NOW WE WAIT FOR THE FED

Australian stocks see-sawed to a weak close.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,071.10 -23.92 -0.47%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,096.20 -20.83 -0.41%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7062 -0.0003 -0.05%

Trading volume was low even for a Friday at $2.596 billion. It’s usually between $4 billion and $4.5 billion.

The big mover will be next week when the Fed is expected to take a pass on raising rates at its September meeting.

The ASX 200 ended the week just 0.6% higher, after big rises on Tuesday and Wednesday were almost wiped out by a 2.42% fall on Thursday.

Overnight on Wall St, the S&P 500 closed just 0.5% higher. On the local market, stocks swung between negative and positive, down 0.8% and then up 0.4%. At the close, nine out of ten sectors were in the red.

Today banks and other financial stocks were down. The NAB, which at one stage was up 1%, closed at $30.19, just 0.03% higher. Westpac was down 0.85% at $30.50.

Most energy stocks lost ground, with Woodside down 2.47% to $28.41 and LNG 3.4% to $2.00. Santos, which was down most of the day, closed at $4.46, up 0.68%.

The top stories for Friday:

1. The Commonwealth Bank has closed the retail round of its $5.1 billion equity raising to meet stricter capital rules. The bank is now in trading halt while it raises another $1.5 billion.

2. The Fed won’t hike next week. Morgan Stanley says the Fed will take a pass on raising rates at the September meeting but will keep hope alive that day is coming soon.

3. Trouble at the ATM on a Friday. Commonwealth Bank customers stranded without cash, online services for a time.

4. Asian markets are snoozing. Stocks are quiet, an understandable result after another hectic week.

5. A repertoire of 20 cocktails. Meet BotBar, Sydney University’s robot cocktail bartender.

6. These are Australia’s top 10 MBAs, according to the students who completed the degree.

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