Latest news

The ASX 200 index is down by 0.23 per cent to 6,650.7 on Friday due to falls from mining and energy stocks at lunch. The week has been filled with modest moves however as cautiousness has reigned ahead of the G20 Summit which kicks off in Japan today.

The highlight at the G20 will likely be trade talks between President Trump and China’s Xi Jinping. A positive outcome could provide the market with a boost while a collapse in discussions could be a weight. OPEC and allied producers will hold meetings early next week in Vienna to decide on cuts to oil supplies.

Shares in Chalmers Limited (CHR) are surging by 39 per cent and have hit record highs after the much larger logistics group Qube (QUB) launched a $53m takeover offer for the company.

Oil Search (OSH) has exercised an option for US$450m which doubles the company’s interests in a number of Alaskan exploration leases. OSH is down 1.75 per cent.

Friday marks the final trading day of the month, quarter and financial year. The ASX 200 index has improved by around 7.5 per cent over the past 12 months. The moves have been far from consistent this year however. The market did poorly in the tail end of the year, slumping by 10 per cent between September and December before improving by 18 per cent from January to June.

Telcos have done best over the year, surging by around 35 per cent, followed by technology and mining stocks. The energy sector was the only area of the market to head backward due to a 20 per cent slide in the oil price over the year. Miners including Fortescue Metals (FMG) have done well thanks to a 70 per cent jump in iron ore prices. Gold hit a six-year high and the Australian dollar eased by 4c against the greenback.

The Australian dollar has improved this week to US$0.70; stabilising somewhat as commodity prices strengthen and the market prices in a US rate cut in coming months. The Aussie approached a 10-year low over the past fortnight as the market is pricing in a RBA cash rate cut in either July or August.

1.3bn shares changed hands on Friday worth a well above average $4.6bn a day after options expiry. 562 stocks rose, 550 fell and 407 finished unchanged.

Published by CommSec