Market Wrap: ASX posts soft end to strong week

Market Reports

The Australian share market has finished the week flat after trading within a 20 point range throughout today's session, absent any US leads due to Wall Streets thanksgiving holiday closure. The market added 76 points over the week despite ongoing fiscal cliff uncertainty in the US, trouble in the Middle East that was eased by the Israel-Hamas ceasefire, and protracted bailout negotiations in the euro zone.
 
Figures
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed steady to finish at 4,413. The value of trades was $2.2 billion on volume of 533 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were National Australia Bank Limited (ASX:NAB),  ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ) and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA).
 
On the futures market, the SPI is 2 points down.
 
All US indices finished higher over its shortened thanksgiving trading week: The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 295 points. The S&P 500 Index gained 38 points, the Nasdaq added 90 points and the 100 Index went up by 76 points.
 
Company news
 
David Jones Limited (ASX:DJS) says it is eager to retain ownership of four premium retail properties in Melbourne and Sydney's CBD, after announcing a review of the properties in September. Departing chairman Bob Savage says an independent valuation concluded the market value of the sites to be $612 million. Shares in David Jones closed 0.41 per cent down at $2.43.
 
Beach Energy Limited (ASX:BPT) expects to provide guidance about a further resource upgrade early next year as it ramps up exploration efforts in the Cooper Basin. Chairman Bob Kennedy says Beach will also develop exploration and development activities in Tanzania, Egypt and Romania as quickly as is reasonably possible. Shares in Beach Energy closed 2.44 per cent down at $1.40.
 
Silver Lake Resources Limited (ASX:SLR) expects to substantially increase its production profile in the 2013 financial year.
 
 
The Reject Shop Limited (ASX:TRS) expects to exceed its store opening targets in the current financial year.
 
Best and worst performers 
 
The best performing sector was Utilities adding 49 points to close at 4,968.
The worst performing sector was Industrials, losing 16 points to close at 3,299 points.
 
The best performing stock in the S&ASX 200 was Lynas Corporation Limited (ASX:LYC), rising 6.67 per cent to close at $0.72. Shares in Billabong International Limited (ASX:BBG) and Fairfax Media Limited (ASX:FXJ) also closed higher.
 
The worst performing stock was Ausdrill Limited (ASX:ASL), dropping 14.63 per cent to close at $2.10. Shares in ALS Limited (ASX:ALQ) and Decmil Group Limited (ASX:DCG) also closed lower.
 
Commodities
 
Gold is trading at $US1,729 an ounce, and is up $17.10 over the week.
Light crude is $0.23 lower at $US87.15 a barrel.
 
The Australian dollar
 
The Australian dollar is buying $1.039 and is $0.0072 higher over the week.