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ASX finishes week up more than 2pct

The Australian share market has gained ground for a fourth day in five sessions, although its early gains ebbed in the afternoon and it couldn’t sustain a move above a key technical level.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed on Friday up 30 points, or 0.45 per cent, to 6,678. The broader All Ordinaries rose 40.1 points, or 0.59 per cent, to 6,877.

“It’s fairly quiet, much of a muchness really. XJO hasn’t really done too much,” said Australian Stock Report senior analyst Tom Armstrong, referring to the ASX200 by its stock code.

“Sort of stabilised after that big sell-off towards the end of June. Threatened to get up above 6,700 today but sold off towards the end of the session.”

Still, for the week the ASX was up 2.1 per cent, its best weekly performance since the week ending March 18. It’s still down 10.3 per cent for the year, however, after an 8.9 per cent sell-off in June.

The energy sector led the market on Friday, climbing 2.1 per cent after oil prices rebounded from a two-day sharp decline.

“Both oils got back above $US100 a barrel, so reasonable lift in the energy space,” Mr Armstrong said.

Woodside Energy gained 1.7 per cent to $30.80, Santos climbed 2.3 per cent to $7.06 and Beach Energy advanced 4.3 per cent to $1.71.

“Some of the other commodity plays softened a touch through the day but seem to be holding up somewhat resiliently,” Mr Armstrong said.

After being up more than 2.0 per cent in the morning, the materials sector closed Friday up 1.2 per cent, with BHP adding 0.7 per cent to $39.22, Rio Tinto up 0.3 per cent to $97.43 and Fortescue Metals up 0.6 per cent to $17.30.

St Barbara gained 9.6 per cent to 91 cents after the goldminer announced it had met its full-year production guidance and increased its cash balance by 24 per cent to $98 million.

Pilbara had added 6.8 per cent and Allkem advanced by 5.2 per cent as the lithium space showed signs of life.

The big banks were down, with CBA falling 0.5 per cent to $92.59, ANZ dropping 0.4 per cent to $27.70, Westpac dipping 0.3 per cent to $19.95 and NAB down 0.1 per cent to $28.11.

Magellan Financial Group dipped 3.0 per cent to $11.90 after the wealth manager reported $5.2 billion in net outflows during the June quarter, leaving it with $61.3 billion in funds under management.

Tech stocks were gained 0.8 per cent, with Xero adding 1.6 per cent to $87.04 and Dicker Data up 1.0 per cent to $11.95.

The Australian dollar was buying 68.20 US cents, from 68.10 US cents at Thursday’s close.

Looking ahead, traders will be watching the release of US non-farm payroll figures on Friday, as well as US consumer price index figures for June next week.

“We’ll see whether the aggressive rate rises by the Fed have had an impact on US inflation. (It) should have a knock-on effect here,” Mr Armstrong said.

That’s because if US inflation hasn’t moderated, that will increase expectations of more aggressive rate hikes, possibly causing the market to soften, “and that’ll probably drag us along with it”, he said.

“So really quite important economic data over the next week or so.”

ON THE ASX:

* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed on Friday 30 points higher, or 0.45 per cent, at 6,678.

* The broader All Ordinaries gained 40.1 points, or 0.59 per cent, to 6,877.

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT:

One Australian dollar buys:

* 68.20 US cents, from 68.10 US cents at Thursday’s close

* 92.66 Japanese yen, from 92.53 yen

* 67.33 Euro cents, from 66.73 cents

* 56.95 British pence, from 56.96 pence

* 110.76 NZ cents, from 110.27 cents

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