Heavyweights help market finish with modest gains
With the opening of the Sydney Olympic Games only a day away, the Australian share market meandered to a modestly higher finish yesterday.
The S&P/ASX 200 Index ended up 10.5 points at 3,344.6.
The All Ordinaries Index rose 8.6 points to 3,294.1, while the All Industrials Index climbed 17.3 points to 5,703.4 and the All Resources Index inched up 0.4 point to 1,422.3 points.
Traders said there was no dominant theme to the day's action, and attributed the firmer close mostly to rallies in media heavyweight News Corp, telecommunications group Telstra and mining and energy group BHP.
A dealer said: 'We are going to have two weeks of nothing much because of the Olympics. So, I think the focus might be currency and oil related.'
BHP, which has been well bid for most of the week, closed stronger.
The Australian dollar fell to a record low but the weakness has been supportive for commodity exporters and companies with substantial earnings in the United States.
News Corp firmed because of its increased weighting in the FTSE world index in London.
Telstra rose strongly but questions about its future earnings remain.
One analyst said that once trading in BHP, Telstra, News Corp and National Australia Bank was discounted, the market was best described as 'subdued'.