the asx 200 records its worst week in three years 1541842015

Global cues and local banks push the market down

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By :  ,  Financial Analyst

The Australian share market continued Friday on its downward streak, clocking its fifth consecutive session ending in the red, albeit by a very small margin, as it headed into a long weekend. While bearish global cues such as the sharp overnight losses on Wall Street and the continuing Greek imbroglio played a role, the local banks continued to trade very weak and weighed on the market.

For the week, the aggregate losses of almost 5 per cent made it the worst in over three years.

Indices and sectors

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 on Friday fell 5.8 points, or 0.1 per cent, and closed at 5,498.5, while the broader All Ordinaries index was down 4.8 points, or 0.1 per cent, at 5,506.5.

Sectors that ended in the black were healthcare (+0.99 per cent), consumer staples (+0.68 per cent), consumer discretionary (+0.56 per cent) and industrials (+0.53 per cent). The losing sectors included financials (-0.60 per cent), information technology (-0.53 per cent) and energy (-0.13 per cent).


Mining companies had a mixed day. BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP) fell 0.68 per cent to AU$27.90, Rio Tinto Limited (ASX:RIO) was up 0.49 per cent to AU$57.02 and Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX:FMG) surged 1.75 per cent to AU$2.32.

The energy sector too showed divergent trends. While Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX:WPL) gained 0.26 per cent to AU$35.27 and Oil Search Limited (ASX:OSH) was up 0.42 per cent to AU$7.20, Origin Energy Ltd (ASX:ORG) closed lower by 0.79 per cent at AU$12.62 and Santos Ltd (ASX:STO) fell 0.60 per cent to AU$7.91.

The major banks continued to be punished by investors as the Australian dollar showed strength. Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) shed 0.31 per cent to AU$80.29, Westpac Banking Corp (ASX:WBC) was down 0.67 per cent to AU$31.19, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX:ANZ) gave up 1.05 per cent to close at AU$31.17 and National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX:NAB) fared the worst, falling 1.45 per cent to AU$31.85.

Amongst retailers, Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX:WES), the owner of supermarket chain Coles, gained 0.89 per cent to AU$41.82, Woolworths Limited (ASX:WOW) was up 0.55 per cent to AU$27.25, and Caltex Australia Limited (ASX:CTX) was up 0.47 per cent to AU$32.00. However, Myer Holdings Ltd (ASX:MYR) fell 0.71 per cent to AU$1.39.

Economic news, currency and market outlook

Data scheduled to release Tuesday includes home loans for April, the ANZ job ads for the month of May and the National Australia Bank business conditions and business confidence data for May.

On Wall Street overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 82.55 points, or 0.46 percent, to 17,766.91, the S&P 500 lost 13.47 points, or 0.64 percent, to 2,079.36 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 46.83 points, or 0.92 percent, to 5,021.63, as investors fretted over increasingly likely interest-rate hikes by the Fed, and the uncertain situation on Greece.

The Australian dollar is currently trading firm on reports that US President Barack Obama had expressed concern on the strength in the US dollar, according to the Business Spectator. At 07:25 this morning (AEST), the Aussie was trading at 77.01 US cents, up from 76.20 US cents on Monday.

The Australian stock market is likely to open lower today given that at 06:55 this morning (AEST) the June ASX SPI200 Index (AP) Futures was down 25 points at 5,477.

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