Market Watch: Market finishes week on the up

The market finished the week at 6,216.40, up 61.03 points from the previous week’s close of 6,155.37. The All Ordinaries finished up 0.50 points.

On Monday, Westpac (WBC) remained a standout in the financial sector following a stronger than expected half year result.

Its first half cash profit rose by 6 per cent to $4.25bn thanks to strong performances from its Consumer and Business lending operations.

This helped drive revenue, while its Bad and Doubtful debts were ~20 per cent below last year and margins improved slightly. WBC will pay investors a 94c/share dividend. They ended the week on $29.59.

Oil prices had been down as much as 4% on rumours that the US would exit the Iran nuclear deal, but recovered and ended lower by around 2%. 

A stronger greenback has also weighed on commodity prices.

Tuesday night’s Federal Budget included some measures aimed at pleasing voters ahead of next year’s election.

While the document rarely moves the sharemarket substantially, the focus was on tax reform and infrastructure spending.

The $25bn in new infrastructure spending on roads, rail and public transport provided a boost to some construction and building products businesses.

Transurban (TCL), Adelaide Brighton (ABC), Brickworks (BKW) and James Hardie (JHX) rose.

On Thursday, Pendal Group (PDL), formerly BT Investment Management, jumped 7.5% as the global fund manager announced a 30% lift in 1H18 cash net profit after tax (NPAT) to $114.5 million as base management fees lifted 18% to $247.9 million.