ASX weighed down by banks, miners after no clear sign of Cup Day rate cut

The Australian sharemarket lost ground after the Reserve Bank of Australia gave no clear sign of a Melbourne Cup Day interest rate cut.

The S&P/ASX200 was down 0.8 per cent at 6185 while the All Ordinaries Index fell 0.7 per cent to 6397.

ThinkMarkets Australia analyst Carl Capolingua said the market spiked into positive territory, despite a negative US lead, in the first hour of trade but fell after comments from Reserve Bank of Australia assistant governor Chris Kent that the board was considering the case for further easing.

“It looked like we were going to continue the recent trend of shaking off negative overseas leads to book another up-day. But, not long after, the RBA minutes were released, and we sold off. It was a slow, painful trudge lower from there,” Mr Capolingua said.

“I’m not sure why. Perhaps it was because there wasn’t any smoking gun in the minutes to suggest a (Melbourne) Cup Day (interest rate) cut is a lock.

“But, (the RBA board) made all of the right noises in terms of signalling more easing is coming.”

In company news, Afterpay, the buy-now-pay-later leader in Australia, announced it had become Westpac’s first partner on its new digital banking platform, allowing Afterpay to provide Westpac transaction and savings accounts and other cashflow management tools to its 3.3 million customers.

Afterpay shares jumped 4.5 per cent to $101.94.

Smaller rival Zip Co announced the launch of Tap & Zip, saying it would allow the company to compete with credit cards “at every checkout in Australia”.

The company also said its service was now available via Apple Pay and Google Pay.

Zip shares eased 1.4 per cent to $7.07.

BHP reported 2 per cent rise in group production in the September quarter, driven by the resources giant’s metallurgical coal and iron ore assets, and while COVID-19 measures and an ongoing strike hampered South American operations, it maintained its full-year output and costs guidance.

BHP fell 1.64 per cent to $35.90 while Rio Tinto backtracked 1.5 per cent to $94.13.

ANZ dipped 0.97 per cent to $19.32, Commonwealth Bank retreated 1.24 per cent to $69.14, National Australia Bank lost 1.08 per cent to $19.19 and Westpac shed 1.44 per cent to $18.51.

The Aussie dollar was fetching 70.37 US cents, 54.36 British pence and 59.74 Euro cents in afternoon trade.