Headline indices of the Australia stock market closed down on Monday, 23 July 2018, as risk aversion selloff triggered on following the weak cues from Wall Street Friday after U.S. President Donald Trump criticized the Federal Reserve's monetary policy. Meanwhile, selloff pressure intensified amid worries about trade wars after US President Donald Trump threatened more tariffs on Chinese imports. Almost all ASX sectors declined, with shares of financials, materials, consumer staples, consumer discretionary, industrial and technology issues being notable losers. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index declined 58.25 points, or 0.93%, to 6,227.60. The broader All Ordinaries Index lost 57.26 points, or 0.9%, to 6,320.10.
President Donald Trump on Friday said China and the European Union were manipulating their currencies and interest rates lower, and repeated a threat to slap China with $500 billion worth of tariffs on import of their products into the US, as a trade dispute between the world's two biggest economies intensified with no signs a resolution was near at hand. Mr Trump's more aggressive protectionists policies have sparked retaliatory measures from countries around the world, rattling financial markets worried about the impact on global growth.
Shares of financial companies were key drag to the index losses, with 'Big Four' banks ANZ Banking, National Australia Bank, Commonwealth Bank and Westpac were down in a range of 0.5% to 1.5%.
Energy stocks were mixed despite crude Oil futures settled higher on Friday. Woodside Petroleum, Oil Search, and Santos were dow in a range of 0.2% to 1%.
Shares of materials and resources were lower as commodity prices remained pressured by global trade tensions, with BHP Billiton, Fortescue Metals and Rio Tinto declined in a range of 0.5% to 2%. Global miner BHP Billiton confirmed that it had been served with a class action lawsuit regarding the 2015 Samarco dam failure in Brazil. Last week, BHP said it expected a $650 million charge in its fiscal 2018 results on account of the failure.
CURRENCY NEWS: The Australian dollar was higher against the U.S. dollar on Monday. The Australian dollar was at 74.26 US cents, up from 73.71 US cents on Friday.