PRN

Australian shares fall after Wall Street sell-off; Oil Search jumps

Credit: REUTERS/DAVID GRAY

Australian shares fell more than 1% on Tuesday, following a sell-off on Wall Street as rising global coronavirus cases soured risk appetite, while Oil Search jumped after rejecting a takeover bid from Santos.

July 20 (Reuters) - Australian shares fell more than 1% on Tuesday, following a sell-off on Wall Street as rising global coronavirus cases soured risk appetite, while Oil Search jumped after rejecting a takeover bid from Santos.

The S&P/ASX 200 index .AXJO was down 1.1% to 7,205.0 by 0014 GMT, hitting its lowest level since June 2.

Overnight, all three major U.S. stock indexes ended sharply lower as rising Delta variant infections dampened risk appetite and revived worries about a slowdown in economic recovery and fresh lockdowns. .N

Heavyweight miners .AXMM were the top drags on the Australian benchmark index, losing as much as 2.2%.

Perenti Global PRN.AX and Champion Iron CIA.AX were the biggest losers in the sub-index, shedding 6.7% and 4.6%, respectively.

BHP Group BHP.AX slipped 2.7% after the world's largest listed miner reported a drop in its fourth-quarter iron ore output, and lower annual production across four of its six major divisions.

Energy stocks .AXEJ fell 2.3% and were headed for a fourth consecutive session of drop, with Worley WOR.AX and Beach Energy BPT.AX being the top drags, losing about 4% each.

Oil Search OSH.AX jumped as much as 5.2% after it rejected a takeover offer by Santos STO.AX, which valued the Papua New Guinea-focused oil and gas producer at A$8.83 billion ($6.48 billion), saying it was "not in the best interest of shareholders".

Tech stocks .AXIJ erased early gains to trade 0.4% higher, with buy-now-pay-later firm Afterpay APT.AX adding 1.9% after it announced the launch of a new banking application in October.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index .NZ50 fell 0.9% to 12,543.8, hitting its lowest since June-end.

The top percentage losers were Serko SKO.NZ, down 3.4%, and Vista Group International VGL.NZ, losing 2.8%.

Elsewhere, Japan's Nikkei .N225 was down 0.81% to 27,429.12, while S&P 500 E-minis futures EScv1 were up 0.37%.

($1 = 1.3626 Australian dollars)

(Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

((Sameer.Manekar@thomsonreuters.com; +918061823447;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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