Flat start for ASX as uncertainty lingers

Investors have given a flat start to the Australian share market after mixed fortunes overseas.  

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index was higher by 1.8 points, or 0.03 per cent, at 5218.9 points after the first 15 minutes of trade on Friday.

The All Ordinaries index was 3.2 points higher, or 0.06 per cent, at 5,276.0 points.

Energy was the best-performing sector, up by an average of 1.51 per cent.

The materials, consumer staples and telecommunications sectors were also trading higher.

Fortescue Metals had the top early result of the big miners, trading higher by 30 cents, or 2.71 per cent, to $11.37.

NAB was the best of the big four banks. Its price climbed 6.0 cents, or 0.38 per cent, to $15.78.

US markets enjoyed a rally overnight until news that an experimental coronavirus drug flopped in its first randomised clinical trial.

The Chinese trial showed Gilead Science’s remdesivir did not improve patients’ condition or reduce the pathogen’s presence in the bloodstream.

The S&P 500 finished at 2,797.80, down 1.51 points.

The Australian dollar was buying 63.74 US cents at 1015 AEST, up from 63.43 US cents at Thursday’s close.

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