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As the omicron variant continues to spread, and the Federal Reserve flags that they will consider winding down bond purchases sooner, the Aussie share market closed 0.28% lower, a near two-month low. The market did manage to recover in the afternoon after better-than-expected GDP data and a positive outlook for Chinese growth. The lockdowns in NSW and Victoria drove a 1.9% contraction in the economy for the third quarter, which was less than the 2.7% decline expected. As household spending crashed, levels of savings surged.
Nearly all sectors were in the red: consumer staples, utilities and real estate sectors led the losses, while the materials, healthcare and financial sectors managed to post gains. The top stocks included South32 (ASX:S32), Waypoint REIT (ASX:WPR) and Lynas Rare Earths (ASX:LYC). GUD Holdings (ASX:GUD) headed south, after a discounted share placement. Other worst performers included Pro Medicus (ASX:PME) and IDP Education (ASX:IEL).
In the US, all three benchmarks gave up decent gains and turned negative after the first omicron case was confirmed in the US. The Dow closed over 450 points lower, the S&P500 was down 1.2% and the Nasdaq fell 1.8%. Travel stocks were hit hard: American Airlines, Delta Airlines and United Airlines all fell over 7%. And on the data front, private payroll data for November showed 534,000 jobs were added, above expectations of 506,000.
Following the negative session over on Wall Street, the futures are suggesting the Aussie share market will fall about 1.1% at the open.
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