The Australian market lost most of this week’s gains today as investors punished energy stocks on the back of a big fall in oil prices.
OPEC countries decided overnight to leave production output alone, putting more downward pressure on prices. Oil fell through $70 a barrel for the first time since 2010.
Locally, the big name energy companies skidded down, and the poor sentiment spread to the banks which were all weaker.
The ASX ended the day with a loss of 1.63% and the week closed up just 0.16%.
First, the scoreboard:
- S&P ASX 200: 5,313.00 -87.92 (-1.63%)
- All Ordinaries: 5,298.10 -83.25 (-1.55%)
- AUD/USD: 0.8495 -0.0047 (-0.55%)
And the top stories on Friday:
1. The price of oil started falling again after OPEC (Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) decided not to cut production. On the ASX, Santos was down 12% to $10.23, Sundance Energy 14.63% to $0.70, Origin Energy 7% to $12.25, Woodside Petroleum 7% to $35.75 and Horizon Oil weaker by 11% to $0.20.
2. Qantas shares jumped 7% to $1.923 on the prospect of falling aviation fuel prices. The airline’s shares have gained 10% this week and 50% since mid-October.
3. Joe Hockey has been given the final Murray financial system inquiry report. We’ll know soon if any recommendations impact the level of assets which must be held by banks.
4. The ANZ has become the latest in what is becoming a long line of economic forecasters to downgrade the outlook for Australian growth. The bank is now expecting softer growth of 2.9% in 2015 and 3.2% in 2016.