EY partner and investment banking veteran Duncan Hogg said where recent sentiment had been weighed down by frustrations over a delay in US stimulus talks, this most recent fall was driven by coronavirus fears and nervousness about next week’s US presidential election.

He tipped anxiety over the election to carry well into November.

“It does seem like the puff has come out of the market (lately),” Mr Hogg said.

“But that’s expected given the uncertainty over the next month with elections and COVID. I think everyone is very focussed on hopes we’ll see a vaccine before the year’s end to try and break that cycle.”

Local losses were broad on Thursday and there was little joy at the top end of the market.

Miner Fortescue Metals, supermarket Coles, Fisher and Paykel, Amcor, and James Hardie were the only of the 30 biggest companies to add to their tally for the day.

ANZ led losses for the big banks, shedding 2.4 per cent to $18.70 after announcing a 42 per cent drop in full-year cash profit and taking a knife to its final payout.

Global miner BHP fell 2.2 per cent to $34.01 and Rio Tinto lost 1.1 per cent to $90.96.

Tech stocks suffered heavily, with market darling Afterpay down 3.3 per cent to $99.55 and Xero losing 2.1 per cent to $11.40.

Electronics and homewares retailer JB Hi-Fi dropped 6.2 per cent to $47.38, despite the firm reporting a strong first-quarter sales result.

The ASX 200 has now lost ground in six of the past seven sessions, the outlier being Wednesday’s narrow 0.1 per cent gain. It remains 2.4 per cent ahead for the month.



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