Among the 11 sectors tracked by the S&P/ASX 200 Index, five experienced setbacks, with the technology and property sectors leading the losses amid concerns that elevated interest rates could persist for an extended period.
Despite the early challenges, the benchmark gauge managed to gain 3.6 points, closing at 7,068.8. However, it marked a weekly loss of 2.9%, the most significant downturn since August of the previous year.
ASX ends week with mixed performance
The broader All Ordinaries index also saw a modest uptick of 0.1%, closing at 7,270.
Energy stocks began the session with significant declines but managed to recover as oil prices strengthened.
Brent futures saw a 0.6% increase, reaching $93.87 per barrel, while West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose by 0.8% to $90.34. These gains were driven by concerns over Russia’s fuel export ban potentially affecting global supply.
Although oil had been on a three-week winning streak, gaining more than 10% due to concerns about tight global supply amid production cuts, it was on track for a slight weekly drop.
Key energy players recorded positive movements, with Santos rising by 0.7% to $7.64, Woodside Energy adding 0.6% to $36.25, Beach Energy edging up 0.3% to $1.625, and Origin rallying by 1.8% to $8.86.
In labor news, Chevron and labor unions reached an agreement, ending over two weeks of work stoppages that had threatened to disrupt LNG exports from Western Australia.
Mining companies saw mixed results, with Rio Tinto declining by 1.1% to $114.57, while BHP Group posted a 0.5% gain, closing at $44.34, thanks to a nearly 2% bounce in iron ore prices in Singapore. Fortescue surged by 1.5% to $20.81.
Costa Group, a fruit and vegetable processor, was one of the standout performers on the main index, surging by 6.6% to $3.09 after accepting a takeover offer of $3.20 per share in cash from US buyout company Paine Schwartz Partners.
Media giant News Corp also had a strong day, with a 2.2% rally, closing at $32.36, following the announcement that Rupert Murdoch would step down as chairman.
In other corporate developments, Australian Clinical Labs, a pathology group, saw a 0.7% increase to $2.81, despite the competition watchdog requesting more information about its planned merger with Healius.
Healius shares remained largely unchanged at $2.37.
Treasury Wine Estates also experienced gains, rising by 2.6% to $12.05. Corporate advisory firm E&P Capital estimated that a potential resolution to China’s tariffs on Australian wine, as indicated in China’s Global Times, would have a positive impact on the company. E&P Capital set a price target of $12.93.