The benchmark ASX 200 index fell 2% this week to end at 5814 points on Friday, weighed down by losses in the healthcare and information technology sectors.
During the week Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens warned that life was not going to get easier for self-funded retirees as record low interest rates force them to take on riskier investments, while a new survey found half of Australians were concerned about the economy.
In company news, shares in iiNet (ASX: IIN) jumped 15.7% to $10.02 this week after M2 Group (ASX: MTU) confirmed it had registered a competing bid for the internet service provider that rivalled a previous offer from TPG Telecom (ASX:TPM).
iiNet caught in takeover bidding war
TPG shares ended the week down 7.6% at $8.90, with the company also lifting its stake in Amcomin an attempt to block a planned $653m merger with Vocus Communications.
A number of contract wins for construction company Leighton Contractors saw shares in its parent company, newly named CIMIC Group (ASX:CIM), end the week up 3.6% to $21.63.
Shares in Transurban (ASX:TCL) ended the week slightly down after the company was downgraded by S&P on the back of news that its Western Distributor project had progressed in an approval process.
Claims related to the recent storms in NSW and QLD are reported to have cost Insurance Australia Group (ASX: IAG) approximately $440m, with shares in the insurer ending the week down 3.9% to $5.75.
This week saw Virgin Australia (ASX:VAH) appoint a new chairman and post an underlying loss before tax of $22m, an improvement on an $83m loss during the same period in 2014, while Qantas (ASX: QAN) said that its passenger numbers had been boosted by an increase in passengers on the airline’s international routes.
Strong performances from Bunnings and Officeworks once again boosted Wesfarmers’ (ASX:WES) overall result, with the retail conglomerate posting quarterly sales of $13.1bn.