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SO LONG SANTA RALLY: ASX closes below 5000

Bruce Bennett/Getty Image

For the sixth session on the trot Australian stocks have fallen, weighed down by persistent concerns around the health of the Chinese economy.

The benchmark ASX 200’s losing streak is now the equal longest since June 2010, and takes its losses since December 30 to 6.19%. It was the first time the index closed below the 5,000 point level since December 15 last year, the point that marked the start of the Santa Rally.

At 5.76%, the weekly decline also marks the worst start to a trading year on record.

Here’s the final scoreboard for Friday.

  • ASX 200 4990.8000 , -19.54 , -0.39%
  • All Ords 5049.4 , -19.35 , -0.38%
  • AUD/USD 0.7055 , 0.0046 , 0.66%

Despite a surprise strengthening in the Chinese renminbi, something that along with likely government-backed buying helped Chinese stocks soar in early trade, the local market couldn’t hold onto gains achieved midway through the session, slipping back into the red in the latter parts of trade.

As opposed to Thursday’s session where every sector bar gold finished in negative territory, the performance on Friday was mixed with losses in financials, utilities and telecommunications partially offset by strength in materials, energy and healthcare.

The top stories for Friday.

1. It’s been another crazy session for Chinese stocks after Thursday’s 14-minute, 7% decline. They’re currently still trading – here’s the latest update.

2. Here’s why China’s stock market and currency policies are bound to fail.

3. Australian retail sales rose by 0.4% in November, in line with expectations.

4. Dick Smith receivers Ferrier Hodgson say more than 30 parties are interested in purchasing the electronics business.

5. If you were one of the unlucky people with a gift voucher for Dick Smith – now worth nothing – Coles has some good news for you.

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