Real Estate and Energy Drags Causing Australian Shares to Close Lower

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The S&P/ASX 200 was lower on Friday, closing at 7,301.5 after losing 52.9 points or 0.7%. This starkly contrasted with the weekly advance of 1.3%, fuelled by lower-than-expected inflation figures.

Mathan Somasundaram, chief executive officer at Deep Data Analytics, said, “The main thematic is the big bounce in commodities over the weekend.”

Energy and real estate stocks dragged the index lower, while banking stocks ended the week positively despite the overall losses on Friday.

The Energy sector was one of the main contributors to the losses on Friday, with the S&P/ASX 200 Energy index closing 2.5% lower. This was primarily driven by a drop in crude oil prices ahead of a crucial meeting between OPEC and its allied producers over the weekend.

This uncertainty weighed heavily on energy stocks such as Oil Search, Woodside Petroleum and Santos, with all three companies losing more value throughout the day’s trading session. Woodside Petroleum and Santos dropped by 2.6% and 3.8%, respectively, and Beach Energy Ltd (ASX: BPT) retreated by 2.4%.

Real estate stocks were among those hard hit. They were the main contributors to losses on Friday, dropping 2.7% as a whole. The Goodman Group (ASX: GMG) was among the most brutal hit, down 4.1%.

Gold miners surged on Friday, with the S&P/ASX 200 Materials index gaining 1.1%. The gains were driven by a weaker US Dollar Index, which helped boost spot gold prices to their highest levels in more than four months.

Several major gold mining stocks ended the day higher. Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) gained up to 1.5%, St Barbara Ltd (ASX: SBM) raised 10.4%, and Gold Road Resources Ltd (ASX: GOR) ended up to 2.2%.

The gains across the gold sector were seen as a safe-haven play amid uncertain market conditions as investors looked to shelter their portfolios from potential risks associated with geopolitical developments and global economic uncertainty.

Overall, it was a mixed bag for Australian shares on Friday, which closed slightly lower after seeing earlier gains evaporate throughout the day’s trading session as concerns about energy and real estate weighed on investor sentiment.

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