Ahead of the February inflation data release, the stock market experiences a decline.

On Tuesday, Australian shares faced a downturn, primarily influenced by a sell-off in technology and resources stocks in anticipation of significant inflation data releases domestically and internationally. By the close of trading, the S&P/ASX200, the benchmark index, declined by 0.4%, or 31.7 points, settling at 7780.2, while the broader All Ordinaries experienced a similar decrease to 8036.7. This decline mirrored a similar trend observed in shares on Wall Street, where the Dow Jones led with a 0.4% drop, and both the S&P500 and Nasdaq, dominated by tech stocks, fell by 0.3%. The Australian dollar remained stable, trading at US65.40c against the greenback. Analysts, including Tim Waterer, chief market analyst at KCM Trade, noted investors’ profit-taking ahead of the forthcoming inflation data release on Wednesday, which could potentially impact the Reserve Bank of Australia’s interest rate decisions. Notably, interest rate-sensitive tech stocks experienced the most significant declines, dropping by 1.6%. Leading companies in this sector, such as Wisetech, Xero, and NextDC, saw their shares fall by 2.3%, 2.7%, and 0.9%, respectively. Additionally, the materials sector, affected by a 3.3% drop in iron ore futures to $US104.95 a tonne for the April contract on the Singapore Exchange, contributed to the benchmark’s decline by 0.7%. Key players in this sector, including BHP, Rio Tinto, and Fortescue, saw declines of 0.6%, 0.2%, and 1.2%, respectively. However, there was a positive trend in the oil market, with Brent crude oil prices rising to $US87 a barrel following OPEC+ officials’ announcement of plans to proceed with a scheduled extension of supply cuts despite escalating geopolitical tensions.

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