Buyers came back with the Australian market to end the week on a strong note, despite two of the major banks, the ANZ and NAB, going ex-dividend and pulling 20 points out of the system.
Wall Street provided an overnight lead with the S&P 500 closing up 0.38% to 2,031.21
The ANZ and the NAB were down between 2% and 3% for most of the day, but Westpac and the Commonwealth were both stronger by more than 1%.
The miners were mostly stronger despite the continuing fall in iron ore prices. Fortescue, a pure play iron ore digger, made up some of the week’s lost ground with an almost 4% rise to $3.15.
BHP was up more than 2% to $34.49 and Rio Tinto 1.7% to $60.70.
The local market has risen by 0.4% this week, the 4th successive week of gains, according to CommSec.
In the region, Japan’s Nikkei was firmer by 0.3%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up just 0.1% and Shanghai firmer by 0.6%.
First, the scoreboard:
S&P ASX 200: 5,549.10 +42.99 (+0.78%)
All Ordinaries: 5,522.10 +42.90 (+0.78%)
AUD/USD: 0.8553 -0.0003 (-0.04%)
And the top stories Friday:
1. The economy is in the middle of a very fragile economic transition. Today’s RBA quarterly Statement on Monetary Policy contained a lot of hope and expectation mixed up with the reality that the economic transition is happening more slowly and is more fragile than expected.
2. TEN Network shares are up about 25% in just two days as takeover speculation continues about the free-to-air television group. The shares hit 27 cents, up more than 17% today after a 7% rise Thursday.
3. The ANZ and NAB banks went ex-dividend and both lost between 2% and 3%. The ANZ was weaker by 2.14% to $32.88, the NAB down 2.81% to $33.22.