Herald Sun - - BUSINESS -

A LATE rally by bank­ing and health­care stocks yes­ter­day lim­ited losses on the lo­cal bourse but fall­ing oil prices en­sured the en­ergy sec­tor dragged the mar­ket lower at the close.

The bench­mark ASX 200 in­dex closed 6.4 points, or 0.1 per cent, lower at 5921.8, while the broader All Or­di­nar­ies fell 0.08 per cent to 6011.

The Aus­tralian dol­lar weak­ened against its US coun­ter­part af­ter the Fed­eral Re­serve kept in­ter­est rates on hold, which sur­prised West­pac se­nior cur­rency strate­gist Sean Cal­low given the de­ci­sion was ex­pected. The Aussie was buy­ing US72.44c late yes­ter­day, down from US72.82c on Thurs­day.

The drop-off ended a choppy week for the dol­lar which passed the US73c mark for the first time since Septem­ber but over­all it was in a pos­i­tive po­si­tion given it was on the cusp of fall­ing be­low US70c at the end of Oc­to­ber.

Mean­while, oil prices fell nearly 2 per cent overnight on the back of swelling global crude sup­ply, which ap­peared to have halted re­cent gains for lo­cal en­ergy stocks. The sec­tor had been head­ing for four con­sec­u­tive ses­sions in the black but closed 1.3 per cent lower, with Wood­side Pe­tro­leum fall­ing 1.3 per cent to $33.77, Cal­tex 0.1 per cent to $27.11, Oil Search 1.4 per cent to $7.70, San­tos los­ing 1 per cent to $6.42 and Ori­gin En­ergy 2.3 per cent to $7.06.

Mur­ray Goul­burn fell 1.5 per cent to 31.5c af­ter it an­nounced it had agreed to set­tle a court case brought by the com­pe­ti­tion watch­dog over al­le­ga­tions it mis­led farm­ers about how much they would be paid for their milk.

Min­ing stocks were down de­spite iron ore and cop­per ris­ing overnight, with Rio

Tinto 0.3 per cent lower at $31.23 but BHP eked out a gain of 0.2 per cent to $33.41.

Both bank­ing and health­care stocks fin­ished higher. NAB was the only of the big four in the red, los­ing 0.1 per cent at $24.90, while

ANZ gained 8c to $27.13 and the Com­mon­wealth Bank was up 33c to $70.95.

West­pac rose 2c to $27.70 af­ter it was fined $3.3 mil­lion for un­con­scionable con­duct in the way its traders han­dled a key rate for sev­eral years.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.