Australian shares have stumbled in early trade, despite a rebound across Wall Street’s “mega-cap” technology stocks.
By 10:40am AEST, the benchmark ASX 200 index was down 0.1 per cent at 5,957 points.
Travel companies Qantas (+4.4pc) and Flight Centre (+5.9pc) were some of the best performers, along with healthcare stocks Healius (+2pc) and Mesoblast (+4.9pc).
On the flip side, A2 Milk (-9.8pc), BHP (-1.4pc), Bendigo and Adelaide Bank (-1.4pc), Blackmores (-2pc) and gold miner Regis Resources (-1.2pc) suffered the heaviest losses.
Despite the recent volatility, the Australian market managed to pull off a 1.7 per cent gain last week.
It came after Friday’s tech rebound, which resulted in strong gains for the Nasdaq (+2.3pc), S&P 500 (+1.6pc) and Dow Jones (+1.3pc) on Friday.
The Australian dollar had risen (+0.2pc) to 70.4 US cents on Monday.
Overnight, the local currency dipped to its lowest value in more than two months (70.09 US cents).
“The strong US dollar and increased expectations for near-term policy easing by the RBA [Reserve Bank] are contributing to the weaker Australian dollar,” said Commonwealth Bank currency strategist Joseph Capurso.
The market is increasingly pricing in a rate cut from the RBA at its next meeting on October 6, the same day the Federal Government will unveil its Budget.
Investors are expecting the cash rate to drop from 0.25 to a fresh record low of 0.1 per cent.
More to come.