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Aust: Shares eke out gains after exhausting week

Shares eke out gains after exhausting week

By Michael McCarthy (Chief Market Strategist, CMC Markets)

After Monday’s bang, Australian shares have closed the week with a whimper, edging higher to post a modest gain for the week. Investors appear to have forgotten the biggest one day fall since January that started the week, and added to holdings in banks, telcos and property trusts.

Telstra is a star performer, continuing to rise following CEO David Thodey’s announcement on Tuesday to utilise the existing retail internet user network to create two million Wi-Fi hotspots across Australia. Analysts see this as both an answer to questions of growth and a clever utilisation of existing infrastructure. The shares touched $5.40 today, the highest level in more than nine years.

Alumina ltd also enjoyed a slow burning rise, today’s 4% lift meaning it’s up 10% for the week. Investors apparently found the company’s presentation to the World Aluminium Conference in Hong Kong compelling, outlining a sharp tightening in bauxite markets as Indonesia continues to restrict unprocessed exports. Although flat today, Ansell is another stock that saw a turnaround in fortunes this week.

The AUD did not participate in the turnaround in sentiment, continuing to trade near lows around 0.9215. The anticipated tightening in fiscal conditions via budget measures has currencies traders speculating that the RBA will defer interest rate rises.

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