The ASX 200 dropped 48 points (-1%) for the week, settling at 4684.
Headlining the losses among the big four was National Australia Bank (ASX:NAB), which slumped 3.8%. Westpac (WBC) was another poor performer, down 3.5%.
Rural services provider, Elders (ELD) tumbled over 7% after downgrading its full year profit forecast.
This was in contrast to Graincorp (GNC), which rose 2.5% following a surge in its full year earnings.
The Reject Shop (TRS) was a star performer in the retail space, flying more than 14% after its FY11 profit downgrade wasn’t as bad as originally feared.
In M&A news, Austar United (AUN) received a formal takeover offer from Foxtel. The regional pay-TV provider climbed 5% following the $1.92 billion offer.
The only economic news of note last week was Private Capital Expenditure data, which increased 3.4% last quarter.
This week’s big economic news is the release of March quarter GDP on Wednesday. Building Approvals (scheduled for release tomorrow), Retail Sales and Trade Balance data (both Thursday) are also on the horizon this week.
Global equity markets mostly closed lower last week, as eurozone debt fears re-emerged.
US markets finished slightly in negative territory, with defensive stocks surprisingly the biggest losers.
Materials and energy stocks were the best performers, as commodity prices rebounded.
The Dow Jones fell 0.6% last, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq each giving up just 0.2%.
In the UK, the FTSE 100 also shed just 0.2%, with gains on Friday night wiping out most of the losses posted earlier in the week. Data showed some improvement in consumer confidence, boosting stocks.
Losses were heavier in Asia. The Hang Seng dropped 0.3% for the week, while the Nikkei shed 0.9%. Mainland China was one of the worst equity markets last week, with the Shanghai Composite down 5.2% as inflation concerns mount.
Commodity markets mostly fared betty than equities last week, with most prices rising.
Precious metals were particularly strong, as gold added 1.9% and moved close to its recent all-time highs. Silver added an astonishing 8.6% as it rebounded from its heavy losses in recent weeks. Palladium (+3.5%) and platinum (+1.7%) also gained.
Oil prices rose 1.1% for the week, supported by US dollar weakness.
Most base metals closed stronger last week.
Aluminium and zinc lead the way, each up more than 5%. Copper prices (+1.5%) were also strong, although nickel lost almost 2%.