The Australian sharemarket has closed flat, as gains in riskier assets on optimism the US and China could reach an interim trade deal was offset by declines in defensive stocks.
The benchmark S&P-ASX 200 index finished Friday down 2.5 points to 6724.1, while the all ordinaries was down 3.7 points to 6833.2.
For the week the ASX gained 55 points, or 0.82 per cent, and traders may have been taking profits after Thursday’s 66-point rally, said Xchainge Global founder Nick Twidale.
“It seems like it’s calmer now, it seems like there’s potential for progress, there’s a bit more optimism creeping into the market at the end of the year,” he said.
Energy producers and tech stocks were the biggest gainers on Friday, with those sectors climbing 1.8 and 2.0 per cent, respectively, while property trusts collectively dipped 1.6 per cent and utilities dropped 1.2 per cent.
Goldminers suffered steep losses as the price of the precious metal dipped to a three-month low of under $US1470 an ounce, with the gold stocks making up five biggest losers among the ASX200.
Saracen Minerals was down 8.3 per cent, Northern Star fell 6.6 per cent, Newcrest dropped 4.6 per cent and Regis Resources dipped 7.0 per cent.
Lithium miners posted gains on continued unrest in major exporter Chile, with Galaxy Resources up 8.4 per cent and Orocobre up 6.1 per cent.
In the property sector, Charter Hall dropped 5.3 per cent and Dexus dipped 2.3 per cent.
Woodside Petroleum led the way in the energy sector, gaining 2.0 per cent to $33.63 after increasing its estimate of the Scarborough gas field off the coast of Western Australia by 52 per cent.
Santos rose 1.5 per cent and Origin Energy gained 2.1 per cent.
In the volatile tech sector, Xero rose 2.4 per cent to $75.71, Afterpay was up 2.8 per cent to $26.97 and WiseTech Global gained 2.0 per cent to $27.50.
The diversified miners were subdued, with BHP down 0.1 per cent to $37.30 and Rio Tinto up 0.1 per cent to $95.23, although iron ore giant Fortescue Metals rose 0.7 per cent to $9.58, its highest close in more than 11 years.
The big four banks were mostly up, with Commonwealth up 0.2 per cent to $79.17, ANZ up 0.5 per cent to $26.25 and NAB up 0.2 per cent to $28.47, but Westpac dipped 0.1 per cent to $27.42.
Australian bonds were hammered, with 10-year yields rising 6.6 per cent, while bond proxy stocks Transurban dipped 1.2 per cent and Sydney Airport fell 0.9 per cent.
News Corp was down 5.0 per cent after the media giant said first-quarter revenue dropped 7.3 per cent.
REA Group was down 3.6 per cent as the property listing group said revenue had fallen 9.0 per cent in the first quarter.
Avita Medical jumped 5.3 per cent after S&P Dow Jows Indices said the regenerative medicine company would join the ASX200, just two months after it joined the ASX300.
Avita is replacing retirement home operator Aveo Group, which is being acquired by Brookfield Asset Management.
The Aussie dollar is buying US68.82¢, from US68.71¢ on Thursday.
ON THE ASX:
* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed down 2.5 points, or 0.04 per cent, to 6,724.1 points
* The All Ordinaries closed down 3.7 points, or 0.05 per cent, to 6,833.2 points.
*The SPI200 futures index closed down four points, or 0.06 per cent, to 6,699
CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEDT
One Australian dollar buys:
* 68.82 US cents, from 68.71 US cents on Thursday
* 75.20 Japanese yen, from 74.72 yen
* 62.28 euro cents, from 62.11 cents
* 53.72 British pence, from 53.49 pence
* 108.13 NZ cents, from 108.17 cents.