Australian stocks today: miners and banks drive down Australian stocks

Australian stocks ended lower on Tuesday, weighed down by heavyweight miners and major lenders, following weak advances in commodities markets and as the central bank acknowledged rising inflationary pressures even as it spoke of the threat of a rate hike next year.

The S & P / ASX 200 index lost 0.67% to close at 7420.4 points. The benchmark index rose 0.36% on Monday.

Australia‘s central bank does not expect price pressures to force interest rate hikes until 2024. However, it appears to be alert to the risks in its inflation forecast as it recognizes an upward shift in the distribution of possible outcomes.

“Inflationary concerns appear to dominate the Australian stock market despite an accommodative central bank interest rate projection,” said Kunal Sawhney, CEO of Kalkine Group.

“With Westpac raising its fixed mortgage rates for the third time in a month, ultra-low interest rates appear to be coming to an end.”

Financial services fell 0.38%, dragged down by the ‘big four’ banks in response to inflation concerns, the country’s largest lender, the Commonwealth Bank, dropping as high as 0.9% .

Major miners fell 1.66%, as iron ore prices continued to decline, global miners BHP Group down 2.6% and Rio Tinto down 2.2%.

Diversified mining firm Iluka Resources fell 4.1%, while iron ore producer Mount Gibson Iron Ltd slipped 6.4%.

Technology was the only sector to hold out, rising 0.18%, led by data center operator NEXTDC Ltd, up 1.8%, followed by industry heavyweight Afterpay Ltd, gaining 1 , 7%.

New Zealand’s benchmark S & P / NZX 50 fell 0.48% to end the session at 12,902.7 points.

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