ASX suffers worst week since mid-November

The Australian share market has made back a bit of its losses from the past two days but still ended the week down three per cent, for its worst week since mid-November.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index finished Friday up 24.1 points, or 0.37 per cent, to 6,517.1 points, while the broader All Ordinaries was up 25.2 points, or 0.38 per cent, to 6,636.9 points.

For the week however the ASX200 was down 199 points, or 2.96 per cent, following a 250-point loss over Wednesday and Thursday, its worst week in percentage terms since a 3.2 per cent loss over November 11-16.

"It's been a pretty rocky week to say the least," said CommSec market analyst James Tao.

"Today's been a much better day, we've seen a pretty decent turnaround."

All eyes will be on the release of US non-farm payroll figures for September on Friday night (Australian time) to see if the world's largest economy is indeed stalling, as the release of manufacturing figures that began the sell-off on Wednesday hinted at.

"That [non-farm payroll data] is really the focus moving forward," Mr Tao said.

Every sector except financials were up on Friday, with health care leading the way, gaining 2.3 per cent.

CSL rose 3.2 per cent to $236.34, with the pharma giant accounting for 45 per cent of the ASX's gains for the day.

Clinuvel was up 5.4 per cent, Paradigm Biopharma rose 10.1 per cent to a new all-time high of $3.15 and Sonic Healthcare gained 0.4 per cent.

Tech stocks were the second-biggest gainers, collectively up 1.1 per cent, with Xero rising 3.2 per cent to $62.30, Appen up 3.1 per cent to $21.20 and Infomedia up 7.4 per cent to $2.18.

City Chic Collective rose 11.2 per cent to a 17-year high of $2.78 after the plus-size Australian clothing retailer paid nearly $25 million at auction for the e-commerce assets of Avenue, a bankrupt US retailer for plus-size women.

Kathmandu gained 6.8 per cent to $2.89 after the New Zealand outdoor retailer resumed trading for the first time since announcing on Wednesday it would spend $350 million acquiring surfing sportwear retailer Rip Curl.

The banking sector dropped 0.1 per cent, with three of the four big banks down.

ANZ fell 0.5 per cent to $27.17, NAB declined 0.6 per cent to $27.85 and Westpac dipped 0.3 per cent to $28.42, while Commonwealth rose 0.3 per cent to $77.59.

In the mining sector, heavyweight BHP rose 0.4 per cent to $35.30, Rio Tinto gained 0.5 per cent to $87.65 and Fortescue Metals climbed 2.1 per cent to $8.62.

Goldminers were mostly subdued as the price of the precious metal rose slightly to $US1508 an ounce, although St Barbara fell 3.2 per cent to $2.75 after releasing a quarterly production update.

The Aussie dollar is buying 67.54 US cents, up from 67.05 US cents on Thursday.

In cryptocurrency, Bitcoins were trading for just over $A12,000 on Australian exchanges, down two per cent from Thursday.

ON THE ASX:

* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed up 24.1 points, or 0.37 per cent, at 6,517.1 points.

* The All Ordinaries closed down 25.2 points, or 0.38 per cent, to 6,636.9 points.

* The SPI200 futures index was closed up 24 points, or 0.37 per cent, to 6,487.

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEST

One Australian dollar buys:

* 67.54 US cents, from 67.05 US cents on Thursday

* 72.12 Japanese yen, from 71.88

* 61.55 euro cents, from 61.27 cents

* 54.71 British pence, from 54.65 pence

* 106.89 NZ cents, from 107.15 cents.

Austrlaian Associated PressBack to Breaking News

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