Australian stocks closed the session, and the week, higher.
Here’s the scoreboard for today:
- S&P ASX 200: 5,252.20 +26.77 +0.51%
- All Ordinaries: 5,316.00 +26.62 +0.50%
- AUD/USD: 0.7654 +0.0028 +0.37%
Stronger oil prices helped the market rally into the close of the week. The ASX 200 gained just 0.3% over the short four-day week trading.
The miners added weight with Rio Tinto up 2.5% to $51.55, Woodside Petroleum 2.2% to $28.34 and Fortescue 4.9% to $3.410.
The banks were all ahead with Westpac up 1.2% to $31.05 and the ANZ 1% to $24.27.
Gold stocks rallied as the price of the precious metal hit a year high overnight. Northern Star was 5.4% higher at $3.87 and Newcrest 3.49% to $18.97.
The top stories Friday:
1. Taking the last offer. Broadspectrum, which runs Australia’s offshore asylum seeker detention centres in Papua New Guniea and Nauru, now thinks a takeover bid from Spanish infrastructure company Ferrovial is a good idea. Broadspectrum shares closed 32% higher at $1.48.
2. Calling rates. Courtesy of Wednesday’s incredibly weak March quarter inflation report, next Tuesday’s RBA rate decision now looms as one of the closest calls seen in recent history.
3. Shrinking profits from mortgage insurance. More cautious lending at the banks has cut Genworth’s first quarter profits by 24.8% to to $67.3 million. Genworth shares closed at $2.39, up 0.42%.
4. Painful costs. Reckitt Benckiser, the company behind the popular pain relief pills Nurofen, has been fined $1.7 million by the Federal Court for misleading consumers with “targeted pain” products.
5. Blocked again. Treasurer Scott Morrison has blocked the sale of Australia’s largest cattle business, S. Kidman and Co, for a second time on national interest grounds.
6. More trouble with milk. Australia’s largest milk supplier, Murray Goulburn Co-operative, faces a possible class action by shareholders after this week’s profit downgrade.
7. What geoblocking? The Productivity Commission says Australians should be able to watch the US version of Netflix.
8. The seat review. Why Qantas premium economy is worth twice the price of economy.
9. I’ll tell you want I want. Finally, someone invented a collar that translates cat meows to human speech.