The big four banks and the major miners were up, which helped offset some losses generally around the bourse.
Losses continued for Primary Health Care, which fell 10 per cent after it downgraded its profit forecasts for fiscal 2016 as revenues declined.
The first publicly listed law firm, Slater and Gordon, was down 8.85 per cent after it revised its accounts for the past two financial years.
Shares in Myer jumped 5.58 per cent, as it reported a lift in same store sales during the first quarter.
A dip in the oil price affected the energy sector, with Santos the biggest loser, down 3.39 per cent.
The big four banks were up a little over half a per cent.
Wall Street was down marginally as investors tread water before a possible Federal Reserve December rate rise.
“We had a fairly flat US session overnight, and that didn’t give us any strong leads over here and in Asia,” IG market analyst Angus Nicholson told AAP.
“We did have such a strong performance on the ASX yesterday.
“Closing above 5,200 is very positive for the index going forward so, maybe, we might see a pull-back today.”
Investors weren’t keen to buy in big sums on Friday, with only marginal gains in the banking sector.
All the big four banks were up a little over half a per cent.
Despite low oil and iron ore prices overnight, the big miners were seeing some gains, with BHP Billiton clawing back some of its value in the wake of the Brazilian mining disaster. It was up 43 cents at $20.85 at 1019 AEDT.
Rival Rio Tinto was up $1.18 at $49.86.
The low oil price seems to have affected Santos the most. It was down 14 cents at $4.19, while Origin lost two cents to $5.43. But Woodside Petroleum gained nine cents to $30.59.
Primary health Care was down 43 cents, or 11.94 per cent, at $3.17 after it said it expected earnings to be five per cent lower than last year.
But Kathmandu, announcing strong same store sales growth, reaffirmed its full year profit guidance. It’s shares were up 15 cents, or 10.2 per cent, at $1.62.
Locally, in economic news on Friday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics releases its National Accounts: State Accounts data, while the Commonwealth Bank business sales indicator for October is also due out.
In equities news, Macquarie Telecom Group, ResMed, AWE, PMP, Slater and Gordon, AV Jennings, Myer, Automotive Holdings, Capilano Honey and Kathmandu have annual general meetings.
NEW YORK – Wall Street has wobbled and ended a three-day rally after UnitedHealth cut its profit forecast, offsetting gains in Intel and other technology stocks.
Data on Thursday appeared to support the Federal Reserve’s view of a strengthening labour market ahead of its December meeting. The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell last week.
Minutes from the Fed’s October meeting, released on Wednesday, hardened expectations of a December interest rate hike and hinted at a cautious approach after that.
Investors are increasingly looking to what the Fed might do in 2016 and many are becoming more cautious, said David Carter, chief investment officer at Lenox Wealth Advisors in New York.
“We would not be surprised if we limp through to mid-December,” Carter said. “It’s less than a month away from the Fed decision and I’m not sure anyone wants to put big trades on before that.”
LONDON – European stock markets have rebounded, hopping onto the coattails of a global rally after the Federal Reserve suggested a likely US interest rate increase in December on growing economic confidence.
Meanwhile, the euro shot up above $US1.07 as the minutes from the latest ECB meeting didn’t indicate any radical increase in stimulus that would weaken the currency.
European “gains petered out throughout the day after caveated European Central Bank minutes showed officials deliberated increasing stimulus in October but decided that low inflation lasting longer does not necessitate cutting rates or expanding the level of quantitative easing,” said markets analyst Jasper Lawler at CMC Markets UK.
“Clearly the removal of the uncertainty around the US rate hike is seen as being far more preferable to investors than keeping them at record lows for a little longer,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda trading group.
HONG KONG – Asian stocks and emerging market currencies have rallied after minutes from the Federal Reserve showed growing confidence in the US economy, ramping up the chances of a December interest rate hike.
“Most participants” at the US central bank’s October policy expected conditions to be right by their next meeting, having broadly dropped their worries about the global economy and recent market turmoil, the minutes said.
US oil prices has dipped to finish near $US40 a barrel as worries about oversupply continue to weigh on the commodity.
Key factors behind the weakness in oil include still-lofty US oil production levels and a robust level of output from Saudi Arabia and other key members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
Analysts dismissed a call Thursday from Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi for producers to work together to “stabilise” the oil market.
“The market isn’t putting much store in the comment by Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi that Saudi Arabia is working with other producers to stabilize oil prices, viewing the comment as more of a longer-term ‘motherhood’ statement than a commitment to immediate action,” said Tim Evans, energy analyst at Citi Futures.
Gold has risen one per cent, rebounding from near six-year lows as indications from the US Federal Reserve that it may move cautiously into the rate hiking cycle weighed on the US dollar and prompted investors to cover short positions.
Fed officials on Wednesday continued to flag December as a likely time for US interest rates to rise after seven years near zero, but the central bank signalled an intention to proceed slowly and steadily after that.
“It was a consolidation (day) and, certainly, with the dollar weakening, that took one of gold’s biggest burdens away,” said Bill O’Neill, co-founder of commodities investment firm Logic Advisors in New Jersey.
“It’s a case of sell the rumour, buy the news today. This certainly shouldn’t be taken as a signal that the market’s bottomed.”
Base metal prices have fallen to multi-year lows amid persistent worries that supply cuts are not enough to balance a global market battling weak demand in top user China.
The worries overshadowed the impact of a weaker US dollar, which fell after the Federal Reserve flagged an interest rate rise in December, but also hinted at a cautious approach after that.
“The dollar on a day-to-day basis drives the price but the bigger picture is not enough production cutbacks and we still see very sluggish physical demand in China and elsewhere, in what should be a pretty robust period,” Societe Generale analyst Robin Bhar said.
BERLIN – The ECB’s governing council is split over whether to cut interest rates again, according to minutes from their last meeting in Malta, with the issue surfacing as a potential tool to boost inflation.
WASHINGTON – Applications for layoff benefits by US workers remained at a low level last week, a sign that the jobs market continues to tighten.
RIO DE JANEIRO – The owner of a mining waste reservoir that burst in Brazil last month in a huge and deadly environmental disaster has been fined an additional $US30 million ($A42.31 million), the company says.
ASX STOCKS TO WATCH
AHG – AUTOMOTIVE HOLDINGS: Automotive Holdings has its annual general meeting
AVJ – AVJENNINGS: AVJENNINGS has its annual general meeting on Friday.
AWE – AWE Ltd: AWE has its annual general meeting on Friday.
CZZ – CAPILANO HONEY: Capilano Honey has its annual general meeting
KMD – KATHMANDU: Kathmandu has its annual general meeting.
MAQ – MACQUARIE TELECOM GROUP: Macquarie Telecom Group has its annual general meeting on Friday.
MYR – MYER: Myer has its AGM on Friday.
PMP – PMP Ltd: PMP has its annual general meeting on Friday.
RMD – RESMED: ResMed has its annual general meeting on Friday.
SGH – SLATER AND GORDON: Slater and Gordon has its annual general meeting on Friday.
AUSTRALIA SHARES AT OPEN – INDEX LAST MOVE
ASX200 5244.2 1.634
All ords 5295 1.75
ASX200SPI 5263 7
Gold US$/o 1081.76 -0.24
AUD/USD 0.7188 -0.0004
Dow Jones 17732.75 -4.41
S&P500 2081.24 -2.34
Nasdaq 5073.64 -1.56
NIKKEI225 19859.81 210.63
NZSE 50 6018.9 23.65
LAST CHANGE % CHANGE
AMP 5.84 N/A 0
ANZ Bank 27.58 0.06 0.22
BHP Billiton 20.37 -0.05 -0.24
C’wealth Bank 79.31 0.17 0.21
News Ltd 19.85 -0.53 -2.6
NAB 29.79 0.07 0.24
Rio Tinto 48.82 0.14 0.29
Telstra 5.43 N/A 0
Westpac Bank 31.76 0.18 0.57
Woodside Petr 30.335 -0.165 -0.54
Woolworths 23.61 -0.04 -0.17
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