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US stocks have dropped after earnings disappointed and trade jitters escalated over worries that the European Union could slap retaliatory tariffs on goods imported from the United States.MORE >
Australian shares have ended the week higher thanks to gains in financials and energy stocks, even as Friday's session was buffeted by an earlier slide in the Chinese yuan and concerns over escalating global trade tensions.
Friday,20th July, 2018
The ASX 200 index closed up 23.2 points, or 0.37 percent to 6,285.9 points, while the All Ordinaries index finished the day 22.4 points, or 0.35 percent, higher at 6,377.4 points.
The S&P/ASX200 finished the week 0.3 percent higher and is again nearing a new 10-year closing high, after touching above 6,286 points earlier in the month. A volatile day of trade for the yuan stoked fears that Beijing's currency management could become the next flash point in the trade dispute with the United States. The Chinese currency managed to bounce in afternoon trade on suspected selling of dollars by state-owned banks. Investors are keeping a wary eye on the European Union as it readies a set of retaliatory tariffs on US imports. Officials from the EU Trade Commission are due to arrive in Washington next week for trade talks.
Financials, comprising of the benchmark's top constituents, drove the index higher, with Commonwealth Bank up 0.7 percent at $75.90. The Australian market has been fairly resilient in the face of intensifying global trade tensions, and has risen over the last few months even as many regional markets took a hit.
Commodity prices came under pressure overnight from fund selling amid concerns the trade dispute between the United States and China will spillover into lower demand for metals. Bearing the brunt of the weakness in prices, the mining index slid 1.5 percent, with BHP the biggest drag, falling 2.1 percent to $32.91.
Gold prices slipped for a sixth session and hovered near a one-year low, as a stronger dollar and rising US interest rates pull investors away from the traditional safe-heaven. Saracen Mineral Holdings and Northern Star Resources led the losses on Friday, down 3.9 percent and 1.2 per cent, to $1.99 and $6.86 respectively.
|Equities / Fixed Interest||Close||Change||% Change|
|Currency||Close||Pts Change||% Change|
|$A vs $US||0.7361||-0.0002||-0.03|
|$A vs GBP||0.5661||
|$A vs EUR||0.6322||0.0005||0.08|
|$A vs YEN||82.73||0.01||0.01|
|$A vs $NZ||