The Australian share market has finished flat after its worst trading week in almost three years.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 11.9 points, or 0.2 per cent, at 5,895.7 points at 1630 AEDT on Friday, while the broader All Ordinaries was up 13 points, or 0.22 per cent, at 6006.5.
The SPI200 futures index was up 29 points, or 0.5 per cent, at 5854 while the Australian dollar was buying 71.26 US cents from 70.70 on Thursday.
Rakuten Securities Australia’s chief operating officer Nick Twidale said there had been some consolidation during Friday’s session but warned all the influences seen over the past few days were still relevant.
Investors watching the forthcoming US session will be focusing on the news about remaining concerns over US-Sino relations, as well as the disconnect between the US Federal Reserve and political executive, Mr Tiwdale said.
There are two scenarios, he said, either there’s a small correction on US markets, the US dollar comes off and stocks stabilise – with some profit-taking ahead of the weekend softening volatility.
Or the US market fails to correct and Australian stocks slide down with lower liquidities and currencies including the Yen, NZ and Footsie all going topside.
“If anything happens over the weekend it’ll be a very nasty start to the next week,” he said, adding traders and investors are all poised to see if there were further downsides into the weekend.
Thursday’s trade wiped an estimated $50 billion off the share market in its worst day since February as the benchmark ASX200 dipped 2.7 per cent to a five-month low.
The market was as much as 0.6 lower in early trade on Friday and, despite clawing back most of its early losses, was still on track for its worst week since January 2016.
Heavy losses in oil prices overnight weighed on the energy sector, which ended the session down 1.5 per cent with Santos, Oil Search Limited, Woodside Petroleum and Origin Energy all down between 1.15 and 1.76 per cent.
Fairfax Group plunged more than 13 per cent while Nine Entertainment was down 12.38 per cent ahead of their planned merger after Fairfax said revenue for the financial year-to-date was down five per cent on the prior corresponding period.
The banks have ended the day on a fifty-fifty split after ANZ faced the same parliamentary grilling dished out to Commonwealth Bank and Westpac on Thursday.
Westpac and CBA are in the green while ANZ and NAB are both down, at 0.38 and 0.35 per cent lower respectively.
Macquarie Group shares have turned around after a rough morning, ending the day flat at $115.53.
Gold miners were among the only to enjoy gains during Thursday’s plunge but a slight rise in copper and iron ore overnight spread the joy to the other big players.
BHP was up 1.32 per cent to $33.84, and Rio Tinto gained 1.85 per cent to $78.03 at 1630 AEDT.
Investors continued to flock to safe-haven gold with local gold miners Northern Star, St Barbara, Newcrest Mining, and Evolution up between 3.26 and 8.04 per cent.
ON THE ASX:
* The S&P/ASX200 was up 11.9 points, or 0.2 per cent, higher to 5895.7 points.
* The All Ordinaries was up 13 points, or 0.22 per cent, higher to 6006.5 points.
* In futures trading the SPI200 futures index was up 29 points, or 0.5 per cent, at 5854 points at 1630 AEDT.
CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEDT:
One Australian dollar buys:
* 71.26 US cents, from 70.70 US cents on Thursday
* 80.08 Japanese yen, from 79.25
* 60.14 euro cents, from 61.17
* 53.83 British pence, from 53.47
* 1.09.30 NZ cents, from 1.09.22
The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1630 AEDT was $US1220.96 per fine ounce, up from $US1193.419 on Thursday.