The Australian share market defied the gloomsters today, to notch up a third consecutive session of gains taking stocks to a fresh five year high. It was also the seventh weekly win for the share market.
The Bombay Stock Exchange's Sensitive Index fell 0.3% to 18,561.92, ending the week 1.6% lower after three consecutive weeks of gains. The region's shares were bolstered by good quarterly results from Google and J.P. Morgan Chase, but U.S. debt fears kept gains in check. Standard & Poor's Ratings Services Thursday put U.S. sovereign ratings on formal credit watch, saying there was.
The Australian share market is also on track for its best September quarter since 2009, when markets were first emerging from the crux of the Global Financial Crisis.
Energy stocks led the gains on our market, with the sector up 0.8 per cent. Financial and material sectors ended flat.
The consumer discretionary sector had a solid week, following on from results from David Jones (DJS) and Kathmandu (KMD) earlier in the week. The S&P / ASX 200 Consumer Discretionary sector (XDJ) rose 1.9 per cent over the course of the week.
This week was fairly light on in terms of economic data but next week top shelf data returns. The Reserve Bank's October rate decision is the main local highlight, with the central bank tipped to leave rates on hold at 2.5 per cent. Official China PMI data is also due, although the Shanghai Composite will be closed from Tuesday to Friday for Golden Week. In the US, data culminates with the non-farm payrolls number for September due on Friday. All data released next week will give us a better indication of how the global economy is faring.
On the market today, a total of 1.7 billion shares changed hands, worth $6.3 billion. 509 shares were higher, 359 were lower and 372 were unchanged.
At 4.30pm AEST the SFE 200 Futures Index was at 5308, up 4 points.
The Australian dollar ended the day's session below US94c at US93.66c.
Ahead tonight, , personal income and spending data is released together with final consumer sentiment data for September.
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