ASX falls despite gains for big miners

The Australian share market has finished broadly lower, despite gains for the mining and energy sectors.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index finished down 24.6 points, or 0.36 per cent, to 6,793.4 points at 1615 AEST on Friday, while the broader All Ordinaries was down 22.6 points, or 0.33 per cent, to 6,879.3 points.

"Not the best Friday, but you have to put this into context, because it's only the second fall this week," said CommSec market analyst Steven Daghlian.

For the week the ASX200 finished up 1.4 per cent, and up 2.6 per cent so far this month.

Barring a major crash early next week it will finish July solidly ahead, its seventh straight month of gains, Mr Daghlian noted.

Telecom stocks had the biggest losses on Friday, down one per cent, with Telstra falling one per cent to $3.84 and Speedcast down 8.4 per cent to $1.85, making it the worst-performing ASX200 component on the day.

Tech stocks were also down, collectively by 0.9 per cent, with financial software company Bravura Solution down 2.8 per cent to $4.85 and Appen down 2.1 per cent to $30.38.

Mineral Resources was the best-performing ASX200 stock, up eight per cent to a three-month high of $16.60 after saying it had refinanced its debt and was increasing its iron ore production.

The mining sector was up 0.5 per cent as a whole, with BHP was up 0.6 per cent to $40.85, Rio Tinto up 2.1 per cent to $98.26 and Fortescue Metals gaining 0.5 per cent to $8.29.

OceanaGold fell 7.1 per cent to $3.93 after the Melbourne-based mid-tier gold producer said its profit for the second quarter was down 42 per cent to $22 million, with production was down and operating costs up.

The energy sector was up 0.3 per cent, with Santos gaining 0.7 per cent to $7.13 and Origin Energy up 1.2 per cent to $7.85.

Respiratory face mask company ResMed shares lifted 5.6 per cent to an all-time high of $18.99 after announcing its full year profit was up 28 per cent to $US404.6 million ($A582.2 million).

All the major banks were lower, with Westpac falling one per cent to $28.57, Commonwealth down 0.5 per cent to $82.59, NAB down 0.4 per cent to $28.49 and ANZ down 0.6 per cent to $27.78.

Macquarie Group fell 1.4 per cent to $128.68.

The Aussie dollar is buying 69.42 US cents, from 69.69 US cents on Thursday.

Looking forward, the US will release figures on economic growth later on Friday, and next week the US Federal Reserve will announce its decision on interest rates midweek, with many observers expecting a rate cut.

Rio Tinto will announce its earnings for the half-year on Thursday afternoon, kicking off earnings season.

In the United States, a number of major companies are also set to announce their results, including Apple on Tuesday.

ON THE ASX:

* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 24.6 points, or 0.36 per cent, to 6,703.4 points at 1630 AEST on Friday.

* The All Ordinaries was down 22.6 points, or 0.33 per cent, to 6,879.3.

* At 1630 AEST, the SPI200 futures index was down 22 points, or 0.33 per cent, to 6,731.

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEST:

One Australian dollar buys:

* 69.42 US cents, from 69.69 US cents on Thursday

* 75.39 Japanese yen, from 75.35 yen

* 62.30 euro cents, from 62.62 cents

* 55.84 British pence, from 55.89 pence

* 104.27 NZ cents, from 104.09 cents.

Austrlaian Associated PressBack to Breaking News

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