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ASX gains to close out positive week

The ASX200 gains in the June 21, 2024, trading day. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Christian Gilles
The ASX200 gains in the June 21, 2024, trading day. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Christian Gilles

The Australian share market notched a small gain on Friday to close out a positive week for equities.

The benchmark ASX200 rose 26.6 points, or 0.34 per cent, to close at 7796, while the broader All Ordinaries lifted 28.4 points, or 0.35 per cent, to end at 8040.5.

Tech stocks lifted 0.7 per cent to hit 3092.4.

Eight of 11 industry sectors ended in the green, led by Utilities with a 1.92 per cent advance.

The Aussie dollar gained 0.1 per cent against the Greenback to buy US66.6c at the closing bell.

Across the week, the ASX bucked some hawkish rhetoric from the Reserve Bank of Australia to lift about 0.8 per cent, propelled by positive sessions on Wall St and growing confidence around forthcoming rate cuts.

The Australian sharemarket inched higher on Friday to close out a positive week for equities. Picture: Supplied
The Australian sharemarket inched higher on Friday to close out a positive week for equities. Picture: Supplied

AMP chief economist and head of investment strategy Shane Oliver said Australia’s stalling growth, cooling labour market and lower national wage case decision were all consistent with a downward trend in inflation.

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“We still see a rate cut late this year,” he said on Friday afternoon.

“Our view remains that inflation will resume its downswing, as has occurred in various other countries after pauses including the US and that as a result rates have peaked ahead of a start to rate cuts late this year, or if not then early next year.

“The swing back towards more rate cuts this year in the US and UK are also positive signs for what may happen in Australia.

“However, the risk of another hike in the near term is material and the RBA’s hawkish tone makes the August meeting critical as it will review its forecasts then and will be ‘live’ for another hike if we are wrong and June quarter inflation to be released at the end of July surprises on the upside again.”

Financials pared losses in the morning to scratch out a small 0.17 per cent gain by the closing bell, propelled by Macquarie Group, which climbed 1.29 per cent to $199.03 a share.

The big banks were mixed.

Kathmandu Stock
Clothing retailer Kathmandu fell sharply on Friday on a bleak trading update. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gaye Gerard

Westpac and NAB traded flat to finish at $27.24 and $36.21, respectively, while ANZ fell 0.86 per cent fall to $28.94

Commonwealth Bank also traded flat to finish at $127.68, but the giant’s 2.15 per cent rise across the week has pushed its market capitalisation to $213bn, rivalling mining kingpin BHP as Australia’s largest public company.

The energy sector also gained, lifting 1.12 per cent, as oil prices continue to strengthen.

Woodside Energy rose 1 per cent to $27.52, while Santos climbed 2.14 per cent to $7.62.

The big miners were mixed, with BHP trading flat to close at $42.78 while Rio Tinto rose 0.48 per cent to $120.25.

Fortescue fell 0.87 per cent to $21.71.

In corporate news, clothing retailer KMD, home to the Kathmandu and Rip Curl brands, plunged 7.69 per cent to 36c a share after reporting a slower-than-expected start to its winter sale period, with sales down 11.5 per cent compared to the same period last year.

The company blamed the slump on challenging conditions in New Zealand and global cost-of-living pressures.

Women’s fashion business Mosaic Brands crashed 12 per cent per cent to just under 9c a share after forecasting a loss for FY24.

The company blamed logistics issues for the downgrade.

Burrito giant and new ASX darling Guzman y Gomez shed 3.3 per cent to $29 after Thursday’s blowout listing that saw shares pop to $30.

Real estate company REA Group rose 3.19 per cent to $196.42 after investment bank Citi upgraded its outlook on the stock to “buy”.

The biggest gainer on the benchmark was Helia Group, which soared 5.15 per cent to $4.08c.

The largest laggard was Mineral Resources, which declined 7 per cent to $55.76 a share in a tough week for the miner.

Its shares are down 10 per cent for the week after announcing the closure of its Yilgarn Hub iron ore operations on Wednesday.