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S&P/ASX 200 holds well in afternoon trade, Bitcoin claws back

A government-appointed inquiry into the nation’s financial industry has started.
Picture of ASX sign
The price of oil is sliding for a sixth day

S&P/ASX 200 (ASX:XJO) (INDEXASX:XJO) closed the day 17 points down at 5,821, shrugging off a positive lead from U.S. stocks which jumped circa 1.4% on Friday.

The ASX had lost circa $90 billion of its value last week and hit a four-month low.

Meanwhile, Bitcoin clawed its way back from a four-month low of $US5,922 last week, rebounding 53% to $US9,069.

Midday: S&P/ASX 200 edges lower, with banks the weakest performers

A government-appointed inquiry into the nation’s financial industry has started, weighing down most of the banking stocks.

JB Hi-Fi (ASX:JBH) shares were down 8% despite a 21% jump in profits for the six months ended 31 December 2017, as investors reacted to a lower-than-expected outlook for the rest of the year.

10.50am: The ASX200 is trading at 5,821 points

The index opened down 0.5% as expected with banks the weakest performers at the start of the trading day. The index is currently trading at 5,821, down 17 points or 0.3%

Pre-market wrap: Dow up and FTSE down as volatile markets close the week with little direction

Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) index, while lacking direction for most of Friday, finished strongly to close up nearly 1.4% at 24,190 points.

The NASDAQ (INDEXNASDAQ:IXIC) finally put a halt to its horror run, but once again it was only in the afternoon session that the buyers returned.

Two of the stocks that had placed a considerable drag on both indices over the last week in Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and American Express (NYSE:AXP) with the best performers, both gaining circa 3.8%.

Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE) was the pick of the large players, gaining 4.8%.

The plummeting oil price remains a worry for investors, falling 3.4% to US$59.05 per barrel.

The FTSE 100 gave up 1.1%, finishing at 7092 points.

READ: FTSE 100’s losses lengthened as US markets move back into reverse

The index closed before the late stage kick in US markets, failing to benefit from any positive sentiment that may have flowed through.

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