A sea of red across Australian Equities on Friday
A sea of red was noted on Friday as with the ASX200 closing down -0.55 per cent, dragged by financials falling -0.9 per cent, impacted by the banking sector with Commonwealth Bank down 0.9 per cent, ANZ down 1.3 per cent, Westpac down 1.3 per cent, and NAB down 1.7 per cent. Energy also weighed on markets falling 1.5 per cent on Friday, and 4 per cent for the week, aligning with the drop in oil prices due to signs of oversupply and reduced concerns regarding the Israel-Hamas conflict. Oil is on track for its third consecutive weekly decline due to mounting concerns about demand and the gradual reduction of the war-risk premium. Trading near $76 per barrel on Friday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) has experienced a roughly 6 per cent drop for the week. The decline was exacerbated by Saudi Arabia attributing the fall to speculators, along with pessimistic demand signals from China, the US, and Europe. Additionally, the absence of disruptions in oil flows from the Middle East, given the contained nature of the Israel-Hamas conflict, has contributed to the decline. However, this decline in the energy sector was partially counteracted by significant gains in healthcare stocks. CSL, a heavyweight in the sector, increased by 3.6 per cent over the week as investors turned to the traditionally defensive sector amid declines in bond yields.