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Australian shares end higher after recent selloff, post fourth weekly loss

May 13, 2022By Reuters

Updates to close

Tech stocks are the top advancers

Gains seen across most sub-indexes

ASX sheds 1.8% for the week

By Upasana Singh

Australian stocks closed higher on Friday, led by technology firms, although the benchmark index marked a fourth straight weekly loss as surging inflation, aggressive rate hikes, and COVID-19 lockdowns in China continued to weigh on markets.

The S&P/ASX 200 index .AXJO ended 1.9% higher at 7,075.10 — its best day since Jan. 28.

“Markets may be taking a breather after what has been a week of heavy selling,” said Kerry Craig, global market strategist at J.P. Morgan.

The benchmark index shed 1.8% for the week, as sentiment took a hit amid losses in world equities as investors focused on tightening monetary policies by central banks, which fuelled concerns of a global economic slowdown.

Domestic growth-linked technology stocks .AXIJ led gains with a 7% jump, but the sub-index clocked its worst weekly performance since late-January.

ASX-listed shares of Block Inc SQ2.AX, WiseTech Global WTC.AX and Xero XRO.AX soared between 7% and 15%.

Strong iron ore prices boosted the metals and mining index .AXMM, up 1.6%. It, however, marked the worst week in three. IRONORE/

Rio Tinto RIO.AX, BHP Group BHP.AX and Fortescue Metals FMG.AX rose about 2% each.

Financials .AXFJ advanced 1.4%, snapping a four-day losing steak. The sub-index fell 1.2% for the week. Australia’s four largest lenders were up 0.1%-1%.

Energy stocks .AXEJ also gained 2.5% to see their best day in more than two months on firm crude prices. Oil and gas explorers Woodside Petroleum WPL.AX and Santos STO.AX rose 2.7% and 3.2%, respectively. O/R

Going forward, the market will watch out for any significant catalysts, including any updates on inflation from Australia, United States and other regions, said Steven Daghlian, a market analyst at CommSec.

Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index .NZ50 ended 0.1% lower at 11,168.18.

(Reporting by Upasana Singh in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)


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