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Australian shares end flat before U.S. data, long weekend

Australian shares end flat before U.S. data, long weekend

Investor caution ahead of a long weekend in the United States and the pending release of U.S. jobs data caused the Australian share market to stall Friday after recent strong gains.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 finished marginally higher, gaining 1.4 point to 5,220.7 after hitting a five-month intraday high of 5,229.3. The All Ordinaries gained 3.5 points to 5,178.3 points.
Analysts said the relatively flat finish followed a neutral lead from overseas markets and the lack of any significant economic data out Friday.
"We saw a rally in base metals overnight with copper finishing over 3 percent higher," said CMC Markets senior dealer James Foulsham.
"However our two major miners, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, have remained fairly steady with many traders still cautious after a choppy week in base metal prices."
Telstra rose sharply on slightly better than expected long-term forecasts and reports of "sweeteners" in the prospectus for the government's 51.8 percent, A$8 billion share sale, set for release Monday.
Dealers said the market is poised to rally further next week, provided commodity prices remained supported and U.S. jobs growth is in line with, or slightly weaker, than the expected 125,000.
Telstra rose 2.7 percent to close at A$3.83, making the biggest positive contribution to the value of the index.


Updated : 2021-04-18 02:45 GMT+08:00