Australia’s share market, or the S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX: XJO) (ASX: XJO), closed flat on Friday.

Biggest Movers

  • South32 Ltd (ASX: S32) – up 4%
  • Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) – up 2.8% (Why? Read more here)
  • BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) – up 2.2%
  • Caltex Australia Limited (ASX: CTX) – up 2%
  • Beach Energy Ltd (ASX: BPT) – up 6.9%

Biggest Losers

  • Incitec Pivot Limited (ASX: IPL) – down 4.1% (Why? Read more here)
  • Yancoal Australia Ltd (ASX: YAL) – down 3.3%
  • Freedom Foods Group Ltd (ASX: FNP) – down 4.8%
  • Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd (ASX: VAH) – down 3.7%
  • Elders Ltd (ASX: ELD) – down 3.6%

Amongst the Big Four banks, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) was the worst performer, falling 0.7%. National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX: NAB) shares ended flat.

Shares of BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto ended 2.2% and 1.7% higher, respectively, following positive moves in iron ore and oil prices. You can read more here.

Beach Energy shares ended firmly in the green following an exploration update overnight. The oil and gas company said initial testing at a field in the Otway Basin indicated the commercial potential for a large gas resource.

Finally, shares of lithium miners received a welcome boost, as the demand for batteries and electric vehicles continues to be a focal point amongst investors and speculators. According to research from UBS demand for lithium, a key ingredient in batteries, will quadruple by 2025.

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