ASX 200 drills lower thanks to commodity stocks

Australia’s main share index, the ASX 200, closed lower on Wednesday by 0.5%. This fall could have been a lot worse If not for technology and financial stocks mitigating the rout in other major Australian sectors. 

Australian Securities Exchange’s Metals & Mining Index fell by a massive 5.6%. Heavyweights in the mining sectors, Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO), Newcrest Mining (ASX: NCM), and Fortescue Metals Group (ASX: FMG) lead the way, falling by 7.4%, 6.6%, and 4.9%, respectively.  

The ASX Energy Index also declined by 5.8% as crude oil prices plummeted 9% overnight Tuesday. Two of the most significant index drivers, Woodside Energy (ASX: WDS) and Whitehaven Coal (ASX: WHC), slumped by 6.9% and 3.7%, respectively. 

Virus and lockdown concerns appear to be the main factors suppressing commodity and energy stocks in Australia.  

Domestic tech stocks did briefly push the ASX 200 into green territory intraday but were ultimately overcome by the strong headwinds of commodity stocks. The big tech winner of the day was Zip Co (ASX: ZIP), rising by a phenomenal 12.8%. Financials were also up by 0.9% as three of the “Big-four” seek to benefit from the Reserve Bank of Australia lifting its benchmark interest rate by another 50-basis points. 

On the technical side, we can see on the daily chart that the ASX200 has been on a clear downtrend since April. 

ASX 200 1D

The index is currently moving in a tight range between 6700 and 6560.  

A break above the resistance at 6700 could potentially retest the 6810-level area, creating a lower high of the downtrend before continuing to the downside. In consideration of the long-term scenario, a close below 6560, depending on market sentiments, could eventually drive the index down to the 6000 psychological support level. 

The ASX 200 might struggle to maintain short-term upside movements. At least until China moves past its Covid concerns and lockdowns in the country no longer threatens to sideline its commercial operations and consumer demand. 

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