S&P/ASX 200 slides again as US tech rally loses steam

Brent crude extended its decline on Friday, dropping 0.2% to US$39.98 a barrel after falling nearly 2% on Thursday.

Andromeda Metals Ltd - S&P/ASX 200 slides again as US tech rally loses steam
Gold gained 1% on Thursday as the US dollar weakened after the European Central Bank kept its policy unchanged

S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) fell 0.65% to 5,870 by 12.30 pm and is on track for its fourth straight weekly loss following a weak lead from Wall Street where major tech stocks continued to struggle.

All sectors were in the red with tech and materials stocks the hardest hit as Wall Street reversed course to fall for the fourth day in five.

Australia’s tech sector dropped 1.41% and materials firms fell 0.94% by noon.

Rio CEO to step down

Jean-Sébastien Jacques, the chief executive of Rio Tinto Limited (ASX:RIO), will step down by the end of March 2022 following a public outcry over Rio’s destruction of two ancient caves in Pilbara, Western Australia.

Two other senior executives — Chris Salisbury, the head of iron ore, and corporate affairs leader Simone Niven, who had responsibility for indigenous affairs — will also step down as the miner tries to contain condemnation from shareholders and the public against its decision to destroy the 46,000-year-old caves.

COVID-19 update

New South Wales recorded 10 new cases of COVID-19 overnight, with four linked to known clusters.

Victoria recorded 43 new COVID-19 cases and nine deaths, with case numbers continuing to drop.

There were 51 cases confirmed yesterday, 76 on Wednesday, 55 on Tuesday and 41 on Monday.

Top gainers

Today’s top gainers on the ASX include Cape Lambert Resources Limited (ASX:CFE) (+40.00%), Rimfire Pacific Mining N L (ASX:RIM) (+9.09%), Twenty Seven Co Ltd (ASX:TSC) (+60.00%), Blue Star Helium Ltd (ASX:BNL) (+8.33%) and Cirralto Ltd (ASX:CRO) (+5.88%).

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