Concerns about the health of China’s economy has spooked the Australian share market, which has started off the week with a loss, closing at its lowest level in weeks.
The ASX200 closed lower on Monday, dropping by 63.10 points or 0.86 per cent to 7,277.00, its lowest close in 20 days.
The market also came to its lowest point in a month, dipping to 7,260 just before 2pm before managing to recover slightly.
Eight out of 11 sectors finished the day in the red, led by materials which fell 1.74 per cent and real estate which dropped 1.12 per cent.
CommSec said new Chinese lending figures have raised concerns about the health of its economy, with new yuan loans in July falling to the lowest levels since 2029.
The fallout was felt on other Asian markets.
“Chinese economic data continues to disappoint,” AMP’s chief economist Shane Oliver said.
“Bank lending and credit came in much weaker than expected in July and the slump in exports and imports worsened with exports down 14.5 per cent year on year and imports down 12.4 per cent year on year with the latter indicating weak domestic demand.
“Despite ongoing indications of soft growth, details of actual policy stimulus remain weak and policy announcements have been modest.”
Australian miners bore the brunt of the concern over China.
The miners took up a number of spots in the bottom five today, with Syrah Resources topping the list of decliners after a 6.85 per cent drop to $0.68.
Pilbara Minerals took the bronze position after a fall of 6.03 per cent to $4.99 followed by Allkem which dropped 3.92 per cent to $13.97 and Sayona Mining which fell 3.7 per cent to $0.13.
The only non-miner in the bottom five was agribusiness company Elders, which saw its share price drop 6.10 per cent to $7.08 to leave it in the second worst spot.
The nation’s big miners were also in trouble today on the news that iron ore futures fell 2.6 per cent to $US100.10 a tonne.
BHP’s price fell 2.14 per cent to $44.75 and Rio Tinto was down 2.28 per cent to $106.52 per share.
Today’s biggest gain was seen by lithium miner Lake Resources which saw a boost of 7.69 per cent to leave its share price at $0.21 on Monday.
That was followed by CarSales.com with a boost of 6.99 per cent to $26.33 after reporting better than expected full-year earnings.
Also reporting earnings today was JB Hi-Fi which added 2.8 per cent to its price leaving it at $48.51 per share.
Meanwhile, Beach Energy dropped 3.59 per cent, Bendigo Bank fell 2.94 per cent, Lendlease lost 2.83 per cent and Ansell fell 2.35 per cent after reporting earnings.
The big banks did not get to join in on the boost, with all four majors experiencing a decline led by Westpac which saw its price decrease 1.08 to $21.91.
That was followed by ANZ which dropped 0.87 per cent to $25.13, NAB which fell by 0.81 per cent to $28.33 and Commonwealth Bank which was down 0.67 per cent to $103.70.
Macquarie Group managed to avoid the pain suffered by the other banks, rising 0.22 per cent to $175.45.
The Australian dollar was also affected by China, finishing the day at 64.9 US cents.