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Australian stocks end year on record high

Australian stocks end year on record high

Australian stocks hit a record high on the last trading day of the year Friday as brokers squared positions with some month-end buying in blue chip stocks that underperformed the broader market during the year.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index rose 9.4 points, or 0.2 percent, to close at 5,669.9 points after hitting an intraday record high of 5,684.4, amid strong gains in financials and property trusts. The index was up just over 19 percent on year.
Some dealers said it could rise another 10 percent next year.
"We've got moderately slowing domestic and international economic growth so things are looking fairly controlled," said Macquarie Equities client adviser Lucinda Chan.
"Our guys still say overweight is the way to go," she said, tipping another year of double-digit earnings by Australian corporates and a 10 percent rise by the S&P/ASX 200.
Westfield Group, the world's largest operator of shopping malls which gets about half its sales from the United States, made the biggest contribution to the overall market, rising 1.1 percent.
The world's largest miner, BHP Billiton and rival Rio Tinto barely changed. BHP rose 0.1 percent and Rio Tinto fell 0.1 percent.
Uranium companies mostly rallied after Prime Minister John Howard called on Australian states to end their bans on uranium mining.
Rio Tinto's uranium miner Energy Resources of Australia rose 3.1 percent.


Updated : 2021-08-02 22:57 GMT+08:00