Aussie shares had a volatile week, with the debt focus moving from Greece to Italy causing havoc on our market.
Despite the uncertainty, the ASX 200 gained 15 Points (+0.4%) for the week to finish at 4297.
The week’s major economic event was the fall in Australia’s unemployment rate from an upwardly revised 5.3% in September, to 5.2% in October.
In the energy sector Woodside lost 1.1%, while Santos (ASX:STO) had a good week, rising by a solid 3.4%.
The retailers had a good week with Woolworths up 2.2% and JB Hi-Fi climbing 7.1%. Myer jumped 4.5% for the week after it confirmed guidance for the remainder of the financial year.
The week’s main economic focus was the domestic employment picture.
On Monday, the ANZ Job ads survey showed the number of advertisements falling 0.7% in October.
The result was an improvement on September’s 2.2% decline, signalling that employers are becoming less pessimistic about the domestic economy.
The official jobs result, which was released Thursday, appeared to validate this assessment.
The economy added 10,100 jobs in October, which comprised of a 20,000 gain in full-time jobs and decline in part-time jobs of 9,900.
The unemployment rate fell from 5.3% in September to 5.2% in October, which was better than economist estimates.
The growth in jobs was an encouraging sign in the face of global market instability, and highlighted the underlying strength of the Australian economy.
In other economic news, Australia’s trade surplus narrowed to $2.56 billion in September, from a revised $2.95 billion surplus in August.
The result was well below economist expectations of a $3 billion result, and reflected a 3% drop in exports.
Most of the major indices ended higher last week despite the ongoing debt saga in Europe.
Italy was the focus of everyone’s attention, with the nation triggering a huge sell-off mid-week amid concerns over its spiralling borrowing costs.
The political turmoil ended up with PM Silvio Berlusconi resigning and the Italian senate voting to approve a set of austerity measures.
Those latest developments had a calming effect on the markets, and helped the Dow (+1.4%) and S&P500 (+0.9%) end the week in positive territory.
European indices also closed in the positive, with the FTSE adding 0.3%, the DAX putting on 1.5% and the CAC rising 0.8%.
Asian markets weren’t so fortunate, however, with the Hang Seng and Shanghai Composite down more than 3% each on concerns over a slowing Chinese economy.
It was a mixed bag among the commodities. Nickel (-4.4%) and copper (-2.9%) struggled, whilst oil surged 5% amid hopes an improving US economy will spur energy demand.
Written by: marketpulse Other posts from: marketpulse
Posted in Weekly Market Wrap
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