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Aust stocks finish week with gains

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Australian shares have ended Friday and the week ahead, as solid performances across the banking and industrial sectors softened late in the day but lifted the market beyond a weak overnight lead on Wall Street

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 closed up 10.8 points, or 0.19 per cent, at 5774.0 points.

CMC market analyst Michael McCarthy said the gains had ended a choppy few days of trading.

"A welcome calm has settled on the market following a volatile week, featuring two important about-faces in market sentiment," Mr McCarthy said.

"The market is up, net one per cent, but its been a fairly hairy path to those eventual gains."

Mr McCarthy said Friday trade had fallen back significantly from Thursday.

"Volumes have subsided today after yesterday's almost doubling, following the expiry of futures contracts and some expiry related losses have come back," he said.

Mr McCarthy said Friday's buying was largely defensive, with some pressure falling on industrials and commodities.

Bluescope Steel was down 1.4 per cent at the close to $12.10, while BHP Billiton, following the appointment of Ken MacKenzie as chairman, effective from September, remained largely steady, down just two cents to $22.99.

Mr Mc Carthy said it has been a week of differing themes on the local market ,

"A strong rebound across financials seems to indicate there's been a bit of a bank squeeze but all in all a bit of rebalancing and a return to normal following a notably weak fortnight," he said.

It was a notably strong day for Australian retailer Adairs, which told the ASX it had no explanation for a stunning 47.4 per cent spurt that saw the stock jump from 57 cents to 84 cents on heavy volume of more than 10 million shares traded.

All four major Aussie lenders finished slightly ahead, ending the week softer after a strong run, with Mr McCarthy suggesting the banks have found "solid footing" at lower prices.

The Aussie dollar was lower at 75.76 US cents, down from 76.08 US cents on Thursday as the greenback forged ahead on the expectation of further interest rate hikes in the United States.

ON THE ASX:

*The benchmark S&P/ASX200 was up 10.8 points, or 0.19 per cent, at 5774.0 points, at 1630 AEST,

* The broader All Ordinaries index was up 11.5 points, or 0.2 per cent, at 5808.2 points.

*The September SPI200 futures contract was up 16 points, or 0.28 per cent, at 5720 points.

*National turnover was 2.8 billion shares worth $8 billion

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1700 AEST:

CURRENCY ASK BID PREVIOUS

AUD/USD 0.7586 0.7585 0.7576

AUD/JPY 84.39 84.35 84.02

AUD/EUR 0.6802 0.68 0.6796

AUD/NZD 1.052 1.0516 1.0505

AUD/GBP 0.5942 0.5939 0.5939

GOLD:

The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1700 AEST was $US per fine ounce, down $US7.30 from $US1,261.01 per fine ounce on Thursday

BOND SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEST:

* CGS 4.50 per cent April 2020, pct, from 1.7226pct on Thursday

* CGS 4.75pct April 2027, pct, from 2.3576pct

Sydney Futures Exchange prices:

* September 2017 10-year bond futures contract at 97.6375 (implying a yield of 2.3625pct), from 97.5975 (2.4025pct) on Wednesday

* September 2017 3-year bond futures contract at 98.28 (1.72pct) from 98.23 (1.77pct)

Published on: Friday, June 16, 2017

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