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Australian Shares Close at Fresh 9-week Highs on Tech Boost

Published 2022/03/23, 08:38
© Reuters.
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By Oliver Gray 

Investing.com - The S&P/ASX 200 added 36.80 points or 0.50% to 7,377.90 during Wednesday’s deals, closing at fresh 9-week highs as risk appetite returned to the market, with all sectors closing higher except for materials, while investors braced for bigger rate hikes from central banks after U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers raised interest rates for the first time since 2018 last week and signaled six more hikes this year.

Technology companies led the gains on the index, up 3.47%. Block Inc (ASX:SQ2) added 7.49%, Brainchip Holdings Ltd (ASX:BRN) lifted 6.81%, Megaport Ltd (ASX:MP1) lifted 2.61%, Novonix Ltd (ASX:NVX) gained 0.17%, Altium Ltd (ASX:ALU) added 2.98% and Nextdc Ltd (ASX:NXT) lifted 2.21%.

Financials were up 0.99% overall, with Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX:MQG) adding 1.25%, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ASX:ANZ) lifting 0.76%, National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX:NAB) up 1.57%, Westpac Banking Corp (ASX:WBC) gaining 0.76% and Commonwealth Bank Of Australia (ASX:CBA) adding 1.3%. Zip Co Ltd (ASX:Z1P) also gained 7.52%

Among individual gains, Uniti Group Inc (ASX:UWL) surged 10.66% following reports that it had received a $5 per share takeover bid from Macquarie Group, while Ardea Resources Ltd (ASX:ARL) surged 43.8% as investors pile into nickel miners and explorers.

Meantime, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Ltd (ASX:FPH) dropped 7.88% after warning of supply chain pressures, and a sales hit from COVID-19.

Materials also finished 0.39% lower amid lower Iron ore prices as China’s COVID-19 outbreak intensifies. Rio Tinto Ltd (ASX:RIO) eased 0.05%, BHP Billiton Ltd (ASX:BHP) lost 0.78%, Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (ASX:FMG) added 0.32%, Champion Iron Ltd (ASX:CIA) dipped 3.4% and Lynas Rare Earths Ltd (ASX:LYC) lost 1.7%.

On the bond markets, Australia 10-Year yields eased slightly to 2.769%, while United States 10-Year rates were at 34-month highs of 2.401%.

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 lost 1.18% to 12,061.

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