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ASX 200 finishes down 1.7% on Friday

The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) finished down 1.7% on Friday, marking the end to another coronavirus-affected week.

In terms of government and company announcements, it was actually a pretty quiet day. Perhaps the next month or so will be quieter until companies start giving updates closer to the end of FY20.

Here are some of the highlights today:

President Trump lights a match under oil shares

In his usual unpredictable way, President Trump made a tweet that caused serious moves in the share market.

He tweeted that he had spoken to the leader of Saudi Arabia, who spoke with Putin, and that Trump expects and hopes they will cut 10 million barrels of oil production (“and maybe substantially more”).

This obviously sent the oil price up as well as oil shares.

Some of the oil movers were:

The Oil Search Limited (ASX: OSH) share price rose by 4.6%.  

The BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP) share price went up 1.6%.

The Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) share price climbed 0.5%.

New car sales fall

According to reporting by the media, new car sales fell by 18% during March 2020.

This is an insight into wider consumer sentiment. More specifically, it gives investors a potential reading into car dealership business AP Eagers Ltd (ASX: APE). Its share price dropped 12.5% in reaction.

The company had already decided to reduce its upcoming dividend payment by half.

Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX: FLT) launches capital raising

Under-pressure travel business Flight Centre is launching its capital raising to make sure it survives through this uncertain time.

According to AFR Street Talk, the travel agent business is going to do a $500 million capital raising. It’s supposedly going to be done at a price of $7.20 per share, which would be a sizeable discount to the last price of $9.91.

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As of 17/3/2020

Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Flight Centre Travel Group Limited. 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 Scott Phillips.

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