The Business Times

Australia: Shares fall after Brisbane announces lockdown

Published Mon, Mar 29, 2021 · 03:32 PM

[SYDNEY] Australian shares slipped on Monday, weighed by losses in technology shares, as Brisbane announcing a fresh three-day lockdown raised fears of a slow economic recovery.

The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 0.4 per cent lower at 6,799.50, after gaining 0.5 per cent on Friday.

Australian authorities announced a snap three-day Covid-19 lockdown from Monday afternoon in Brisbane, the country's third largest city, as they attempt to stamp out an outbreak of the virulent UK variant of the virus.

"The three-day lockdown in Brisbane for the coronavirus outbreak we've seen there, which has the potential to spread to New South Wales, took all the wind out of the sails today," said Henry Jennings, senior analyst at Marcustoday Financial Newsletter.

"Governments are very quick to lock people down... and that does sap confidence and does highlight that its not going to be a straight line of recovery from the pandemic." Technology stocks tumbled 2.8 per cent to close at an over two-week low of 1,930.50, with Afterpay shedding 4.2 per cent and Xero losing about 3.5 per cent.

"It's been a pretty good quarter for a lot of these (technology) stocks, so maybe there is some profit taking," Mr Jennings said.

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New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index gained 0.16 per cent to finish the session at 12,368.13.

REUTERS

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