SYDNEY, AAP – Kogan executives have claimed inflation is affecting the online retailer’s fortunes, but a fund manager says he was yet to see price pressures elsewhere.
The ASX gained 0.15 per cent, and was little better for the week, largely due to declining materials and energy shares.
The best performing shares on Friday were in health, consumer staples and technology.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed up by 10.7 points, or 0.15 per cent, to 7030.3.
The All Ordinaries closed higher by 12.7 points, or 0.18 per cent, to 7265.3 points.
The weekly result was similar. The ASX200 gained 0.23 per cent after on Wednesday having its greatest loss since February.
Investors remain vigilant for signs of inflation due to economies rapidly recovering from the pandemic.
Inflation would erode the value of their investments and may prompt central banks to raise rates.
Van Eck Australia deputy head of investments Jamie Hannah said he was looking for inflation signs, but was yet to pinpoint any.
“Inflation is certainly the talk at the moment, but nothing is jumping out at me,” he said.
While gold prices had lifted recently, he noted US 10-year bond yields were steady.
“The market is in a good place and there is not a lot to stop it from growing,” Mr Hannah said.
“If vaccines keep rolling out, and countries keep re-opening, it’s just positive for the global economy.”
Debate has raged in Australia this week about when to re-open to international visitors.
Qantas boss Alan Joyce called for borders to open by the end of the year.
Budget papers suggest a mid-2022 timeframe.
Meanwhile, executives at Kogan might disagree with Mr Hannah’s views on inflation.
The consumer goods trader was one of Friday’s biggest losers and slumped 14.29 per cent to $8.70.
They warned of lower earnings after wrongly assuming the pandemic sales surge would continue in 2021.
Excess stock led to higher warehousing costs.
However, Kogan also blamed inflation. It said this was evident in the cost of products it was ordering for Christmas.
Also doing it tough were energy and materials companies.
Oil prices fell after progress was made toward a deal to lift US sanctions on Iran, which could boost crude supply.
Santos fell 4.76 per cent to $6.61.
Materials shares fell for a third consecutive day after Chinese officials declared a crackdown on rising commodity prices.
BHP dipped 1.1 per cent to $47.75. Fortescue fell 2.24 per cent to $22.30. Rio Tinto shed 0.92 per cent to $122.12.
Market giant CSL helped prop up the indices with a gain of 2.21 per cent to $284.30.
In banking, ANZ was best of the big four and gained 0.5 per cent to $28.00.
The Commonwealth was worst of the group and fell 0.36 per cent to $98.05.
Online services directory Airtasker is stepping up US expansion, buying a rival and revealing a share sale to raise funds.
The company outlined a $20.7 million share sale would fund expansion and its purchase of US services directory Zaarly for $3.4 million.
Shares are in a trading halt and last traded for $1.08.
Freedom Foods shares were in a trading halt pending news from the company.
They last traded higher by 2.38 per cent to 43 cents.
Next week, construction data for the March quarter will be released on Wednesday.
Business conditions data for May will be published on Thursday.
The Australian dollar was buying 77.46 US cents at 1725 AEST, lower from 77.52 US cents at Thursday’s close.
ON THE ASX
* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed up by 10.7 points, or 0.15 per cent, to 7030.3 on Friday.
* The All Ordinaries closed higher by 12.7 points, or 0.18 per cent, to 7265.3 points.
* At 1725 AEST, the SPI200 futures index was up 9 points, or 0.13 per cent, to 7040.
One Australian dollar buys:
* 77.46 US cents, from 77.52 cents on Thursday
* 84.24 Japanese yen, from 84.58 yen
* 63.32 Euro cents, from 63.60 cents
* 54.62 British pence, from 54.89 pence
* 107.87 NZ cents, from 107.83 cents.