The local share market gave up its gains in late trade alongside a similar loss of strength in US futures. Miners and the big four banks sold off in the lead up to the close.
But the market has posted its seventh positive week in eight and tech stocks are up more than six per cent for the week. The sector is higher by 1.8 per cent today supported by strength in key names, including a jump in Appen to new highs of $33.81.
Accounting software platform Xero closed higher by 1.3 per cent after hitting as much as $91.80.
Around lunchtime the ASX rose after the release of the largest seasonally-adjusted monthly rise in preliminary retail sales in the 38 year history of the survey. Retail stocks Wesfarmers finished up 0.05 per cent, and Woolworths rose 0.3 per cent.
In other news the minimum wage will increase by $13 a week, affecting the pay packets of more than 2.2 million Australians as the nation deals with its first recession in decades. The Fair Work Commission (FWC) made the decision to lift the minimum wage by 1.75 per cent this morning.
And Prime Minister Scott Morrison says Australia's government and institutions are being targeted by ongoing sophisticated state-based cyber hacks. He declined to identify a specific state actor and said no major personal data breaches had been made.
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 6 points higher at 5943. Over the week, it gained 1.6 per cent or 95 points.
Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 85 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a lift of 11 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a gain of 51 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 12 point fall for Monday morning.
Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) says it would consider pre-empting any deal by a third party to buy departing partner Chevron's stake in the $34 billion North West Shelf venture. Chevron is looking to sell its 16.6 per cent stake in Australia's largest LNG gas project. Shares in Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) closed 0.6 per cent higher at $21.88.
Rio Tinto Chairman, Simon Thompson has apologised to the traditional owners of Juukan Gorge for its controversial destruction of indigeneous caves at the site in the Pilbara.
Afterpay rival Splitit’s (ASX:SPT) share price has surged after it announced a partnership with global payments giant Mastercard. The deal enables more retailers the ability to offer its services around the world.
Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector was Information Technology, gaining 1.8 per cent, while the worst-performing sector was Materials, shedding 1.1 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was AP Eagers (ASX:APE), rising 9.9 per cent to close at $7.57. Shares in Netwealth Group (ASX:NWL) and Avita Medical (ASX:AVH) followed.
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Scentre Group (ASX:SCG), dropping 4.7 per cent to $2.21, followed by shares in Vicinity Centres (ASX:VCX) and The A2 Milk Company (ASX:A2M).
Japan’s Nikkei has gained 0.7 per cent.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng has gained 0.5 per cent.
And the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.9 per cent.
Wall Street finished the last four trading days higher. The Dow Jones gained 1.8 per cent, the S&P 500 gained 2.4 per cent, and the Nasdaq gained 3.6 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,729 an ounce.
The iron ore price is down 2.4 per cent to US$102.40.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 0.1 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.42 higher at US$39.65 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 68.58 US cents.