The S&P/ASX All Technology Index (XTX) has made considerable gains of 139 per cent since the depths of last year's COVID crash, but a recent global sell-off in the space has triggered a disproportionate effect on Australian tech stocks.
The index's value has fallen by almost a fifth - or approximately $35.86 billion - since its high on 10 February, of which close to half can be explained by a sharp drop for buy-now-pay-later behemoth Afterpay (ASX: APT).
This compares to a 9.8 per cent fall in the iShares Global Tech ETF (IXN) over the same period, although this does not include electric vehicle giant Tesla whose 34 per cent pullback from all-time highs weighed down on speculative investors everywhere.
The Afterpay share price has fallen by 36 per cent since well and truly breaking through the $150 per share mark in February - a benchmark it manage to hold until just days out from the one-year anniversary of the All Technology Index it now leads.
A buoyant sector has led to significant reshuffling in the index over the past year, not just with Afterpay surging past payroll management company Xero (ASX: XRO) into top spot but also with the rapid rise of health imaging company Pro Medicus (ASX: PME) and job listings group SEEK (ASX: SEK) breaking into the top 10.
Their gain meant Link Administration Holdings (ASX: LNK) and Appen (ASX: APX) were knocked off their perches.
Afterpay suffered by far the greatest drop over the past month, but substantial declines were seen almost across the board. With a fall of 16 per cent, property listings giant REA Group (ASX REA) overtook NZ-based Xero whose share price fell 20 per cent.
Logistics software company Wisetech (ASX: WTC) and data centre company NEXTDC (ASX: NXT) have both pulled back 22 per cent, Carsales.com (ASX: CAR) and SEEK (ASX: SEK) have seen drops in the mid-teens.
Circuit board design software outfit Altium (ASX: ALU) has seen a recent drop of 18 per cent, but its fall compared to the rest is much more significant as it is the only top 10 player in the index whose shares are trading close to COVID crash levels.
On a more positive note, in the past month Pro Medicus shares have dropped only 5 per cent, while Computershare (ASX: CPU) has bucked the trend with its shares up 6 per cent but it also hasn't seen the astronomical gains of most of its tech peers.
It must be noted that Afterpay's competitor Zip Co (ASX: Z1P) was not included in the index's December update for its top 20 companies, even though it's market capitalisation at the time would have put it on par or above many companies in the top 20.
As of December there were 69 members of the index, compared to 46 when it was launched, outperforming the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 by 52 per cent between February and December last year.
According to the latest update from S&P the median company on the index has a market capitalisation of $626 million.
Business News Australia
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