Australia’s benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index was on track to snap 11 consecutive months of gains on Thursday due to heavy mining losses during September.
The benchmark index is on course to post a near 3% loss for September, its first monthly fall since the same month last year.
Mining stocks have plummeted as iron ore and base metal prices fell on a weak demand outlook as concerns over China’s property sector took centre stage during the month.
Mining index lost 14% in September
The S&P/ASX 300 Metals & Mining Index lost over 14% in September resulting in its worst month in almost six years.
September got off to a bad start when ASX-listed BHP Group had all its 2021 gains wiped out after its stock dropped by 7% in the first week. The iron-focused miner’s share price had already been subject to a miserable month in August, having dropped 14.7% following the announcement of its exit from the London stock exchange.
September turned out to be worse, with BHP shares slumping by over 18%. As of Wednesday’s close, BHP shares had lost almost 15% year-to-date.
Gold miners see weak month
Gold miners also experienced a difficult month, with bullion prices weakening on the back of a strengthening dollar.
The S&P/ASX All Ordinaries Gold Index was on track to lose over 8% in September. The Aussie gold miner’s benchmark has fallen over 21% year to date and over 30% over the last 12 months.
Aussie tech stocks added to the monthly losses, with the S&P/ASX All Technology Index on track to a monthly loss of over 3%.
Australia records cash deficit equal to 6.5% of GDP for FY21
On Thursday, the Australian benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index gained over 1.5%.
All the Big Four banks were trading in the green by Thursday afternoon with Westpac Banking, up by 3%, leading the gains. National Australia Bank and Australia and New Zealand Banking gained over 2% each. Commonwealth Bank of Australia was up by 1.3%.
The Australian Treasury's Final Budget Outcome report on Thursday showed that Australia recorded an underlying cash deficit of AUD134.2bn ($96.72bn) for the 2021 financial year, which was better than the figure previously forecast.