Australian retailers thrive despite Amazon

The market finished the week at 6,176.84, up 89.76 points from the previous week's close of 6,087.08.

On Friday's trade, the All Ordinaries finished up 0.64 points or 0.01 per cent.

On Monday, Billabong (BBG) recommended shareholders accept a formal $1 a share buyout proposal by Boardriders - the owner of Quiksilver, Roxy and DC Shoes. Billabong says it has entered into a scheme of arrangement under which Boardriders will acquire all its ASX-listed shares, other than the 19pc stake owned by Oaktree Capital Management, which already controls Boardriders. BBG shares closed up 2.6pc to 98.5 cents on Monday and then ended the week on $0.98.

Spending was solid over Christmas despite the Amazon debut, a strong lift in consumer confidence and broker upgrades sent retail stocks higher. JB Hi-Fi (JBH), Harvey Norman (HVN) and Specialty Fashion (SFH) all improved.

Women’s clothing retailer Noni B (NBL) surged by 4.5pc and was one of the best in the consumer discretionary sector after announcing a 50pc lift in half year profit to $22m. Like-for like sales (not including sales from newly opened stores) rose by 3pc across its more than 600 stores. NBL finished the week on $2.07.

On Wednesday, all sectors closed in the red with the main weights on the market coming from the materials and energy sectors which reversed its fortunes after being the biggest improvers on Tuesday. Energy stocks fell despite a lift in crude oil prices following a fall in US oil inventories for eight straight weeks. Origin Energy (ORG) slipped 2.3pc while Oil Search (OSH) fell 1.1pc. Beach Energy (BPT) bucked the trend rising 4.2pc on its December drilling report.

At the close of weekly trading, the gold price finished at $1,339.20 per ounce, the WTI oil price traded at $64.40 a barrel, and the Australian dollar was worth US $0.79. In the US on Friday night, the Dow Jones finished up 205.6 points to end the week $25,574.73. The Share Price Index (SPI) finished up 31 points at 6,049 which should lead to a positive start to today’s trade.