ASX opens lower after oil pullback

Friday, 26 April, 2019 - 09:22
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The Australian share market has opened lower after a pullback in oil prices and in the absence of a strong lead from Wall Street.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 15.4 points, or 0.24 per cent, at 6,366.7 points at 1030 AEST on Friday, while the broader All Ordinaries fell 16.3 points, or 0.25 per cent, to 6,454.3.

Energy was the worst performing sector with a 1.0 per cent decline after oil prices eased following Brent crude's first touch of $US75 for nearly six months - a move that hints at a pullback following the commodity's recent good run.

Woodside Petroleum and Santos were both down about 1.0 per cent.

The heavyweight financial sector was also dragging on the market, with all four of the big banks in the doldrums.

Commonwealth Bank was 0.24 per cent lower at $74.98, Westpac down 0.22 per cent to $27.52, ANZ down 0.22 per cent to $27.29, and NAB down 0.19 per cent to $25.61.

Consumer discretionary stocks were another loser - the sector down by 0.75 per cent - after Flight Centre lost more than 10 per cent in value following a 15 per cent profit downgrade on weak domestic leisure spending.

In the US overnight, the S&P500 closed flat as weakness in industrials offset gains in Facebook and Microsoft, the tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 0.21 per cent, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 0.51 per cent.

The Australian dollar was worth 70.14 US cents, from 70.16 on Thursday.