The Australian market suffered from end-of-financial-year selling and a weaker Wall Street, sending stocks sharply lower.
Here’s the scoreboard:
- S&P ASX 200: 5,545.90 -86.82 -1.54%
- All Ordinaries: 5,536.10 -83.81 -1.49%
- AUD/USD: 0.7715 -0.0025 -0.32%
On Wall St, the S&P 500 closed down 0.3%, mainly on lower oil prices. The local market fell below 5600 points on the ASX 200. The final session put the week at a 0.9% loss.
Nine out of the ten sectors were weaker. Energy stocks were down 3.2%, utilities more than 4% and industrials 2.6%.
The miners were hit by lower commodity prices overnight. BHP, the world’s biggest miner, lost 3.54% to $27.50 and Rio Tinto was down 2.79% to $54.08. Fortescue dropped more than 6% to $1.99 and Origin Energy 6.5% to $11.70.
All the major banks fell, with NAB down 1.05% to $34.09.
A stand out was Woolworths, which jumped 3.83% to $27.39, on a rumour that a private equity company is poised to make a takeover bid. Sales at the supermarket have been flatlining on increasing competition from Coles and German retailer Aldi.
The top stories Friday:
1. A lifeline for Bradken. Chilean group Sigdo Koppers and CHAMP Private Equity are investing $70 million in the Australian mining services and equipment supply group hit hard by the decline in resources investment. Its shares fell 11.4% to $1.525.
2. Australia Post, facing rapid decline in letter delivery, plans to cut 1,900 jobs over the next three years, mainly from voluntary redundancies.
3. Victorian households know about leverage. Even with booming Sydney prices, mortgage debt is rising faster there.