Consumer spending lowest in four years

The market finished the week at 5,777.43 up 32.57 points from the previous week's close of 5,744.86. On Friday's trade the All Ordinaries finished up 57.13 points or 0.99 per cent.       

Seven Group Holding (SVW) announced a Share Purchase Plan to investors, raising $375m to increase free float and balance sheet flexibility. Under the Plan, shareholders can apply for up to $15,000 worth of ordinary shares at $11.20 per share. Funds raised from the Plan and Placement will be used to increase the free float and provide capacity to support future portfolio enhancements following completion of the Coates Hire acquisition. SVW fell -2.31pc following the news and then ended the week on $12.09 

Beach Energy Limited (BPT) commenced its FY18 operated gas exploration and appraisal campaign, focused on the Southwest Patchawarra and Permian Edge play fairways. A4 well gas appraisal and development campaign commenced on the Costa/Judga Complex. The Company commenced drilling operations in the Otway Basin with spudding of Haselgrove-3, a conventional gas exploration well. BPT ended the week on $0.85 

In economic news, consumer spending has fallen the most in more than four years, putting forecasts of an improvement in economic growth at risk. The sharp fall in retail spending has cast doubt on the Reserve Bank's economic forecasts, and adds to the expectations for a long run of unchanged interest rates. Consumers have tightened their belts due to higher energy bills, weak wages growth, rising household debt and cooling house prices. In other economic news the RBA has kept the cash rate at 1.5pc citing improving investment from non-mining sectors of the economy, however it is still worried about high house holding debt that is growing faster than wages.

At the close of weekly trading, the gold price finished at $1,278.90 per ounce, the WTI oil price traded at $49.25 a barrel, and the Australian dollar was worth US $0.77. In the US on Friday night, the Dow Jones finished down 1.72 points to end the week at 22,773. The Share Price Index (SPI) finished down 6 points which should lead to a negative start to today’s trade.