Energy, mining sectors boost Australian shares up; NZ plunges


Nov. 22 Australian shares recorded a well-ended session on Friday enforced by gains in energy and mining stocks. However, worries dragged financial sector down following Goldman Sachs’ decision of cutting its target price on Westpac. Such met a lawsuit over financial violation.

The S&P/ASX 200 index inched higher with 0.6% at 6,709.80 while recording its largest weekly decline in almost two months. The benchmark sunk 0.7% on Thursday.

Today’s bounce back looks like a recapturing of ground,” said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets, following two consecutive negatively-ended sessions.

Mining stocks edged up with 1% as prices of iron ore soared from steel demand.

The said gains boosted major players Fortescue Metal Group and BHP Group up to 3.9% and 1.3% respectively with minor index hitting its second week of decline.

Energy stocks firmed with 1.3% as it released its biggest weekly loss in two months.

Index-dependent Santos ended with 1.3%, tallying its best session in two weeks while Woodside Petroleum continued its momentum with 1.2% increase since Nov. 11.

Software firm Wisetech Global jumped with 3% as Altium Ltd acquired 2.4% completely boosting tech index to 1.5%.

Moreover, financial sector suffered setback due to Westpac Banking Corp’s 1.6% loss. Such followed after Goldman Sachs cut its target price on the bank.

Regulators alleged Westpac of 23 million worth of anti-money laundering violations. Westpac conducted an emergency meeting on Friday to settle the accusations and to release an apology for infringement. In line, the bank did not disclose changes in management. However, Prime Minister Scott Morrison gathered concerned parties to put Chief Executive Brian Hartzer’s position in assessment.

Gold stocks inched 1% lower due to OceanaGold Corp’s losses resulting t0 8% decline; their lowest point in four years.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX plummeted with 0.1% to 10,946.30. Despite its underperformance, the benchmark reached its third consecutive week of earnings.

Two top decliners were software developer Gentrack Group which ended its session with 12.6% loss and dairy company Synlait Milk which shed 3.8%.


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