Market watch: Woodside petrol slump hurts sector

THE market finished the week at 6105.20 , up 100.42 points from the previous week's close of 6004.78.

On Friday's trade the All Ordinaries finished down 47.51 points or 0.78 per cent.    

On Monday, the energy sector was the only sector in the red as it was dragged lower by a 6.85 per cent slump in Woodside Petroleum (WPL). The oil and gas producer announced earlier this month it was looking to raise $2.5 billion for an acquisition. A 7.1 per cent gain in Beach Energy (BPT) shares wasn’t enough to offset the losses from WPL. BPT ended the week on $28.58.

On Tuesday, Australia’s fourth-largest telco, Vocus (VOC) slumped 10.5 per cent after reducing its guidance for the year. Although net profit fell by 21 per cent for the half to $37.3 million, the result was ahead of consensus, while revenue and underlying earnings were in line with forecasts. VOC finished the week on $2.37.

On Wednesday, A2 Milk (A2M) was a standout, lifting by 29 per cent after profits more than doubled to NZ$98.5 million for the 1H18 thanks to strong demand for its infant formula products in Australia, New Zealand and China. While A2M makes around 16 per cent of its revenue from fresh milk, it earns more than three quarters from infant formula.

It announced a key strategic partnership with Fonterra to ready itself for further expansion. A2M finished the week on $11.77.

On Thursday, Woolworths (WOW) announced it lifted first half net profit from continuing operations by 15 per cent to $902 million. Big W however, continues to weigh on the group with a loss for the half, while WOW continues to look at options to sell its fuel business after the ACCC opposed its sale to BP. WOW ended the week on $26.92.

At the close of weekly trading, the gold price finished at $1330.80 an ounce, the WTI oil price traded at $63.56 a barrel, and the Australian dollar was worth US $0.7843.  

In the US on Friday night, the Dow Jones finished up 347.51 points to end the week at 25,309.99. The Share Price Index (SPI) finished up 31 points at 6004, which should lead to a positive start to Monday’s trade.    

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