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  • Australian shares have fallen by about 1.5% at the start of the week. 
  • The weekend headlines are dominating the markets this week. 
  • The financials sector was one of the worst-hit at the open.

Australian shares have fallen by about 1.5% per cent on average in today’s trade, with most sectors trading lower. The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index is lower by about 41.2 points,0.8% per cent, at 5204.0 points at the time of writing. The major theme is with the US seeking to prove that China misled the world over its COVID-19 outbreak. 

The weekend headlines dominating the markets at the open were pertaining to US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo’s, interview on ABC’s This Week which started with a clip of Trump “discussing an unsubstantiated theory that the coronavirus outbreak began in a laboratory in Wuhan, China. More on that here: What you need to know as markets open: Pompeo and Trump ratcheted up US and China tensions.

Meanwhile, the financials sector was one of the worst-hit at the open. Westpac was deferring a decision on its interim dividend and posting a 70 per cent drop in first-half cash earnings. The share price has been as low as $14.96 as investors weigh the costs of a  money-laundering scandal and a surge in charges for bad loans due to the coronavirus outbreak. The bank’s cash earnings fell to $993 million for the six months ended March 31, against $3.30 billion it earned last year. Its rivals in the big four were also down.

  • ANZ fell 12 cents, or 0.76 per cent, to $15.63.
  • Commonwealth Bank was down -0.34%
  • NAB -0.93%.
  • Macquarie Bank is currently trading the worst off, – 1.80%

The big miners were also down:

  •  BHP is down 1.12%.
  • Rio is losing 2.52%
  • Fortescue -2.05%. 

ASX 200 Index 38.2% fends off the bulls again

The ASX 200 has been yet again resisted by the 38.2% Fibonacci level (5470) which brings back focus to the 23.6% Fibo below it as 5060. The bears will be looking for an extension below the COVID-19 lows of 4402. However, on a break higher will extend towards a 50% mean reversion at 5794 ahead of a 61.8% golden ration at 6127.