Softer Asian markets take the shine off local bourse

The All Ordinaries finished slightly in the black this week, while the ASX200 finished slightly in the red, after negative sentiment across Asia on Friday saw a sell-off in local resource stocks, which helped to erase most of the week's gains.

The All Ordinaries finished slightly in the black this week, while the ASX200 finished slightly in the red, after negative sentiment across Asia on Friday saw a sell-off in local resource stocks, which helped to erase most of the week's gains.

For the week, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 slipped 1.8 points, at 4972.1 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index rose 1.9 points at 4959.4 points.

On Friday morning, market watchers said global sentiment had been broadly positive after Thursday night's rally on US markets.

The S&P 500 had reached a record high and European equities also rallied. The optimism even spread to the Portuguese bond market as political negotiations continued there.

"US data printed on the strong side, the European Central Bank relaxed some collateral rules, and the second leg of US Federal Reserve chairman [Ben] Bernanke's testimony to Congress did not upset the mood," Westpac strategist Sean Callow wrote, referring to the mood on Friday morning.

The local market rose above 5000 points in early trade on Friday, boosted by the gains on Wall Street that took US stocks to record highs.

But selling took hold from late morning as other markets in the region lost ground.

Japan's market posted the largest falls amid talk of a rise in sales tax and an upper house election to be held on the weekend.

Market watchers will be keeping an eye on the G20 meeting this weekend. Global finance ministers and central bank governors will meet in Moscow. A joint communique is due on Saturday.

"One of the topics under discussion will be the spillover impact of a potential US Federal Reserve reduction in stimulus," Mr Callow said.

"South Korea has been among those worried about spillover increases in its yields as a result of a rise in US Treasury yields, while the European Central Bank and Bank of England have also declared the impact unwelcome, without admitting it was driven by US Fed expectations."

For the week, Billabong International rose 17¢, or 74 per cent, to 40¢, as investors cheered a refinancing deal that will keep the troubled retailer solvent.

BHP Billiton rose 55¢, or 1.7 per cent, to $33.86. Its shareholders could be in for a cash bonanza after the heavyweight miner posted record production numbers in a year in which it also slashed billions of dollars in spending.

Insurance Australia Group slipped 7¢, or 1.2 per cent, to $5.85, despite saying that fewer than expected insurance claims in the 2012-13 financial year would improve its financial performance.

Orica fell $3.29, or 15.3 per cent, to $18.19. The explosives and chemical supplier Orica reduced its full-year profit guidance by 10 per cent, blaming global economic conditions and higher than expected costs for its tunnelling business.

Rio Tinto rose $1.49, or 2.7 per cent, to $56.23. The miner boosted iron ore production by 6 per cent to a record 127.2 million tonnes during the first half of the year.

Santos fell 20¢, or 1.4 per cent, to $13.74, as the oil and gas producer cut its production forecasts due to problems caused by supply, weather and infrastructure.

Woolworths fell 69¢, or 2 per cent, to $33.30, after it said its bid to take on Bunnings continued to struggle, with its Masters hardware venture posting a bigger than expected loss.

Woodside Petroleum gained 25¢, to $37.73, even though the energy group suffered a slide in revenue in the second quarter of the year thanks to a drop in oil prices and lower production numbers.

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