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ASX finishes flat but up 2.8pct for week

·4-min read

The local share market has finished a strong week on a quiet note ahead of next week's key inflation readout.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed on Friday basically flat at 6,791.5, down 2.8 points, or 0.04 per cent. The broader All Ordinaries finished down 6.6 points, or 0.09 per cent, at 7,011.8.

But thanks to strong gains on Monday and Wednesday the ASX200 finished the week up 2.8 per cent, its best in 19 weeks.

"We're up almost three per cent this week - the best week since mid-March this year," said CommSec market analyst Steven Daghlian, who added the index is also up 3.0 per cent so far in July.

"Of course a lot more work needs to be done, we fell almost nine per cent last month, but at least it's a bit more encouraging start to this new month."

Tech was the best-performing sector for the week, up 7.1 per cent but the financial sector's 4.4 per cent rise had more of an impact since it's much bigger.

All big four retail banks were up again on Friday, with ANZ climbing 3.0 per cent to $22.59 on the back of apparent enthusiasm about its acquistion of Suncorp's banking arm.

NAB added 0.7 per cent to $29.88, Westpac advanced 1.1 per cent to $21.07 and CBA gained 2.0 per cent to $97.80. Macquarie fell 0.4 per cent to $174.24.

IAG fell 1.4 per cent to $4.21 after the insurance giant said old silicosis exposure claims were impacting its bottom line. There's a "more litigious environment" and more claims involve mental health, IAG said, and natural perils are increasing in frequency and severity.

Travel companies were under pressure after US airlines United, Delta and American recently reported poorer-than-expected earnings.

Qantas fell 2.0 per cent to $4.51, Flight Centre dropped 3.0 per cent to $17.11 and Corporate Travel Limited drooped 4.1 per cent to $18.24.

The energy sector was worst performer for a second day, falling 1.2 per cent as the WTI oil benchmark again dropped under $US100 a barrel.

Woodside was down 0.6 per cent to $30.97, Santos 3.0 per cent to $7.03 and Ampol 1.2 per cent to $32.57.

In the heavyweight mining sector, BHP edged 0.1 per cent lower at $36.75 but Rio Tinto added 0.5 per cent to $96.26.

Ioneer gained 5.1 per cent to 52c after agreeing to supply Ford Motor Co with lithium for electric vehicles from 2025.

In tech, Computershare edged higher 0.1 per cent to $26.10, its highest close ever. The Melbourne-based stock transfer company is up 30 per cent on the year.

Platypus Shoes, Hype DC and The Athlete's Foot owner Accent Group fell 11.6 per cent to $1.34 after reporting sales across May and June continued to be subdued.

The company, which operates 500 stores in Australia and New Zealand, expects full-year earnings of $61 million to $63 million - about half what it made in fiscal 2021.

Meanwhile, the Aussie dollar was buying 69.22 US cents, from 68.96 US cents at Thursday's close.

Looking forward, the Australian Bureau of Statistics will be reporting the consumer price index for the June quarter on Wednesday, with economists expecting an inflation figure that starts with a six-handle.

Then very early on Thursday, Australia time, the US Federal Reserve will announce how high it is hiking interest rates. A 75 basis point hike that'd take rates to 2.5 per cent is widely anticipated.

ON THE ASX:

* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index on Friday closed down 2.8 points, or 0.04 per cent, at 6,791.5.

* The All Ordinaries dropped 6.6 points, or 0.09 per cent, to 7,011.8.

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT:

One Australian dollar buys:

* 69.22 US cents, from 68.96 US cents at Thursday's close

* 95.30 Japanese yen, from 95.38 yen

* 67.81 Euro cents, from 67.53 cents

* 57.78 British pence, from 57.53 pence

* 111.04 NZ cents, from 110.79 cents.

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