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The S&P 500 and the Dow eased on Friday after a steep drop in oil prices pressured energy stocks, but losses were limited by gains in chipmakers and retail stocks.MORE >
The Australian share market has closed flat, with a lack of domestic and international news leaving investors with little to direct their activity.
Friday, 24th May, 2018
The ASX200 was down 0.07 percent, to 6,032.8 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index fell 0.05 percent, to 6,140.9 points. US and European markets fell after President Trump cancelled his planned meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. With the soft overseas leads, the local market was flat too with a lack of market-moving news.
One of the day's biggest stories - Wesfarmers announcing it was ending its UK hardware ambitions by selling the Homebase chain it bought in 2016 - had a minimal impact, with the stock rising 41 cents, or 0.9 percent to $45.52. Energy stocks were among the worst performers after growing concerns the world's major oil-exporting nations could lift output in June drove crude prices down by more than one per cent overnight. Woodside Petroleum dropped 2.2 percent to $32.86, and Oil Search shed 1.3 percent to $8.21.
The mining sector was also weaker despite stronger iron ore prices, partly because the sector is coming off recent strong gains, while the telcos were a standout as they bounce back from a recent sell-off. BHP Billiton declined 2.5 percent to $33.07, while Rio Tinto shed 0.9 percent to $83.17. As for the telcos, Telstra rose 2.9 percent to $2.87, Vocus Group gained 2.5 percent to $2.44 and TPG Telecom advanced 1.8 per cent to $5.53.
Consumer discretionary stocks rose as poker machine maker Aristocrat Leisure enjoyed a second day of strong gains off the back of its first-half profit report released on Thursday. Aristocrat Leisure's shares gained $1.28, or 4.3 per cent higher, to $31.32. In other company news, AMP was hit with a third class action over the scandals revealed at the banking royal commission and the resulting damage to the embattled financial giant's market value. However, shares in AMP were steady at $3.91.
Meanwhile, the Australian dollar is slightly lower and was worth 75.58 US cents, from 75.63 US cents.
|Equities / Fixed Interest||Close||Change||% Change|
|Currency||Close||Pts Change||% Change|
|$A vs $US||0.7559||-0.0013||-0.13|
|$A vs GBP||0.5662||
|$A vs EUR||0.6463||0.0006||0.09|
|$A vs YEN||82.68||-0.07||-0.08|
|$A vs $NZ||