Australia markets closed

ASX finishes lower on Friday

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The benchmark S&P/ASX200 (^AXJO) finished the week in the red, down 1.68 per cent at the close on Friday afternoon, at 5,067.50 points.

The broader All Ordinaries index (^AORD) also stumbled. It finished 1.58 per cent down, at 5,106.90 points.

Despite the slip, the index marked its largest weekly increase since 2011, notching an increase of 4.6 per cent over the course of the week.

What happened at midday?

The ASX200 dipped lower at midday, down 0.14 per cent at 12:06pm AEDT.

The All Ordinaries also fell a touch lower, down 0.013 per cent.

The wobbling trade comes amid new figures showing retail trade in Australia was stronger than expected in February. This was mostly led by spending in supermarkets as shoppers begun to panic buy. Retail trade was up 0.5 per cent to $27.8 billion

What happened this morning?

The ASX200 rose higher on Friday at the open, up 1.58 per cent at 10:28am AEDT.

The All Ordinaries also surged higher, up 1.61 per cent. 

Crude oil prices soared 20 per cent after US President Donald Trump made the extraordinary prediction on Twitter that Russia and Saudi Arabia would cut production by between 10 million and 15 million barrels per day. 

What happened overnight?

Wall Street's major indices all closed higher after a coronavirus-driven rise in US unemployment claims was offset by an oil price surge.

European stocks also had a strong session as hopes rose on a truce in the oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia.

US President Donald Trump tweeted he had held a constructive call with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and expected OPEC+ with Russia to agree to cut oil output by as much as 10 million to 15 million barrels.

With AAP. 

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