EVENING REPORT (5pm AEST)
The Australian share market closed out the week on a negative note, with the All Ordinaries Index (XAO) closing lower by almost 18 points or 0.3 per cent to 5429.1 on Friday. Over the course of the week, the market finished higher by 0.5 per cent, thanks to the strong gains yesterday coupled with Monday's win.
Higher iron ore prices helped lift the likes of Rio Tinto (RIO) and Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) today, however the overall materials sector finished lower by 0.1 per cent.
Banking stocks were also sold off, with the sector lower by 0.5 per cent.
The energy sector was firmer by 0.3 per cent despite oil prices easing on Thursday as fears over exports disruptions from OPEC´s second largest producer Iraq lessened.
After the bell yesterday, the Victorian Supreme Court ruled in favour of a $451 million compensation payout to Tatts Group (TTS) following the changes the Victorian government made to poker machine licences. However Tabcorp (TAH) lost its multi-million dollar compensation payout. TTS shares rose 2.9 per cent today to $3.21 while TAH, which rallied strongly yesterday, fell 5.7 per cent to $3.40.
Power interruptions at Sydney Airport (SYD) caused traveller chaos today. Shares in SYD closed down 0.9 per cent to $4.23.
Next week in Australia data on retail spending, building approvals, the monthly Reserve Bank Board Meeting and data on the property market will be in focus.
On the market overall, a total of 2.4 billion shares changed hands, with a value of $7.4 billion. 512 were up, 509 were down and 465 were unchanged.
At 4.30pm AEST the SFE 200 Futures Index was at 5416, down 10 points.
The Aussie dollar ended the session at US94.38c.
Ahead tonight, the University of Michigan confidence index is released in the US. Have a great weekend.
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