Key Data for the Week
Key economic data released this week:
The Australian sharemarket closed 1.04% higher on Friday, with all sectors, except for Utilities, ending the session higher.
Telecommunications and Materials sectors were the standout performers, rising 1.6% and 1.4% respectively, while the Energy, Financials, Health Care & Industrial sectors each finished the day up at least 1.0%.
The big four banks and Macquarie Group all had a strong day, with each closing over 1.1% higher, while across other stocks, Telstra jumped 1.8% and Wesfarmers gained 1.6%.
The Energy sector was buoyed by hopes Saudi Arabia and Russia will agree to extend production cuts through next year, with Woodside Petroleum and Santos Limited climbing 1.6% and 2.3% respectively.
The Australian futures market points to a 0.69% fall today.
European sharemarkets were mixed on Friday. The Spanish IBEX index fell 1.9%, as investors focussed on uncertainty about the political situation in Catalonia, while Italian banks also weighed on markets in Europe, falling around 3%, after the European Central Bank asked lenders to set aside more cash to cover bad loans. The STOXX Europe 600 and German DAX fell 0.4% and 0.1% respectively, while the UK FTSE 100 rose 0.2%.
US sharemarkets ended flat on Friday. Employment fell for the first time in seven years, although hurricane activity affected the result. The Dow Jones and S&P 500 each closed slightly lower, while the NASDAQ rose 0.07%, eking out a record closing high.
Australia may be able to boast 26 years of economic growth without recession, but a close look at the past ten years, reveals we have actually slid backwards when compared with other developed countries.
Economic growth has shrunk and the Australian stock market is smaller now than it was prior to the GFC and now smaller than South Korea and India.
Interestingly, the five biggest companies by market value in 2017 are the same as 10 years ago, whereas in the US, only Microsoft remains in the top 10 from 2007.
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