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Last week the market had a jumpy start to the year. Mid-week, the market hit a 4-month high, then on Thursday the market had its worst session in 16 months. On Friday however, the ASX200 ended the week on a positive note, advancing 1.3%, with all sectors in the green. Energy, financials and utilities were up the most.
Medibank, one of the country’s largest private health insurance providers, (ASX:MPL), lead the gains, up almost 6%. This was off the back of some restrictions reintroduced in NSW, which includes the suspension of elective surgery until February, in the aim of helping the healthcare system cope with the current spike in covid cases in NSW. Medibank was followed by Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (ASX:URW), which gained 5.8% on Friday and over 10% in the week, following its European shares which have performed well. Sims (ASX:SGM), NOVONIX (ASX:NVX) and Magellan Financial Group (ASX:MFG) were among the worst performers.
In US equities, all three major benchmarks were lower. The S&P500 fell 0.4%, the Dow lost 0.01% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq had its worst week since February, down 0.9%. The latest economic update in the US saw a disappointing jobs report, adding fewer jobs than expected in December. And the US unemployment rate dropped to 3.9%, better than the 4.1% estimate.
The local market is set to open flat, with the SPI futures suggesting a rise of 0.03%.
What to watch today: