The week came to a happy bullish end as the Australian share market regrouped after yesterday’s uncertainty on the coronavirus count jumping.
The ASX 200 ended the fourth consecutive session to substantial gains and closed out the week on a bullish tone, despite ongoing concerns over the coronavirus outbreak.
The local sharemarket ended Friday’s session up +27 points or +0.4%, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 rising to 7,130 and just shy of yesterdays’ record high of 7,145.79.
It was a stellar performance from financials offsetting losses for energy, mining and the tech sectors.
Financials were boosted by big moves for the “Fab Four” (banks).
While all the “Fab Four” all rose, the National Bank (NAB) was the best today with a gain of +3.25%.
Australia’s third-largest bank beat expectations yesterday with a quarterly update and has received several broker upgrades in response. Commonwealth Bank (CBA) was the next best advancing +2.5%. CBA beat expectations when it released first-half profit numbers on Wednesday.
For the week, NAB rose +5.5%, and CBA jumped +7.3%.
Utilities also polished up this week on the index after surging +2.3% from AGL Energy.
The electricity and gas provider released an upbeat first-half profit result yesterday and has also since received several broker upgrades, leading the stock to rise +6% in the last two sessions.
The energy sector ended being a weight on the ASX despite a lift in global oil prices on Thursday.
Woodside tumbled -2.7% after yesterday announcing a fall in full-year net profit after tax (NPAT) to US$343 million from over US$1.36 billion in 2018.
Materials also felt the pinch and slipped alongside gold miners which tumbled lower by a -3.6%.
The technology sector has been particularly volatile in the year of global uncertainty. Xero slipped -0.47%, while Afterpay gained +0.13%, with Computershare and Wisetech both declining -0.63% and -0.07%, respectively.
Elsewhere, Southern Cross Media, sank -5.6% to an 11-year low of $0.765. The company is set to deliver its half-year result next Friday.
Pro Medicus tumbled -5.3%, and Breville Group softened by -4.4% following a +28% surge on Thursday.
Company earnings were a little quieter today with Baby Bunting (BBN) one of the more notable releases. The baby goods retailer plummeted -5.3%, although, was down nearly -10% at its worst levels of the day. The result, which saw net profit edge slightly higher and its interim dividend increased, seemed to miss market expectations.
Almond producer, Select Harvests (SHV) released an update on the impact of coronavirus, confirming that “there has been no material short-term impact on its financial performance” but could still expect a near term softening in almond prices. SHV shares climbed +0.33%