Australian shares end the day in the red, but are up 1% for the week

Australian share market

Despite modest falls in late afternoon trade that meant finishing the day in the red, the Australian share market ended the strong week around one per cent stronger.

At the close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 was down 2.5 points, or 0.04 per cent, at 6,116.2 points, with the miners strong, banks mixed and Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX:TLS) shares around one per cent firmer.

Morgans senior client adviser Bill Chatterton said BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP) had benefited from the recent rise in global oil prices while a strong showing from iron ore had also boosted the resources giant and its rival, Rio Tinto Limited (ASX:RIO).

Iron ore player Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX:FMG) closed up 1.9 per cent at $4.93 while Rio Tinto jumped 1.1 per cent to $83.88.

BHP Billiton gained 1.3 per cent to $33.16 and is at a near-four-year high on the back of gains since April.

The big four banks were between 0.6 and 0.9 per cent weaker, with the exception of Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX:ANZ), which added 0.3 per cent to $28.15

Telstra shares lifted one per cent to $3.20 after shedding 2.5 per cent on Thursday.

Mr Chatterton said interest is growing in Telstra’s 5G network roll out.

“Up until quite recently really I don’t think the market was focusing on that at all and it’s potentially quite a game changer,” Mr Chatterton said.

In companies news, REA Group Limited (ASX:REA) shares hit an all time high of $89.16 before closing at $88.71, up 5.2 per cent, after the real estate listings specialist reported a 19 per cent increase in quarterly earnings, despite lower Australian listing volumes.

News Corp, know by Google Finance as NEWS CORP/IDR UNRESTR (ASX:NWS)  – REA’s majority owner – gained 0.8 per cent to $22.50 after it posted a third-quarter net loss of $US1.1 billion ($A1.46 billion), mainly due to revaluing of Foxtel and Fox Sports Australia.

Service station group Caltex Australia Limited (ASX:CTX) jumped 1.9 per cent to $30.45 after reporting unaudited figures showed first quarter profit was $172 million, up from $161 million the same period a year ago.

Graincorp Ltd (ASX:GNC) lost one per cent to $7.74 after announcing dry weather in Queensland and northern NSW had slashed its harvest and shriveled half year profit by almost two thirds.

with AAP


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