled Qantas chief executive left the airline at the end of Tuesday, its shares climbed 1.6 per cent on freshly minted chief executive Vanessa Hudson’s first day on the job.
Shares in the big four banks all sank, with Westpac falling by almost 1.6 per cent a share.
Macquarie Group fell 3.8 per cent to $170.21 after announcing that income from its investment in zero emissions energy was “substantially down” in the most recent quarter.
Bottle maker Orora was the ASX200’s biggest loser, falling more than 18 per cent to $2.88 after shares hit the market for the first time since August 30. The firm has raised $1.35bn in equity to fund the buyout of French glass bottle maker Saverglass.