Local shares retreated again on Friday, and ended the week down 4.2%.

Here’s a quick recap:

  • S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) down 1.2% to 4765 points
  • ALL ORDINARIES (Index: ^AXAO) (ASX: XAO) down 1.1% to 4816 points
  • AUD/USD at US 71.02 cents
  • Iron Ore at US$45.25 a tonne, according to the Metal Bulletin
  • Gold at US$1,233.64 an ounce
  • Brent oil at US$31.71 a barrel

The Australian share market took its lead from international share markets, many of which experienced sharp falls overnight. However, the volatility certainly played in favour of the gold miners, many of which recorded significant gains today.

Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST), for instance rose 5.3%, while EVOLUTION FPO (ASX: EVN) and Beadell Resources Ltd (ASX: BDR) rose 5.1% and 5.9%, respectively.

Unfortunately, other mining shares didn’t fare so well. BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) ended the day 1% lower, while Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) fell 1.3% after the miner said it would scrap its progressive dividend policy.

The banks caused plenty of damage for the day as well. While all four ended the day more than 1.3% lower, Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) was the worst performer, losing 2.5%.

Bluescope Steel Limited (ASX: BSL) managed to gain 14.2%, while Paladin Energy Ltd (ASX: PDN) tumbled 7.9%.

Here are Friday’s top stories:

  1. Why the markets are being whacked
  2. Baby Bunting Group Ltd shares rise 4% on upbeat guidance
  3. The end for BHP Billiton Limited’s progressive dividend policy
  4. Is the National Australia Bank Ltd. share price going to hit $20?
  5. Here’s why shares of these 6 ASX gold miners are jumping today
  6. QBE Insurance Group Ltd shares plunge to 10-year low: Is it a bargain?
  7. An investor’s guide to Insurance Australia Group Ltd

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The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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.