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Flat Start For Thanksgiving Week

We can expect a soft start to a week that will be dominated, as usual at this time of year by America’s Thanksgiving holidays which will see one and a half days trading cut from the schedule, as well as the usual Black Friday spending binge followed by the online version a week today.

So trends will be hard to sustain towards the end of the week, especially in the oil market (see separate story) where signs of nerves are appearing.

As a result it will be a guarded start to trading on the ASX later this morning with the market expected to open flat.

That was after the ASX 200 ended the week slightly higher on Friday, but more than 1% lower over the week.

Eurozone shares fell 0.4% on Friday night and in the US the S&P 500 declined 0.3%.

For the week Chinese shares rose 0.2%, US shares fell 0.1%, Eurozone shares slid a large 1.1% and Japanese shares shed 1.3%.

US bond yields fell slightly as inflation news remained weak, but another rate rise is almost a certainty when the Fed meets in a month’s time.

Gold and copper prices rose slightly, iron ore was flat and the oil prices rose on Friday but fell over the week for the first time in six weeks.

And while the US dollar slipped last week, the $A fell to around 75.60 US cents as weaker than expected wages growth further pushed out expectations for any RBA rate hike to 2019 according to many forecasts..

In fact 2019 now looks the market’s best bet, unlike economists at Goldman Sachs who still see two rate rises from mid 2018 onwards and the NAB who still see two increases in a similar timeframe.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 fell 6.79 points, or 0.3% on Friday night to end at 2,578.85 for a weekly fall of 0.1%. The Dow lost 100.12 points, or 0.4%, to 23,358.24, and dropped 0.3% over the five days.

The Nasdaq slid 10.50 points, or 0.2%, to 6,782.79 on Friday, but outperformed the S&P 500 and the Dow over the week, adding half a per cent.

In Australia the ASX 200 index fell back below the 6,000 point level on Tuesday and ended the week down 72 points, or 1.2%, at 5,957.

On Friday it lifted 14 points, or by 0.2% while All Ordinaries index lost 66 points, or 1.1%, over the week to end at 6,038.

Among the big names, BHP lost 3.6%, Rio dropped 3% and South32 1.8%.

There was plenty of action in the oil and gas space, after Shell sold its remaining $3.5 billion stake in Woodside Petroleum, sparking losses across the energy sector on Tuesday as fund managers jostled to make room in their portfolios in order to buy the shares. Woodside fell 5.5% over the week.

Meanwhile, reports that a US-Asian energy investor was sniffing around Santos sent the shares surging 12% by Friday.

View More Articles By Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

At the AFR he was a finance writer, Finance Editor, News Editor and Chief of Staff. At the Nine Network he was supervising producer of Business Sunday for more than 16 years. He has also written for other online and analogue print publications here and overseas.



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