Australian stocks finished the week strongly led by a global rally, following the ECB’s QE announcement overnight.
First, the scoreboard:
- ASX 200 5501.80 (+81.86, +1.51%)
- All Ords 5468.20 (+77.72, +1.44%)
- AUD/USD 0.7988 (-0.0036,-0.44%)
Energy stocks posted the biggest gains. LNG Ltd was up 8.26% to $2.62, Senex closed up 7.29% to $0.28 and Santos rose 5.121% to $7.8.
Worley Parsons rose after announcing it had been awarded a construction contract for an oil sands mining project in Canada. The company finished up 9.341% to $9.95.
And the top stories today:
- The Aussie dollar fell below US80c.
- Australian resources company Arrium is shutting an iron operation it bought in 2011 for $320 million, and has flagged more than $1.3 billion in write-downs in a cost-cutting drive prompted by the collapse in iron ore prices. Its shares got hammered today, down 8.89% to $0.205.
- China’s flash PMI beat market expectations of 49.5 to print 49.8. It’s almost good news, except it’s still lingering in the contraction zone below 50.
- Shares in Australia’s first medical marijuana company, which listed on Thursday, are flying high. Phytotech closed its second day of trading up about 85% to $0.78 a share. It listed at $0.20 cents yesterday.
- The World Bank is forecasting all nine commodity price indices will continue to plunge this year. More here.
- Oil started to rally after the news of the Saudi King’s death. The reason: Traders were worried the new king, Abdullah’s half brother Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, will deviate from recent policy leading to a reduction in production and potential for a short squeeze.
Here’s the chart:
Have a great weekend and enjoy Australia Day.