Having fluctuated between losses and gains for part of the week, the Australian share market booked its first two straight days of gains, thanks to a rebound in technology and lithium stocks.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index rose +50.3 points, or +0.77%, at 6,578.7, while the All Ordinaries added +71.0 points, or +1.06%, to 6,762.4, while our local currency, the Australian dollar, is currently buying US$0.6910.
During his second testimony in front of Congress this week, investors focused on U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell downplaying the idea that government pandemic aid was the key factor fuelling U.S. inflation and instead blamed a confluence of global issues, including the war in Ukraine.
U.S. Fed Powell acknowledged those risks in two days of testimony to lawmakers, saying that a recession was possible and that a soft landing would be “very challenging” as inflation hits 40-year highs and interest rates surge higher, making it more expensive for consumers to borrow money.
Lithium stocks were the day’s flavour, with Pilbara Minerals adding +8.8% to $2.23 and Allkem added +4.7% to $10.09.
Meanwhile, Copper prices tumbled to a 16-month low, which has sent OZ Minerals lower, after shedding -2.1% to $19.19.
Mining titans also extended their losses on Friday despite an overnight +6% rebound in iron ore prices.
BHP fell -1.2% to $40.02, and Rio Tinto tumbled -1.2% to $101.40.
In financials, all of the “Fab Four” banks finished lower, with NAB falling -0.4% to $27.02, ANZ lost -0.7% to $21.91, and Westpac declined by -0.7% to $19.48, while Commonwealth Bank added +0.5% to $90.16.
Elsewhere, while fears that the RBA may be reading the same playbook on rate hikes as the U.S. Federal Reserve, hopefully, the scheduled speech from Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) Governor Philip Lowe around 9:30 pm (AEST) Friday may ease those fears.