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ASX this week: Oil prices in focus as OPEC meets

ASX this week: Oil prices in focus as OPEC meets

A ministerial meeting of OPEC members is likely to impact oil prices this week, while Australia will release data on Friday that might show an increase in October retail spending.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index surged 2.8% to 5,507.8 last week, as all sectors gained except healthcare, which fell 0.3%.

On Friday:

  • Brent oil slumped 3.6% to US$47.24 a barrel, paring its weekly increase to 0.8%
  • WTI crude shed 4% to US$46.06 a barrel; up 0.8% for the week
  • Iron ore with 62% content delivered to Qingdao, China, advanced 3.5% to US$79.61 a dry metric tonne; up 9.4% for the week
  • Spot gold added 0.2% to US$1,183.56 an ounce; down 2% for the week
  • Australian dollar traded at 74.43 US cents, strengthening 1.4% over the week; the currency edged up to 74.46 US cents at 11:22am Sydney time today

What to watch this week

Members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will meet in Vienna on Wednesday to discuss potential production cuts.

CommSec said investors are watching whether the world’s major oil producers might consider an output freeze. Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih commented on Sunday that OPEC might not need to limit production as consumption might recover in 2017.

Oil prices have been volatile in November, tumbling in the first week of the month but recovering in the past two weeks.

Meanwhile, data to be released on Friday might show Australia’s retail spending rising 0.6% in October after two months of “encouraging signs” in the lead-up to Christmas, said CommSec.

The monthly retail trade data covers spending at various retail outlets, excluding petrol and motor vehicle sales. The data is one of many that provide an indication of any growth or slowdown in the nation’s economy and could affect share prices of listed retail companies.

Overseas, China will publish its November manufacturing and services sectors data on Thursday.

Stock movers

Below are the five best- and worst-performing ASX 200 stocks for the week ended Friday, November 25.

Company/Index

ASX code

Weekly price change

Orocobre

ORE

+14.2%

The A2 Milk Company

A2M

+13.4%

Galaxy Resources

GXY

+12.7%

Whitehaven Coal

WHC

+11.4%

Monadelphous Group

MND

+11%

S&P/ASX 200

XJO

+2.8%

Newcrest Mining

NCM

-5.8%

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare

FPH

-6.2%

iSentia Group

ISD

-6.4%

CYBG

CYB

-7.5%

Boral

BLD

-11%

Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Source: Bloomberg

This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. It does not have regard to the financial situation or needs of any reader and must not be relied upon as financial product advice. The inclusion of companies in this article does not constitute a recommendation and it’s vital to remember that the value of shares in any company can fall as well as rise, which means you could lose money by investing in them. Investors should consult a range of resources, and if necessary, seek professional advice, before making investment decisions in regard to their objectives, financial and taxation situations and needs because these have not been taken into account. Any securities or prices used in the examples given are for illustrative purposes only and should not be considered as a recommendation to buy, sell or hold. Past performance is not indicative of future performance. Commonwealth Securities Limited ABN 60 067 254 399 AFSL 238814 (CommSec) is a wholly owned but non-guaranteed subsidiary of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 AFSL 234945 and a Participant of the ASX Group and Chi-X Australia.