By Oliver Gray
Investing.com - 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%.
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%.
In New Zealand, the NZX 50 finished 0.1% lower at 12,066.
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