MARKET WATCH: QBE news pleases investors

The market finished the week at 5,740.57 down 15.27 points from the previous week's close of 5,755.84. On Friday's trade the All Ordinaries finished up 23.87 points or 0.42 per cent.     

Westgold Resources (WGX) provided an update on its guidance for the current year and future year's growth profile on a group aggregated basis. The guidance for 2017/18 FY is given as a range from 310,000 to 340,000 oz. A guidance range for all-in-sustaining costs is $1,220-$1,280 per ounce. WGX’s existing cash flows are adequate for this. WGX declined slightly to $1.96.

QBE Insurance Group Limited (QBE) announced it has mandated HSBC Bank Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank and National Australia Bank in connection with a proposed issue of Senior Notes to be issued by the Company under its US$4000m Medium Term Note Programme. The share price ended the week higher at $10.41.

NBN Co chief executive Bill Morrow was paid $3.6 million for a second straight year in 2016/17, but only a third of it was linked to how successfully the NBN was rolled out. NBN's annual report says senior executives were awarded a short-term incentive pool eight per cent larger than targeted because NBN met four of its five performance targets for the year.

Mining giant Rio Tinto (RIO) will return proceeds from the recent $US2.7 billion sale of its NSW coal operations to shareholders through a share buyback. The company on Friday announced an additional share buyback of $US2.5 billion, comprising of an off-market buyback worth $US560 million for the Australian-listed shares and another $US1.9 billion allocation for London-listed shares. RIO ended the week on $65.97.

At the close of weekly trading, the gold price finished at $1,297.50 per ounce, the WTI oil price traded at $50.66 a barrel, and the Australian dollar was worth US $0.7886. 

In the US on Friday night, the Dow Jones finished down 9.64 points to end the week at 22,349.59. The Share Price Index (SPI) finished up 7.00 points which should lead to a positive start to today’s trade.