DEC 6- Australian shares were on course to finish this week on a positive foot as market investors remained cautious while waiting for fresh progress in trade pact signing between Washington and Beijing.
The S&P/ASX 200 index clocked in 0.2% gains to 6,694.20 by 0015 GMT. However, it was posed to shed 2.5% for this week’s session, recording its biggest drop in two months as the benchmark acquired 1.2% on Thursday.
Markets across the globe experienced high volatility this week due to ambiguous reports on whether China and US would sign the long overdue “phase one” agreement. Such dampened market appetite as US is set to impose another round of tariffs on Chinese imports on Dec. 15.
“There was a lot of confidence last week that a deal would be done. This week, we have seen some reversal of that strong sentiment and some evidence in the activity indicators around the globe that the trade dispute is having an impact on manufacturing activity,” said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets.
Financial sub-indexes acquired minimum gains as the mining sub-index constantly switched between gaining and losing.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the country’s largest lender, acquired 0.3% while National Australia Bank Ltd ended stable.
In line, the second largest bank Westpac Banking Corp and Australia &New Zealand Banking Group Ltd lost momentum, sinking down with 0.1% and 0.2% respective loss.
World’s biggest mining firm BHP Ltd marginally increased while Rio Tinto Ltd lost 0.2%.
Among gaining sectors, healthcare and real state stocks swiped in 0.5% and 0.3% respective gains.
Boral Ltd, Australia’s biggest building materials provider, topped the decliner board with more than 6% loss following disclosure of financial anomalies in its North American windows venture ranging between September 2018 to October 2019.
New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 soared with 0.1% earnings to 11,272.76 points.
Energy retailer Mercury NZ Ltd and dairy provider Fonterra led gains stacking 2% gains each.