Despite dipping on Friday, shares posted a gain for the week, propelled higher by some surprisingly good Chinese manufacturing and Australian jobs data.
On Friday, the S&P/ASX 200 Index lost 0.4 per cent, while and the broader All Ordinaries Index shed 0.3 per cent in quiet trade. Still, over the week, the S&P/ASX 200 and the broader All Ords both added 0.5 per cent, to end the week at 5445.1 points and 5429.1 points respectively.
A much better than expected HSBC/Markit flash reading of the China manufacturing purchasing managers index for June, released on Monday, provided an improved demand outlook for bulk commodities that propelled the big miners higher over the week.
Telstra was one of the best performing stocks for the week, up 1.7 per cent to $5.26 after announcing a $150 million deal with NBC Co on Thursday. Photo: Josh Robenstone
Platypus Asset Management chief investment officer Donald Williams said he has a neutral outlook on China. “Growth is slowing but the State will take measures to boost demand if required,” he said.
The spot price for iron ore, delivered in China, added 3.4 per cent to end the week above $US95 per tonne for the first time this month at $US95.30 per tonne. On Friday afternoon, iron ore futures trading in China was tipping another rise overnight.
Resources giant BHP Billiton rose 1.3 per cent to $36.42 over the week, having announced more job cuts. Main rival Rio Tinto lifted 2.7 per cent to $60.06.
Investors took cheer from Australian Bureau of Statistics data , released on Thursday, that showed a 2.1 per cent rise in the number of skilled jobs advertised over the three months to May.
These are the percentage moves in the 10 sectors that make up the S&P\ASX 200 index.
Telecommunications was the best-performing sector over the past week, up 1.6 per cent as Telstra lifted 1.7 per cent to $5.26 after announcing a $150 million deal with NBC Co. on Thursday.
The big four banks were split. Commonwealth Bank and Westpac each edged up 0.1 per cent over the week to $81.47 and $34.17 respectively. ANZ Bank lost 1.1 per cent at $33.60, and National Australia Bank fell 0.3 per cent to $33.03.
Financials was the worst-performing sector over the week, down 0.1 per cent, as a swathe of property trusts, including Stockland and Australand, declined after trading without the rights to upcoming dividends.
Among the biggest food and liquor sellers Wesfarmers, owner of Coles, rose 1.4 per cent to $41.84, while Woolworths added 0.7 per cent at $35.66.
Kathmandu Holdings was the worst-performing stock, dropping 6.6 per cent to $2.98 after becoming the latest in a string of retailers to issue a profit warning since the federal budget announcement in May. The outdoor gear retailer cited unseasonably warm weather.
Ahead of end of financial year on Monday, the benchmark index is tracking up 15.6 per cent for 2013-14.