• The ASX slipped on Friday, down 1% for the week
  • RBA boss Phil Lowe says sorry over Barrenjoey meeting
  • QBE, A2 Milk surged 


The ASX finished 0.80% lower on Friday, capping a volatile week in which the index slipped by over 1%.

10 out of 11 sectors were in the red today; Utilities was the only one to show any sign of resistance, up by 1%.

Investors heard from RBA governor Phil Lowe as he gave a testimony in a parliamentary hearing Friday.

Lowe said RBA officials won’t attend events at Barrenjoey again after details of his visit were leaked to the press.

“There’s nothing untoward here but we need to be able to have conversations with people without the other side of that conversation running off to the press,” Lowe said.

“When that happens it destroys trust. There are consequences from that.”

In stock news, logistics tech company Wisetech (ASX:WTC) fell 3% after acquiring US-based railway software provider, Blume Global, or $US414 million ($600 million) – its biggest deal ever.

Amongst companies to report earnings today were QBE Insurance (ASX:QBE), which surged by 8% after reporting a $US770m full year NPAT, up 3% on pcp.

Westpac (ASX:WBC), in its “Capital, Credit Quality and Funding” update, said that nearly half of its $471 billion home loans were made under the assumption that rates will end up at a lower level than what they will be once the RBA finishes its rate rising cycle.

This, Westpac says, could breach the bank’s “serviceability buffers”, the safeguards applied by banks under APRA rules.

Bitcoin meanwhile has slipped 4% in the last few hours to US$23,800 after some hawkish comments last night from Fed officials.

A stream of negative regulatory newsflow hasn’t helped the crypto market.

In the latest crackdown, the SEC is suing Terraform Labs and its founder Do Kwon over the collapse of Terraform last year which led to a wave of bankruptcies.

Looking ahead to tonight’s session on Wall Street, US import/export prices and EU current account data are expected to be released.


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The A2 Milk (ASX:A2M) rose 7% after announcing that as part of the registration process, the Ministry for Primary Industries will commence the audit process of Synlait’s Dunsandel facility on behalf of China’s State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) in the week of 20 February.


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Power Holdings (ASX:PWH) slumped 14% after reporting that its NPAT increased by 3.8% to $7.8m in the first half.