(Updates to close)
Jan 13 Australian shares ended lower on Friday
tracking Wall Street, pulled down by financial and basic
material stocks, and recorded their first weekly fall in four.
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 0.8 percent lower, or
45.754 points, at 5,721.1, having lost 0.6 percent over the
Wall Street clsoed lower on Thursday ahead of fourth-quarter
results and in anticipation of President-elect Donald Trump's
economic policies as his press conference earlier this week
failed to provide any clarity on the matter.
The Australian financial index was 1.4 percent
lower, adding to the 1.3 percent weekly loss, with the 'Big
Four' banks losing over 1 percent each. Westpac Banking
hit its lowest in 2 weeks, shedding 1.6 percent.
Basic material stocks were also lower with rising iron ore
and base metal prices failing to inspire.
Mining giants Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals
fell 1.2 and 2.2 percent respectively while BHP Billiton
lost 0.1 percent.
Origin Energy and AGL Energy gained 3.2
percent and 0.2 percent respectively on the back of rising oil
Other energy stocks did not get a boost from higher oil
prices with Woodside Petroleum and Oil Search
falling 0.3 percent and 0.5 percent respectively. The energy
index ended the session up 0.4 percent, logging a weekly gain of
1.8 percent, its best week since late November.
Gold stocks followed the weakness in the metal prices
with Evolution Mining losing 3.2 percent and Resolute
Mining falling 4.4 percent. Newcrest Mining,
though, gained 0.5 percent. The gold index was down 1.1
percent having gained 0.1 percent over the week.
New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index ended down
0.24 percent, or 16.62 points, at 7,046.97 in its second
straight session of losses. On the week, the index gained 1.1
The index was dragged down by banks, with ANZ and
Westpac shedding more than 2 percent each. A2 Milk
company lost 1.8 percent.
(Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Gopakumar