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Sector
Energy
Size
Mid Cap
Market Cap £2.08bn
Enterprise Value £2.12bn
Revenue £843.9m
Position in Universe 134th / 1842

Australia shares edge lower; post weekly gain on U.S. stimulus plan

Fri 22nd January, 2021 6:07am
* ASX200 snaps three-day winning streak
    * Lynas tops index gains, up ~14% on U.S. rare earths deal
    * NZ50 up about 1.7% for the week

 (Updates to close)
    By Rashmi Ashok
    Jan 22 (Reuters) - Australian shares eased slightly after
three sessions of gains on Friday, but ended the week 1.3%
higher as investor confidence improved on U.S. President Joe
Biden's fiscal stimulus plans. 
    For the session, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index  .AXJO 
ended 0.3% lower.
    "I don't know right now if the equity markets are stalling
or they are waiting for all the dust to settle from the change
of power in the United States. It might turn out to be both,"
said Brad Smoling, managing director at Smoling Stockbroking. 
    He, however, warned that possible pushback to Biden's $1.9
trillion stimulus proposal or major policy changes by the new
U.S. administration through executive orders without warning
could be a catalyst for an equity sell off.
    Overnight, Biden signed a raft of executive orders aimed at
fighting climate change, one among which saw the administration
temporarily suspend oil and gas permitting on federal lands and
waters.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2JW2AO
    Data showed Australian retailers suffered their biggest
sales drop in eight months in December as consumers brought
forward their Christmas shopping, but analysts said the drop was
largely expected and not a concern as outlook remained strong.
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2JX04E
    The energy index  .AXEJ  was among the biggest drags, easing
nearly 2%. Santos Ltd  STO.AX  and Beach Energy  BPT.AX  ended
2.6% and 3.1% lower, respectively.
    Financials  .AXFJ  also eased, with wealth manager Perpetual
Ltd  PPT.AX  losing most in the sector, dropping nearly 5%.
Insurance Australia Group  IAG.AX  and Macquarie Group  MQG.AX 
also pulled back.
    Miner Lynas Rare Earths  LYC.AX  was the index's best
performer with a 13.7% jump, after it signed a deal to build a
commercial light rare earths separation plant in Texas.
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2JW4IQ
    New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index  .NZ50  rose 1.7%
to finish at 13,333.43 and was up 1.7% for the week. Power
companies Meridian Energy  MEL.NZ  and Mercury NZ  MCY.NZ  were
among top gainers for the session.

 (Reporting by Rashmi Ashok in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi
Aich)
 ((Rashmi.Ashok@thomsonreuters.com; +918061822604;))
 
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