Australian shares have finished higher despite a drag from the energy sector weakened by coal exports to China.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index finished up 28.1 points, or 0.46 per cent, at 6,167.3 points at 1615 AEDT on Friday, while the broader All Ordinaries was up 27.3 points, or 0.44 per cent, at 6,241.9.

The Aussie dollar is buying 70.92 US cents from 71.62 US cents on Thursday.

The dollar climbed its way back from a sudden overnight drop following media reports that customs had halted Australian coal imports at five harbours in northern China, after Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told ABC radio there was no ban in place.

Nonetheless, shares in mining giant BHP closed down half a per cent at $37.69 at the close of market, while fellow coal miner New Hope fell 3.5 per cent to $4.08.

“That (report) did provide a bit of a shock earlier on to some of our coal names and our coal miners were among some of the weaker movers today,” CommSec market analyst James Tao told AAP.

“But besides that, we had most sectors higher and a pretty solid session overall.”

The ASX closed up 1.67 per cent for the week and has now climbed higher in five of the last six sessions, thanks in part to companies reporting their earnings.

“Earnings results really dictated the biggest moves on the market today,” Mr Tao said.

One of the biggest movers was NetComm, which surged by 50 per cent to $1.065 after the internet company confirmed a $161 million takeover bid by US tech company Casa Systems. NetComm shareholders will receive $1.10 a share.

Also reporting on Friday was Australia’s largest funeral provider, Invocare, which saw shares rise 12 per cent to $14.09 despite reporting a near 60 per cent fall in first-half profit.

“Less people dying you would normally think was a good thing,” Mr Tao explained.

“But the fact that it was a bit warmer of a winter so less people died meant their profits were down.”

Of Australia’s four big banks, Commonwealth Bank was up 1 per cent and ANZ rose 0.65 per cent while NAB and Westpac ended flat.


* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 28.1 points, or 0.46 per cent, at 6,167.3 points at 1630 AEDT on Thursday.

* The All Ordinaries was down 27.3 points, or 0.44 per cent, at 6,241.9.

* At 1630 AEDT, the SPI200 futures index was up 3 point, or 0.05 per cent, at 6133.


One Australian dollar buys:

* 70.96 US cents, from 70.91 US on Thursday

* 78.61 Japanese yen, from 78.50

* 62.60 euro cents, from 62.57

* 54.44 British pence, from 54.40

* 104.72 NZ cents, from 104.23


The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1630 AEDT was $US1325.53 per fine ounce, from $US1323.37 on Thursday.