The benchmark ASX 200 share market index finished up this week after two prior weeks of falls, ending the last four days of trade 0.7% higher on 5,968 points.
The week saw the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) hold the official cash rate at 2.25% at its monthly board meeting on Tuesday.
In company news, it was a big week for Leighton Holdings (ASX:LEI), with its subsidiary, Leighton Contractors, securing a deal worth an estimated $160m from the Western Australian government, while the Middle East-based Habtoor Leighton Group received a contract worth US$608m to build five giant reservoirs in Qatar.
The billion dollar sale of Leighton Holdings’ subsidiary John Holland was also given the green light by the Foreign Investment Review Board.
Australian-listed exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
The number of investors in Australian-listed exchange-traded funds (ETFs) has climbed 46% over 2014 as growing comfort levels with the products led more investors to use ETFs to access offshore markets, according to the latest BetaShares/Investment Trends ETF Report.
About 146,000 people invested in Australian-listed ETFs in the 12 months to October 31, 2014, up from 103,000 over the same period a year earlier. A further 84,000 investors plan to buy ETFs for the first time this year, the report found.
Learn: What is an exhange traded fund?
ETFs’ total funds under management are expected to grow to between $21bn and $23bn by the end of 2015 from $18bn at the end of March and $15bn at the end of October 2014.
Self-managed superannuation funds (SMSF) were also a source of growth in ETFs with about 63,000 SMSFs now holding ETFs, up from 54,000 a year earlier.
However, he said acceptance by retail investors was a bigger catalyst.
“The actual number of SMSFs in ETFs is growing very strongly but as a proportion of overall growth, it’s declining because growth in mainstream investment is even stronger.”