Tech shares worst amid broad ASX losses

A woman walks along a city street; ASX trading display.
The ASX had its biggest loss in more than a week. -AAP Image

Shares had their biggest loss in more than a week as a US technology crash spilled over into the Australian market.

The ASX lost more than one per cent and technology shares fell by almost four per cent following a plunge on the US Nasdaq.

The biggest technology company on the ASX, Afterpay, fell 9.16 per cent to $69.03.

Online furniture trader Temple and Webster plunged by about the same measure to $8.98.

Deep Data Analytics chief executive Mathan Somasundaram said the selling followed Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell this week confirming US rates would go up and other tapering measures.

"It usually takes a few days for reality to set in," Mr Somasundaram said of trade.

"Stock multiples will come down and the market is starting to worry."

The changes will mostly affect growth stocks, Mr Somasundaram said, which include technology ones.

The stocks take longer to generate earnings and are more susceptible to higher rates.

Almost all ASX categories were down. There were losses of about one per cent or more for shares in healthcare, financials, consumer categories and energy.

Utilities were the only shares to prosper and rose 0.4 per cent.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed down 80.5 points, or 1.08 per cent, to 7393.9 points on Friday.

The All Ordinaries index closed lower by 80.4 points, or 1.03 per cent, to 7717.1 points.

For the week, the market lost 0.8 per cent.

In company news, financial crimes watchdog AUSTRAC has expanded its investigation into casino operator Star Entertainment.

The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) last year flagged serious problems in how casino operators try to prevent financial crimes.

The regulator has yet to say what action it may take.

Star was down almost two per cent to $3.54.

Shares in fashion retailer City Chic Collective surged after it reported better-than-expected first-half earnings.

Strong sales, particularly in the US, offset coronavirus earnings impacts of $4 million.

Shares rose 11.63 per cent to $4.99.

Jeweller Michael Hill showed it was on course for better first-half earnings after a strong second quarter.

Online sales and higher profit margins helped second-quarter sales rise almost 10 per cent on the same period last year.

First-half earnings are tipped to be between $49 million to $53 million, more than the previous $44.6 million.

Shares were up about one per cent at $1.44.

The big banks were all lower. The Commonwealth and Westpac fared worst and each lost about 1.2 per cent.

Materials shares were one of the better categories amid the market downturn.

Mining giants BHP and Fortescue lost less than 0.4 per cent each. Rio Tinto, which thrived on a higher iron ore price on Thursday, dropped almost one per cent to $110.60.

Elsewhere, global investment manager Pendal revealed a disappointing December quarter.

UK institutional clients were responsible for outflows of $5.1 billion, mostly in Pendal's global opportunities strategy.

Pendal was down 15.82 per cent to $5.00.

Coal miner New Hope Corporation lost its chief executive after Reinhold Schmidt resigned.

Chief financial officer Rob Bishop has been named acting chief executive.

Shares were down 2.13 per cent to $2.13.

The Australian dollar was buying 72.89 US cents at 1723 AEDT, higher from 72.87 US cents at Thursday's close.


* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed down 80.5 points, or 1.08 per cent, to 7393.9 points on Friday.

* The All Ordinaries index closed lower by 80.4 points, or 1.03 per cent, to 7717.1 points.

* At 1723 AEDT, the SPI200 futures index was up 11 points, or 0.15 per cent, at 7313 points.


One Australian dollar buys:

* 72.89 US cents, from 72.87 cents on Thursday

* 82.89 Japanese yen, from 83.46 yen

* 63.50 Euro cents, from 63.67 cents

* 53.08 British pence, from 53.15 pence

* 106.12 NZ cents, from 106.26 cents.