Australian shares closed session lower but ended the week marginally higher.
- ASX 200: 5,720.60 -14.52 -0.25%
- All Ordinaries: 5,773.30 -13.53 -0.23%
- AUD/USD: 0.7966 +0.0017 +0.21%
The local market cruised to another slightly weaker close, putting the ASX200 up just 0.3% for the week.
The main drag on the local market today was the Commonwealth Bank which closed the day down 3.8% at $80.72 the Commonwealth Bank fell hard following court action against Australia’s biggest company over breaches of money laundering laws.
Westpac was down 0.5% to $31.54 and the NAB was up 0.2% to $29.93.
Among the miners, Rio Tinto added 1.6% to close at $65.24 and BHP 0.3% to $25.72.
Shares in Webjet jumped 8.8% to $12.08 after coming out of a trading halt from a successful capital raising to help buy a European travel group, JacTravel.
1. Retail sales beat across the board again. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), sales rose by 0.3% in seasonally adjusted terms, topping expectations for a gain of 0.2%.
2. The RBA downgraded its forecasts for the economy. Today’s Statement on Monetary Policy from the Reserve Bank of Australia has the bank forecasting 2.5% GDP growth by the end of this year, down from 3% in its previous update.
3. The revenue slide at James Packer’s Crown Resorts. The company posted a 7.5% fall in annual revenue to $3.34 billion, dragged down by fewer VIP players making big bets at Australian casinos. Crown shares fell 2.9% to $12.40.
4. Tabcorp goes into the red. Its UK joint venture with the sun newspaper, Sun Bets, reported loses of $47.6 million.
5. The new head of Amazon Australia. One of the key questions about Amazon’s big push into Australia is whether the US-based retailer will take on supermarkets head to head.
6. Gap stores to close. The luxury brand retailer OrotonGroup, which has the Gap franchise in Australia, says it will discontinue the business locally, with the six stores closing by the end of January 2018. Its shares fell 3.8% to $1.01.
7. Casual jobs in Australia are in high demand. courtesy of careers website Seek, we now have a far clearer view on where the strength in job advertisements is coming from.
8. How drug syndicates used Commonwealth ATMs to launder cash. The bagmen for a $22 million money laundering syndicate at work.