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ASX slides lower to cap off shocker week

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Published on: Friday, January 08, 2016

By AAP

A volatile day of trading has capped off a brutal New Year start to the Australian share market where the bourse has recorded six straight days of losses.

The first week of trading in 2016 was the worst trading start to a year since September 2011, said Commsec market analyst Steven Daghlian.

"With six consecutive sessions of losses, it's not been an ideal start to the calendar year, although volume has been relatively light," he said.

He said that worries about China's economy and market actions had driven the recent falls, but unrest in the Middle East and news about North Korea's hydrogen bomb testing had also added to the tensions.

On Friday, stocks were taken on a rollercoaster ride before closing weaker, as nervy investors reacted to the Chinese market's fluctations.

The S&P/200 benchmark ender under the 5,000 mark at 4,990.9 despite spiking into positive territory when Chinese markets came online sharply stronger.

"The creep into positive territory (was) just an amazing turnaround from being down so much," Mr Daghlian said who cited a yuan appreciation, the first in eight days, and the suspension of circuit breakers as reasons for the relief.

However the market failed to hold onto gains, slipping back into the red despite gains made by energy and resource players.

Despite another fall in the oil price, the energy sector was top-performing and managed to pare back some of its recent steep falls.

Woodside Petroleum leapt $1.25 to $28.19, Santos gained $1.30 to $3.38 and Oil Search picked up 22 cents to $6.55.

Gold stocks also continued their strong run with Newcrest Mining up 20 cents to $13.39.

The miners also pared losses, with Rio Tinto rising $1.20 to $41.90, Fortescue Metals up 4.5 cents to $17.25 and BHP Billiton adding two cents to $16.35.

However investors continued to sell off the rest of the market with the financials and consumer stocks taking another battering.

All the big banks took a hit, with Commonwealth Bank down 99 cents at $79.42, National Australia Bank losing 30 cents to $27.72, Westpac dropping 28 cents to $31.00, and ANZ cheaper by 32 cents to $25.54.

Telstra dropped two cents to $7.89, Woolworths was down 17 cents to $22.87 and Wesfarmers sagged 32 cents to $39.65.

Key facts:

On Friday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 19.5 points, or 0.39 per cent, at 4,990.8 points.

The broader All Ordinaries index was down 19.4 points, or 0.38 per cent, at 5,049.9 points.

The March share price index futures contract was down 28 points at 4,930 points, with 50,429 contracts traded.

National turnover was two billion securities traded worth $5.8 billion.


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