ASX 200 Finishes the Week 0.2% Lower Amid Tighter Fed Policy

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ASX 200 Finishes the Week 0.2% Lower Amid Tighter Fed Policy
Credit: © Reuters.

By Oliver Gray - The S&P/ASX 200 added 35.2 points or 0.5% to 7,478 during Friday’s session, snapping two days of consecutive declines but finishing the week 0.2% lower, with market participants remaining cautious after U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers flagged the potential for greater rate increases as central banks around the world begin tightening monetary policies to combat surging inflation pressures.

Among stocks, Materials posted the largest gains, up 1.3% as Rio Tinto Ltd (ASX: RIO ) added 0.3%, BHP Billiton Ltd (ASX: BHP ) gained 1.8%, Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (ASX: FMG ) added 0.6%, Arizona Lithium Ltd (ASX: AZL ) lifted 4.3% and Piedmont Lithium Ltd (ASX: PLL ) added 3.9%.

Industrials finished 0.9% higher as Reece Ltd (ASX: REH ) gained 0.5%, Brambles Ltd (ASX: BXB ) added 1% and Transurban Group (ASX: TCL ) gained 1.3%.

Energy stocks gained 0.4% overall, with Santos Ltd (ASX: STO ) up 0.9%, while Woodside Petroleum Ltd (ASX: WPL ) fell 1.3% after it agreed that merger with BHP Group (JO: BHPJ )'s petroleum arm is in the best interest of its shareholders, valuing the combined group at $A40 billion.

Financials ended 0.2% higher as Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG ) lifted 1%, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ASX: ANZ ) added 0.4%, National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB ) dipped 0.2%, Commonwealth Bank Of Australia (ASX: CBA ) gained 0.1% and Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC ) lost 0.1%.

On the bond markets, Australia 10-Year yields were just below fresh 7-year highs of 2.958% while United States 10-Year rates were at 37-month highs of 2.658%.

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 finished 0.1% lower at 12,066.

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