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Technology Stocks Take A Tumble As ASX Haemorrhages

SYDNEY: Technology stocks have been impacted as the ASX tumbled amid investor concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.

Tech investors are concerned about the impact on the sector in China and moves by technology outfits in Japan and South Korea to shutter their plants.

The mood wasn’t helped by comments from Chinese President Xi Jing Ping, who said yesterday that the epidemic on the mainland was “still grim sad complex”.

Ironically the downturn came as the ASX unveiled its new All Technology Index (CDN, Monday) that will track the stock market performance of some 46 tech companies that between them have a combined market capitalisation of more than $100 billion.

Most of those on the index went into the red, with software services company Xero down nearly 3.5 percent; data outfit Appen falling 1.2 percent; and real-estate digital publishing group REA tumbling 3.8 percent.

Elsewhere, technology retailer JB Hi-fi fell just short of two percent; Kogan mostly dodged the bullet, down just 0.3 percent; Dimension Data was down nearly half-a-percent.; and Telstra finished down three cents at $3.71.

Just about the only Aussie tech stock to see green was financial software provider Reckon, up 1.4 percent.

Many Australian companies are also reconsidering overseas travel, not only because of the coronavirus, but a fall in the Aussie dollar, which tumbled below US$0.700 to US$0.662. The ASX rout followed similar falls on South Korea’s KOSPI, the US Nasdaq, HK’s Hang Seng and the Shanghai composite.

The spread of coronavirus to other Asian countries as well as Italy and Iran has stoked fears it will become a pandemic that will disrupt economies and industries around the world for some time to come. – Chris Castellari

Amid the turmoil, and after spotting some potential problem areas, CDN has decided to delay its promised new page 4 coverage of the Aussie tech sharemarket – previously planned for today – until early next week.

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