Uncertainty around vaccine schedule: Aus shares close 2.4% higher over week

Market Reports

by Michael Luu

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The Australian sharemarket wrapped up its Friday trading session in negative territory, after spending five consecutive days in the black. Uncertainty around the Australian government’s vaccine roll-out schedule dealt a blow to travel stocks, including Flight Centre (ASX:FLT), Webjet (ASX:WEB) and Corporate Travel Management (ASX:CTD). The Australian tech sector fed off momentum from stateside gains and mimicked American tech stocks in outperforming other sectors.

At the closing bell, the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 0.05 per cent or 4 points lower to finish at 6,995. Over the week, it closed 2.4 per cent or 167 points higher.

Economic news

The RBA’s Financial Stability Review has reiterated that the central bank is closely monitoring the rise in real estate prices. However, the Reserve Bank has not detected the same trend developing in the debt sector. While highlighting the risk that excessively optimistic borrowers pose to the average quality of new lending, the financial watchdog does not recognise a downgrade in credit standards.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 26 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a lift of 3 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a fall of 4 points.
ASX200 futures are eyeing an 11 point gain for Monday morning.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector was Information Technology, adding 0.7 per cent, while the worst-performing sector was Consumer Staples, shedding 1.1 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Silver Lake Resources (ASX:SLR), rising 6.1 per cent to close at $1.81. Shares in Westgold Resources (ASX:WGX) and Kogan.com (ASX:KGN) followed.

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Lynas Rare Earths (ASX:LYC), dropping 3.2 per cent to close at $6.29. Shares in Metcash (ASX:MTS) and The A2 Milk Company (ASX:A2M) followed.

Asian markets

Mixed. Japan’s Nikkei has gained 0.3 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 1.4 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost just over 1 per cent.

Wall Street

Over the last four trading days, Wall Street finished higher. The Dow Jones gained 1.1 per cent, the S&P500 gained 1.9 per cent, and the Nasdaq gained 2.5 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,750 an ounce.
The iron ore price is 0.3 per cent lower at US$173.10 a ton.
Its futures are pointing to a rise of 0.4 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.20 lower at US$57.49 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 76.10 US cents.