Yo-yo trading on the markets
Australian shares have finished flat after a yo-yo final trading session of the week, which saw a retreat among the banks outweigh healthcare sector gains.
The benchmark S&P/ ASX200 dived in early trade before recovering throughout the afternoon and closing up 0.1 points (0 per cent) at 6268.4 points, while the broader All Ordinaries rose 2.1 points (0.03 per cent) at 6351.9 points.
CommSec market analyst Tom Piotrowski said bank stocks have had a volatile week and yesterday’s retreat was the main reason the benchmark was flat.
‘‘The discussion around banks of course has been the impact of the decline in demand for credit on their growth prospects,’’ he said.
ANZ led the big banks’ losses, slumping 0.7 per cent to $29.01, while Westpac retreated 0.5 per cent to $29.60, the Commonwealth Bank lost 0.5 per cent to $74.85 and National Australia Bank was down 0.4 per cent to $28.04.
Healthcare stocks were the stand-out performers as the sector benefits from a lower Aussie dollar.
Vaccines and blood products supplier CSL jumped 2 per cent to $204.56 and hearing implant developer Cochlear soared 3.2 per cent to $205.32.
Major mining stocks lost ground despite iron ore prices climbing overnight, with Rio Tinto falling 0.14 per cent to $79.84 after announcing it had signed a heads of agreement to sell its interest in Indonesia’s Grasberg — the world’s second biggest copper mine — for $US3.5 billion.
The energy sector was mixed amid firming oil prices, while oil refiner and marketer Viva Energy closed down four per cent at $2.40 on its ASX debut after raising about $2.6 billion in Australia’s biggest public offering in nearly four years.