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ASX on winning streak as records loom

·4-min read

Australia's share market is poised to rise to record heights next week after one such achievement went largely unnoticed.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed higher by 4.9 points, or 0.07 per cent, to 7063.5, and is within 100 points of its record close.

The record close was in February last year, days before investors sold stocks due to fear of the coronavirus.

This week, the market rose about one per cent for its fourth consecutive week of gains.

The All Ordinaries on Friday closed up 8.3 points, or 0.11 per cent, to 7325.8 points and within six points of its record high.

The All Ordinaries notched a record close, having earlier done so on Wednesday and Thursday.

Investsmart chief market strategist Evan Lucas was keenly aware of the All Ordinaries performance.

"What's been interesting about the economic recovery has been the performance of mid-cap stocks over their bigger peers," Mr Lucas said.

"Mid-cap stocks have done incredibly well."

Mr Lucas said banks had been limited by allowing mortgage deferrals during the coronavirus pandemic, while supermarkets no longer enjoyed widespread panic buying.

Yet Mr Lucas tipped the ASX200 to pass its record high (7197.2) next week.

There were records on Wall Street. The Dow Jones closed above 34,000 for the first time, and the S&P 500 also posted a record high.

Bond yields, after spiking at the end of March, have fallen as investors accept the US Federal Reserve's assurances that interest rates will not rise this year.

On the ASX, the biggest gain was in property, 1.52 per cent.

Energy stocks lost 1.48 per cent.

Energy provider Origin lowered earnings guidance after an arbitrator's decision that will increase the cost of a gas supply deal.

Origin forecast earnings for energy markets to be between $940 million and $1.02 billion this financial year. The previous range was $1 billion to $1.14 billion.

The arbitrator decision means the cost of gas supplied from Beach will rise by $30 million to $40 million this financial year, and $60 million to $80 million the following financial year.

Origin shares plunged 8.94 per cent to $4.28, while Beach shares rose 4.64 per cent to $1.80.

James Packer's influence at Crown Resorts will be reduced under a deal struck to win a casino licence.

Mr Packer's Consolidated Press Holdings agreed to give up board seats at Crown until 2024, under a deal with a NSW regulator.

Crown is trying to win the licence for the second Sydney casino after a damning report into its operations.

Shares were up 0.17 per cent to $11.92.

Coca-Cola Amatil said independent shareholders voted for Coca-Cola Europe's takeover offer.

The European company is offering $13.50 per share in the proposal, which requires court and other approvals.

Shares dropped 1.04 per cent to $13.32.

Mayne Pharma rose 10.87 per cent to 51 cents after US health authorities approved a contraceptive pill.

Mayne Pharma has a 20-year licence to supply the pill, called Nextstellis, in the US and Australia. The product could be available in the US by June. Australian authorities are still reviewing it.

Next week major players on the share market give updates.

On Tuesday, Rio Tinto is due to provide details of its first quarter trade.

The Reserve Bank will publish the minutes of its April monetary policy meeting. The bank kept the cash rate at the record low 0.1 per cent.

On Wednesday, BHP will give its third quarter update.

Thursday will include AMP and Woodside detailing first quarter progress.

The Australian dollar was buying 77.39 US cents at 1721 AEST, higher from 77.21 US cents at Thursday's close.

ON THE ASX

* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed higher by 4.9 points, or 0.07 per cent, to 7063.5 on Friday.

* The All Ordinaries on Friday closed up 8.3 points, or 0.11 per cent, to 7325.8 points.

* At 1721 AEST, the SPI200 futures index was up by seven points, or 0.1 per cent, to 7041.

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT

One Australian dollar buys:

* 77.39 US cents, from 77.21 cents on Thursday

* 84.26 Japanese yen, from 84.26 yen

* 64.66 Euro cents, from 64.58 cents

* 56.33 British pence, from 56.12 pence

* 108.12 NZ cents, from 107.99 cents.