STOCKS SINK: Everything you need to know

Photo: Douanes Francaises/Getty Images

Following a two day rally of nearly 4%, Australian stocks fell heavily at week’s end, weighed down by profit taking and caution before the release of the all important non-farm payrolls report in the US this evening.

Here’s the scoreboard.

  • ASX 200 5052 , -60.141 , -1.18%
  • All Ords 5089.2 , -54.926 , -1.07%
  • AUD/USD 0.7034 , 0.0008 , 0.11%

To say it was a lacklustre end to the trading week would be an understatement. With Victoria off on a pre-AFL grand final holiday and most other states and territories approaching the Labour Day long weekend, it was clear that most interest today was on weekend travel plans or the plethora of major sporting events ahead.

For the week, the benchmark ASX 200 index closed up 0.2%, an unremarkable figure given the volatility during the week.

All sectors bar consumer staples finished in the red with the largest losses coming form utilities, telecoms, financials, energy and healthcare.

The top stories for Friday:

1. As mentioned above, US non-farm payrolls for September will be released later on this evening. Given expectations for a US interest rate increase later in the year, this report will either add to the case for policy tightening or, yet again, a further postponement from the Fed.

2. Australian retail sales rebounded modestly in August following a shock decline in July, with the ABS reporting an increase of 0.4% to $24.4044 billion. The dollar figure was the highest on record and left annual growth in sales at 4.5%.

3. Price growth in Sydney houses, the hottest property market in Australia, is close to peaking, according to analysis by J.P. Morgan Australia. The cost of housing in Sydney has been running ahead of the rest of the country, gaining 17%.

4. Global manufacturing activity is looking sick. The global manufacturing sector continued to record lacklustre growth at the end of the third quarter, with rates of expansion in output and new orders edging lower and remaining marginal overall. As a result, global activity recorded its slowest monthly expansion in more than two years.

5. The sun may be about to shine again on commodity prices and sentiment. That’s the contrarian message from Capital Economics in their latest Commodities Economics Chart Book released this week.

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