SYDNEY, AAP – ASX trade has done remarkably well given big losses on world markets and the Reserve Bank upgrading its forecast for inflation this year.
The Australian market was little changed on Friday, although it slipped a little after the RBA published its monetary policy statement.
The inflation forecast to December was upgraded from 2.25 per cent to 3.25 per cent.
However, the other component needed to prompt a rate rise, wages growth, did not receive such a generous upgrade.
The best-performing shares were technology ones. No category gained more than one per cent.
Appen, Bravura and Xero rose by one per cent after Facebook owner Meta’s disappointing earnings a day earlier caused ASX tech shares to lose five per cent.
The next best shares were industrials. Qantas rose 2.22 per cent to $5.06 after New Zealand decided to allow Australian tourists to return.
Materials were the worst-performing category but were only lower by less than 0.5 per cent.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 0.07 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 7083 points at 1200 AEDT.
The All Ordinaries index was higher by 7.8 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 7382.4 points.
US markets closed sharply lower and most technology shares dived following revelations of Meta’s struggle with competitors such as TikTok.
Financial technology companies were also roundly sold after PayPal gave disappointing earnings earlier in the week.
US jobs figures could sway Wall Street in the next day’s trade.
On the ASX, News Corp improved sales and earnings in its second quarter largely due to real estate and advertising.
REA Group, which recently purchased Mortgage Choice and REA India, helped digital real estate sales rise by 35 per cent on the same quarter from the previous year.
The Dow Jones and news media divisions also had notable increases in earnings.
News Corp was up almost four per cent to $32.83.
REA Group gave first-half earnings and improved profit and sales thanks to a buoyant Australian property market.
However, the company warned uncertainty about the federal election and possible regulatory moves to slow the housing market could mean second-half earnings may not be as strong.
The fully franked interim dividend was 75 cents per share, more than the previous interim payout of 59 cents per share.
REA was up less than half a per cent to $144.34.
Financial services group AMP will leave the New Zealand stock exchange after Friday and trade solely on the ASX.
Investors with shares on the NZ exchange will have them automatically transferred.
AMP was up less than one per cent to 94 cents.
The banks were mixed. ANZ and NAB dropped less than one per cent. Commonwealth Bank was little changed. Westpac was best and rose one per cent to $21.47.
Big miners were mixed, too. BHP shed almost one per cent to $46.61. Fortescue gained almost 0.5 per cent to $21.22. Rio Tinto shed about 0.5 per cent to $113.53.
Bookmaker PointsBet was higher after being approved to run sports betting in Ontario, Canada.
The company is in the early stages of a foray into the Canadian market.
PointsBet was higher by almost five per cent to $5.13.
The Aussie dollar was buying 71.41 US cents at 1200 AEDT, higher from 71.37 US cents at Wednesday’s close.