Aust share market closes lower

The Australian share market has closed lower as investors remain cautious ahead of Donald Trump's swearing-in as US president.

The big banks, and mining and energy stocks led the market downwards.

OptionsXpress market analyst Ben Le Brun said investors were feeling some trepidation before Mr Trump's inauguration, which is set to happen tonight.

Investors don't yet have any details on Mr Trump's future policies so are unsure of what impact his administration will have on markets.

"In terms of a catalyst or driver, the markets appear to favouring the watch, wait and see game at this stage," Mr Le Brun said.

"I'd suggest we'll have a little more direction come Monday, and obviously we'll be teeing off what the market does in the US tonight, but their futures are looking relatively optimistic."

Mr Le Brun said broker downgrades on ANZ and Westpac had weighed upon the banking sector.

Among the major banks, Commonwealth Bank was down $1.09 at $81.58, Westpac fell 48 cents to $31.85, National Australia Bank slumped 26 cents to $30.16, and ANZ reversed 49 cents to $29.40.

Mr Le Brun said the highlight of trading was blood products and vaccines maker CSL, which continued to make gains after a lift of more than 12 per cent on Thursday following an upgrade to its annual profit forecast. CSL rose $3.10, or 2.78 per cent, to $114.60.

In the resources sector, global miner BHP Billiton dropped 34 cents to $26.35, Rio Tinto retreated $1.20 to $62.33, and Fortescue Metals eased 10 cents to $6.15 as iron ore prices eased.

In the energy sector, Santos was down five cents at $4.06 despite topping full-year production and sales guidance for 2016.

Among other stocks, Oroton plummeted 29 cents, or 13.74 per cent, to $1.82 after the handbags and accessories retailer issued an earnings warning due to a big sales drop.

Mr Le Brun said Chinese economic data released on Friday had little impact on the market.

Official figures showed that China's economy grew by 6.7 per cent in 2016, meeting the country's target for the year,

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar was stronger against the greenback in the wake of the data on Chinese economic growth.

ON THE ASX:

* On Friday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 was down 37.4 points, or 0.66 per cent, at 5,654.8 points.

* The broader All Ordinaries index was down 35.7 points, or 0.62 per cent, at 5,709.7 points.

* The March SPI200 futures contract was down 36 points, or 0.64 per cent, at 5,601 points.

* National turnover was 2.8 billion securities traded worth $5.15 billion.

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1700 AEDT:

One Australian dollar buys:

* 75.62 US cents, from 75.23 US cents on Thursday

* 86.828 Japanese yen, from 86.19

* 70.86 euro cents, from 70.71 cents

* 61.24 British pence, from 61.28 pence

* 105.05 New Zealand cents, from 105.30 NZ cents

GOLD:

The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1700 AEDT was $US1,206.60 per fine ounce, up $US4.10 from $US1,202.50 on Thursday.

BOND SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEDT:

* CGS 5.25 per cent March 2019, 1.8966pct, up from 1.881pct from Thursday

* CGS 4.25pct April 2026, 2.7276pct, up from 2.702pct

Sydney Futures Exchange prices:

* March 2017 10-year bond futures contract at 97.18 (implying a yield of 2.82pct), down from 97.21 (2.79pct) on Thursday

* March 2017 3-year bond futures contract at 97.93 (2.07pct), down from 97.95 (2.05pct) on Thursday

(*Currency closes taken at 1700 AEDT previous local session, bond market closes taken at 1630 AEDT previous local session)

Market Data

  • Currencies
    Currencies
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.7685+0.0012+0.16%
    AUDUSD=X
    0.6144-0.0005-0.08%
    AUDGBP=X
    0.7284+0.0002+0.03%
    AUDEUR=X