Australian shares in the red for fourth straight day

The local share market has suffered its fourth straight day of losses, although they moderated in the late afternoon.

After spending much of the day about 0.5 per cent down, the S&P/ASX200 rebounded in the final hour of trading on Friday. The benchmark index finished 14.3 points lower at 7,156.7, a drop of 0.2 per cent on the day and 1.67 per cent for the week.

The broader All Ordinaries on Friday closed 16.8 points lower at 7,358.1, a 0.23 per cent fall.

AMP chief economist Shane Oliver said share markets around the world had fallen this week on renewed concerns about central bank rate hikes, higher oil prices as Saudi Arabia and Russia extended production cuts, a rebound in bond yields and concerns about China’s economy and Beijing's partial iPhone ban for government officials.

"While shares had a nice bounce at the end of August, they failed to break above late July highs and have started to come under pressure again, consistent with our view that the risk of a further near-term correction remains significant," Dr Oliver wrote.

"The list of threats to share markets in the near term remains long," he said, naming risks such as a pause in the disinflation process leading to higher rates, rebounding oil prices, China's economy and even the spectre of another US government shutdown next month.

Six of the ASX's 11 sectors finished in the red on Friday, with mining the biggest loser for a second day, down 1.0 per cent.

BHP fell 1.2 per cent to $43.19, Fortescue Metals dropped 2.4 per cent to $19.40 and Rio Tinto retreated 1.7 per cent to $111.17.

Gold miners advanced as the price of the precious metal rebounded to a three-day high of $US1,925 an ounce, with Newcrest and Evolution both rising 0.6 per cent.

Three of the Big Four banks all finished 0.2 per cent higher - Westpac, ANZ and NAB, at $21.17, $24.93 and $28.65, respectively.

CBA was the outlier, edging 0.1 per cent lower at $100.81.

Telstra dipped 0.3 per cent to $3.93 after the telecommunications company confirmed it was preparing an offer for Melbourne cloud consulting company Versent, although it described as "speculative" the $400 million price tag cited by the Australian Financial Review.

Qantas shares closed at a nearly 11-month low of $5.54, down 0.5 per cent for the day and 4.8 per cent for the week, on top of a 6.7 per cent drop last week.

It's been a week from hell for the flag carrier, whose chief executive Alan Joyce sped up his retirement by two months following a spate of bad press including news of proceedings by the competition regulator over tickets sold for cancelled flights.

In tech, Audinate Group fell 9.7 per cent to $12.91 after the audio hardware company completed a $50 million capital raising at $13 per share.

Back in the financial sector, Platinum Asset Management fell 4.4 per cent to $1.31 as the asset manager said it suffered $912 million in outflows last month, leaving it with $16.7 billion in assets under management at month-end.

Brokers at Barrenjoey Capital Partners were warning the fund manager was in a state of "severe organic decay", the Australian Financial Review reported.

The Australian dollar was at a three-day high against its US counterpart, buying 64.07 US cents, from 63.84 US cents at Thursday's ASX close.

Looking forward, the domestic focus next week will turn to the jobs report for August, which will be released on Thursday. Overseas, US consumer price index figures for that month will be released late Wednesday night, Australia time.


* The S&P/ASX200 index finished Tuesday down 14.3 points, or 0.2 per cent, at 7,156.7.

* The All Ordinaries dropped 16.8 points, or 0.23 per cent, to 7,358.1.


One Australian dollar buys:

* 64.07 US cents, from 63.84 US cents at Thursday's ASX close

* 94.21 Japanese yen, from 94.19 Japanese yen

* 59.69 Euro cents, from 59.57 Euro cents

* 51.24 British pence, from 51.13 pence

* 108.34 NZ cents, from 105.51 NZ cents

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