SYDNEY, AAP – Australia’s share market had its best week in the past six while a spate of takeover bids and coronavirus lockdowns will keep investors alert for more.
The ASX gained 1.03 per cent in a week in which local and overseas investment groups tried to swoop on stocks they considered cheap.
Sydney Airport and Spark Infrastructure have so far resisted offers, while Seven Group gained majority ownership of Boral.
ThinkMarkets analyst Carl Capolingua said the takeover action was his highlight of the week.
“It shows a stock you may have thought was down and out may not be as bad as you think,” he said.
The Aussie dollar has been falling against the US and Mr Capolingua said this may encourage acquisitions.
“Aussie stocks are starting to look pretty from a global perspective,” he said.
“Investors can take confidence from that in the new financial year.”
Meanwhile, US second-quarter earnings season will continue to attract attention next week.
The four largest US lenders reported this week and posted a combined $US33 billion in profits.
However they also highlighted the industry’s sensitivity to low interest rates.
Investors will be looking for companies to provide strong forecasts to justify sky-high valuations.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index on Friday closed up 12.2 points, or 0.17 per cent, to 7348.1.
The index was just short of its record close, 7386.17.
The All Ordinaries closed higher by 14.1 points, or 0.19 per cent, to 7630.7.
The major categories of materials and financials were little changed.
Consumer discretionaries proved the best category, up 0.72 per cent.
This was despite more than six million Victorians joining many of their NSW counterparts under stay-at-home orders.
Victorian leaders reported six new virus infections on the first day of a five-day lockdown.
People in Sydney and surrounds remain in lockdown until at least July 30.
On the ASX, BHP shares notched a record high of $51.91.
They closed higher by 0.66 per cent to $51.87.
The market’s biggest miner fared much better than Rio Tinto, which reported lower than expected iron ore production and shipments for its second quarter.
Heavy rain in Western Australia’s Pilbara region, and coronavirus measures, limited efforts.
Shares were lower by 0.41 per cent to $130.60.
AMP will not face criminal prosecution three years after a banking royal commission found it had charged customers fees for no service.
Corporate regulator ASIC has ended its investigation into customers wrongly being charged for financial advice.
AMP has paid more than $153 million in compensation.
Shares were down 0.9 per cent to $1.10.
The big four banks, along with the Bank of Queensland, all shed less than half a per cent.
Casino operator Crown Resorts temporarily closed its Melbourne casino and dining areas in line with the five day lockdown for the state.
The company’s Perth casino this week resumed regular trading after all virus restrictions were lifted.
The Sydney casino remains temporarily closed until at least July 30.
Shares were down 0.55 per cent to $10.94.
The Australian dollar was buying 74.31 US cents at 1727 AEST, lower from 74.83 US cents at Thursday’s close.
ON THE ASX
* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index on Friday closed up 12.2 points, or 0.17 per cent, to 7348.1.
* The All Ordinaries closed higher by 14.1 points, or 0.19 per cent, to 7630.7.
* At 1727 AEST, the SPI200 futures index was up five points, or 0.07 per cent, to 7274.
One Australian dollar buys:
* 74.31 US cents, from 74.83 cents on Thursday
* 81.75 Japanese yen, from 81.94 yen
* 62.93 Euro cents, from 63.10 cents
* 53.81 British pence, from 54.00 pence
* 105.98 NZ cents, from 106.48 cents.