Energy stocks roared higher this week on the back of a buoyant oil price and managed to keep the market higher over the week, but gains were largely offset by a gold price that sunk for eight straight days causing investors to punish gold stocks.
Worries the US Federal Reserve is likely to lift interest rates in December kept investors on edge, and combined with reports during the week that the European Central Bank might slow its bond buying program prompted the steep drop in the gold price.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index and the broader All Ordinaries Index each fell 0.3 per cent on Friday, but managed to close up 0.6 and 0.4 per cent higher for the week to 5467.4 points and 5548.5 points respectively.
The Reserve Bank of Australia met on Tuesday but kept rates on hold in line with expectations.
Concerns of a ‘hard Brexit’ in which the UK would lose access to the European single market kept currency markets occupied with the pound sterling falling throughout the week against the US dollar and the euro. On Friday, the fears combined with an illiquid market to trigger a brief ‘flash crash’ in the pound, weighing on investor sentiment.