Korean Peninsula Tension Hits Australian Markets

By Dayafter Bureau, Agencies

The Australian share market tumbled on Tuesday, as investors grew increasingly concerned about geopolitical events on the Korean Peninsula, a media report said.

At 11.40 a.m., the S&P/ASX200 index lost 55.6 points, or 0.94 per cent, to 5,834.3 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index was also down 57.8 points, or 0.98 per cent, to 5,868.1 points, Xinhua news agency reported.

Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, told Xinhua that investors were ignoring the positive results coming out of China, and rather showing their concern for the current geopolitical tensions in the Asia-Pacific region.

“We are seeing that trend of profit taking that we saw on Thursday, continuing,” Spooner said.

The banking majors took a big hit this morning, with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia down 0.56 per cent, Westpac also struggled, down 0.49 per cent, ANZ fell 0.41 per cent, while the National Australia Bank dropped 0.56 per cent in value.

In the mining sector, BHP Billiton slipped a whopping two per cent, Rio Tinto also dipped sharply, down 1.45 per cent, Newcrest saw their value plummet, down 5.21 per cent this morning, while Fortescue joined them with their own huge 5.27-per cent loss.

Oil and gas fared no better, with Woodside Petroleum down 1.06 per cent, Oil Search lost 2.33 per cent, while Santos also suffered, down 2.9 per cent in early trade.

Grocery giant Woolworths dipped, down 0.57 per cent, while rivals Wesfarmers also did it tough, falling 1.40 per cent in the early running.

Telco giant Telstra took a broad hit, down 3.49 per cent, while iconic airline Qantas slightly bucked the index trend, with a minor 0.26-per cent early loss.