ASX closes up for fourth straight week

The Australian share market has closed slightly higher, rising for a third straight day as gains by banking and industrial stocks outweighed losses by tech companies and energy producers.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index finished Friday up 14.3 points, or 0.21 per cent, to 6,669.2 points, while the broader All Ordinaries was up 11.4 points to 6,777.1 points.

For the week the ASX finished up 21.9 points, its fourth straight week of gains.

"We're slowly eating away at the losses we had in August," said CommSec market analyst Steven Daghlian.

He added, however, that the share market was only about a third of the way to recovering its gains.

Optimism over US-China trade helped bolster the global markets, with Washington and Beijing taking symbolic steps to reduce tensions, as did the resumption of the bond-buying program known as quantitative easing by the European Central Bank.

Tech stocks rose early but then dipped throughout the day to close down 0.8 per cent as a whole, with content management company Objective Corp down 5.5 per cent, machine learning dataset firm Appen down 4.0 per cent to hit a six-month low of $21.77 and logistics software company Wisetech Global down 1.4 per cent.

Payment processor and remote identity verification company Isignthis rose 9.7 per cent to $1.02, however, after rebutting governance concerns that sent its share price plummeting by more than a third on Thursday.

Energy shares were down 0.5 per cent as oil prices slipped after OPEC producers failed to decide on deepening crude supply cuts, with Oil Search down 0.6 per cent and Woodside down 0.5 per cent, although Santos gained 0.4 per cent.

The mining sector was flat overall amid losses for goldminers, with Newcrest down 2.8 per cent, Evolution falling 3.4 per cent and Northern Star dipping 2.6 per cent.

Diversified mining giant BHP meanwhile gained 0.4 per cent to $37.13, Rio TInto gained 0.7 per cent to $93.29 and iron ore miner Fortescue Metals rose 0.4 per cent to $9.05.

The big banks were all higher, with Commonwealth Bank up 1.0 per cent to $82.14, NAB up 0.7 per cent to $29.16 and ANZ up 0.9 per cent to $27.85, while Westpac rose a more modest 0.1 per cent to $29.69.

Industrial shares were the biggest collective gainers, up 0.9 per cent, with Qantas gaining 2.2 per cent to hit a 12-month high of $6.40.

Supermarket giant Woolworths dropped 0.7 per cent to $36.43, while Coles dropped 1.2 per cent to $14.67.

JB Hi-Fi shares gained 0.7 per cent to hit a fresh all-time high of $34.24 after predicting full-year sales of $7.25 billion.

CIMIC Group was down 1.0 per cent to $31.71 despite securing a $1.3 billion, six-year contract extension to provide mining services to Queensland's Curragh coalmine.

The Aussie dollar was trading at 68.74 US cents, down from 68.83 US cents on Thursday.

It was at a 10-month high against the kiwi dollar, buying $NZ1.073.

ON THE ASX

* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed up 14.3 points, or 0.21 per cent, at 6,669.2 points.

* The All Ordinaries closed up 11.4 points, or 0.17 per cent, to 6,777.1 points.

* The SPI200 futures index closed up 36 points, or 0.54 per cent, to 6,674.

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEST

One Australian dollar buys:

* 68.74 US cents, from 68.83 US cents on Thursday

* 74.34 Japanese yen, unchanged

* 64.49 euro cents, unchanged

* 55.40 British pence, from 55.78 pence

* 107.29 NZ cents, from 106.89 cents.

Austrlaian Associated PressBack to Breaking News

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