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Australia: Shares end lower as virus surge trumps recovery optimism


[SYDNEY] Australian shares closed 2.5 per cent lower on Thursday, snapping a four-day winning streak, as rising concerns about a resurgence of coronavirus cases dashed hopes of a quick economic recovery.

The S&P/ASX 200 index ended 2.5 per cent lower at 5,817.7 in its worst session since June 12.

A global tally of Covid-19 infections crossed 9.33 million, with Australia recording its biggest one-day rise in Covid-19 cases in two months. The United States posted its second-largest increase in cases since the crisis began.

Focus will also shift towards the earnings performance by companies, an analyst said.

"I think people are starting to realise you're going to have to start paying attention to earnings and the other existential threats like the virus and stimulus ending" said Brad Smoling, managing director at Smoling Stockbroking.

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New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index declined 1.2 per cent or 135.05 points to 11,124.36, dragged lower by heavyweight financial stocks. 



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