The Australian market finished lower this week after the largest one day drop since November 2016 on Wednesday. Nearly $27 billion in value was wiped off the benchmark index that day as falling commodity prices sparked massive losses amongst resource stocks and the big four banks slid further down. Major losses during the week as and investors in Woolworths and Wesfarmers dumped their stocks due to the threat from Amazon. Amazon acquired Whole Foods for $13.7 billion this week, marking its most significant push into the grocery category. On a sector level, the best performers were few and far between with healthcare and industrials in the black. The worst performers were real estate, energy and financials. On a company level, one of the best performers in the ASX 200 index was The A2 Milk Company as demand for the company’s products is exceeding supply and this has led to an increase in forecast group revenue by NZ$20 million to NZ$545 million. One of the worst performers was QBE Insurance Group following an update on 2017 performance where the company warned of higher than expected claims activity.
In global markets, Wall Street was higher with the Nasdaq leading the way to post moderate gains on the back of surges in biotechnology shares. The surge was the result of President Trump having drafted an executive order which would ease industry regulation. U.S. markets were weighed down mid-week though due to losses in the energy sector as oil prices continued to slide. Energy shares fell as big oil companies and drillers suffered after crude-oil prices sank to a 10-month low due to concerns that rising output from the U.S. and Libya will offset OPEC-led production cuts.
European markets were mostly higher as French President Emmanuel Macron’s party won majority in parliamentary elections last weekend. Asian markets were higher despite falls in the price of crude oil.
The Australian dollar was lower against major global currencies this week despite the lack of market moving economic data.

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