A late turnaround fell just short today. Australian shares closed marginally lower but did trim a lot of their earlier losses late in the session.

Here’s a quick recap:

  • S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) down 0.1% to 4976 points
  • ALL ORDINARIES (Index: ^AXAO) (ASX: XAO) down 0.1% to 5025 points
  • AUD/USD at US 71.92 cents
  • Iron Ore at US$45.52 a tonne, according to the Metal Bulletin
  • Gold at US$1,155.31 an ounce
  • Brent oil at US$34.37 a barrel

The ASX was unable to back-up Thursday’s remarkable rally with another gain, despite the best efforts of the country’s biggest miners.

BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP), Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) and South32 Ltd (ASX: S32) shares all rose between 3.2% and 5.5%, adding to yesterday’s impressive gains.

Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) and Oil Search Limited (ASX: OSH) also rose 2.2% and 3%, while Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) ended the day 0.4% higher.

Unfortunately, their efforts were offset by falls across the banking sector. All four major banks ended the day lower, although National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX: NAB) was the worst. Its shares fell 1.5%.

WHITEHAVEN COAL LIMITED (ASX: WHC) was one of the worst performers for the day, losing 7.9%.

On the other hand, baby formula producers Bellamy’s Australia Ltd (ASX: BAL) and a2 Milk Company Ltd (Australia) (ASX: A2M) both soared between 10.3% and 14.9%.

Here are Friday’s top stories:

  1. Here’s why the Bellamy’s Australia Ltd share price exploded today
  2. REA Group Limited posts 28% profit lift
  3. Genworth Mortgage Insurance Australia beats guidance – should you buy?
  4. 2 solid dividend shares I like with an above average yield
  5. WHITEHAVEN COAL LIMITED powers to $7.8m profit
  6. Why Adacel Technologies Limited shares are soaring higher today
  7. Why the BHP Billiton Limited share price has surged 12%

Why These 3 Blue Chip Shares Look Set to Soar in 2016

Discover The Motley Fool's top 3 blue chips for 2016. These 3 'new breed' shares pay fully franked dividends AND offer the very real prospect of significant capital appreciation. Simply click here to gain access to this comprehensive FREE investment report.

No credit card required.

HOT OFF THE PRESSES: Motley Fool’s #1 Dividend Pick for 2017!

With its shares up 155% in just the last five years, this ‘under the radar’ consumer favourite is both a hot growth stock AND our expert’s #1 dividend pick for 2017. Now we’re pulling back the curtain for you... And all you have to do to discover the name, code and a full analysis is enter your email below!

Simply enter your email now to receive your copy of our brand-new FREE report, “The Motley Fool’s Top Dividend Stock for 2017.”

By clicking this button, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. We will use your email address only to keep you informed about updates to our website and about other products and services we think might interest you. You can unsubscribe from Take Stock at anytime. Please refer to our https://www.fool.com.au/financial-services-guide">Financial Services Guide (FSG) for more information.

Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman owns shares of Bellamy's Australia. Unless otherwise noted, the author does not have a position in any stocks mentioned by the author in the comments below. You can follow Ryan on Twitter @ASXvalueinvest.

The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Bellamy's Australia. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.