The Australian sharemarket ended the session lower on Friday, led by falls in the Materials and Financials sectors.
Primary Healthcare Ltd (PRY) released its FY17 earnings, reporting a 1.0% increase in revenue to $1.7bn and a 4.9% decline in underlying NPAT to $92.1m, in line with recently lowered guidance. Earnings growth in Imaging and Pathology and a reduction in finance costs offset a decline in earnings in the Bulk Billing Medical Centres. PRY increased $0.10, to close 2.8% higher at $3.63.
Companies reporting this week include BHP, Sydney Airport, Healthscope, Woolworths and Medibank.
The Australian futures market points to a 0.07% fall today, being driven by broadly weaker international markets on Friday.
US sharemarkets fell on Friday. President Trump fired chief strategist Steve Bannon, raising fresh doubts on the ability of the President to carry out his economic agenda. Utilities was the best performing sector, while Telecommunications and Real Estate were the laggards. The Dow Jones lost 0.4%, while the S&P 500 and NASDAQ gave up 0.2% and 0.1% respectively.
European sharemarkets also closed lower on Friday, weighed down by travel and leisure stocks, as investors reacted to the terrorist attack in Barcelona. The Euro STOXX 600 fell 0.7%, while the German DAX and UK FTSE 100 slipped 0.3% and 0.9% respectively.
Economic management of a country that covers such a large geographic area as Australia will often pose challenges, particularly when one specific region experiences a downturn.
The Western Australian economy is presenting those challenges now as it continues to recover from the post-GFC mining boom.
In contrast to the NSW State Government, that is about to embark on an infrastructure spending spree following years of a record housing boom, the WA State Government’s budget has been disrupted by falling house prices, slow population growth and contracting consumer spending.
Export volumes and low interest rates will support the WA economy, but it’s unlikely to re-experience the days when the mining investment boom was in full swing any time soon.
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