Third straight week of losses on ASX

Steven DeareAAP
A substantial loss for BHP was dragging the ASX lower.
Camera IconA substantial loss for BHP was dragging the ASX lower. Credit: AAP

A property giant on the brink of collapse has contributed to a third consecutive week of losses on the Australian market, but experts say Evergrande will not become a full-scale disaster.

Mining giants were largely responsibly for modest losses on Friday as the ASX bucked a positive US lead.

Banks recovered for a second straight day after slumping earlier this week on fears of Evergrande collapsing.

Investors overseas were checking Evergrande paid interest to bondholders this week as concerns remain for its $US605 billion ($A418 billion) debt.

Tribeca Investment Partners portfolio manager Jun Bei Liu said Evergrande would not be out of trouble.

She was less concerned about the possibility of financial damage to the region.

"Western investors are worried about a Lehman Brothers effect, which affects confidence in every other asset," Ms Liu said of the 2008 bankruptcy that started the global financial crisis.

"This is not the Lehman moment for China. Even if it can't meet its payments, the government won't let other construction projects fail."

AMP chief economist Shane Oliver said the Chinese government would not let Evergrande collapse and ruin property prices.

The ASX lost 0.83 per cent for the week but Ms Liu was optimistic of better times ahead.

The US economy was overcoming a weak period caused by the coronavirus Delta variant, she said.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed lower by 27.6 points, or 0.37 per cent, to 7342.6.

The All Ordinaries closed lower by 32 points, or 0.42 per cent, to 7649.3.

The market looks likely to end its 11-month run of gains. The ASX 200 is lower by 2.55 per cent in September and only four trading days remain.

Miners BHP and Fortescue contributed to the latest day of losses, down more than one per cent each.

The banks fared better. Bank of Queensland was best of the majors and gained 1.1 per cent to $9.21.

Energy shares were the top category. There were gains of more than one per cent for Oil Search, Santos and Woodside.

Elsewhere, a US university filed a patent lawsuit against hearing implant maker Cochlear.

The University of Pittsburgh has made claims over a wireless energy transfer system.

The company claimed the patent was invalid and will defend the court action.

Its shares were down 4.77 per cent to $225.73.

Property trust Centuria Industrial dipped almost six per cent to $3.77 after raising $300 million by selling new shares.

The company sold the shares at $3.80 each to professional investors. The money will help buy eight properties.

Centuria still plans to raise up to $25 million more from shareholders. These shares will be $3.76 each.

Energy provider APA Group gave more details of its bid for Victorian electricity provider AusNet.

APA said its offer to buy all shares for $2.60 each would create the nation's largest energy distributor worth $35 billion.

APA's offer does not require foreign investment review, unlike rival suitor Brookfield's $2.50 per share offer.

APA shares were down 0.8 per cent to $8.66.

AusNet shares were down 1.16 per cent to $2.55.

Sigma Healthcare is recruiting its new boss from a retail group in South Africa.

Clicks Group chief executive Vikesh Ramsunder has overseen health and pharmacy stores including Clicks, The Body Shop and Claire's.

He will replace Mark Hooper.

Shares were down 2.46 per cent to 59 cents.

The Australian dollar was buying 72.78 US cents at 1727 AEST, higher from 72.43 US cents at Thursday's close.

ON THE ASX

* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed lower by 27.6 points, or 0.37 per cent, to 7342.6 on Friday.

* The All Ordinaries closed lower by 32 points, or 0.42 per cent, to 7649.3.

* At 1727 AEST, the SPI200 futures index was down 16 points, or 0.22 per cent, at 7286 points.

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT

One Australian dollar buys:

* 72.78 US cents, from 72.43 cents on Thursday

* 80.42 Japanese yen, from 79.76 yen

* 62.00 Euro cents, from 61.92 cents

* 53.07 British pence, from 53.16 pence

* 103.21 NZ cents, from 103.41 cents.

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