THE Australian share market yesterday finished flat after its worst trading week in almost three years.
The benchmark ASX 200 index closed up 11.9 points, or 0.2 per cent, at 5895.7 points, while the broader All Ordinaries was up 13 points, also 0.2 per cent, at 6006.5.
Rakuten Securities Australia chief operating officer Nick Twidale said there had been some consolidation during yesterday’s session but warned all the influences seen over the past few days were still relevant. Investors watching the overnight US session were focusing on the news about remaining concerns over US-Sino relations, as well as the disconnect between the US Federal Reserve and political executive, he said.
“If anything happens over the weekend it’ll be a very nasty start to the next week,” he said, adding traders and investors were all poised to see if there were further downsides into the weekend.
Thursday’s trade wiped an estimated $50 billion off the share market in its worst day since February. The market was 0.6 lower in early trade yesterday and, despite clawing back most of its early losses, still tracked to its worst week since January 2016.
Heavy losses in oil prices overnight weighed on the energy sector, which ended the session down 1.5 per cent. Santos was down 1.1 per cent to $6.89, Oil Search 1.7 per cent to $8.38,
Woodside Petroleum 1.8 per
cent to $36 and Origin Energy slid 1.4 per cent to $8.13.
Fairfax Group plunged 13.5 per cent to 67c while Nine
Entertainment was down 12.4 to $1.84 per cent ahead of their planned merger after Fairfax said revenue for the financial year to date was down 5 per cent on the prior corresponding period.
The banks ended the day on a fifty-fifty split. Westpac rose 16c to $26.45 and the Commonwealth Bank 3c to $67.03, while ANZ fell 10c to $25.91 and National Australia Bank shed 9c to $25.91.
BHP closed 1.3 per cent higher at $33.84 and Rio Tinto gained 1.8 per cent to $78.03.