By Oliver Gray
Investing.com - The S&P/ASX 200 finished Friday’s session slightly higher, adding 8.30 points or 0.11% to 7,304.00, while finishing the week 0.47% lower with sentiment remaining mixed as investors scramble to gauge the threat of the quickly spreading Omicron coronavirus variant and react to tightening central bank policies both locally and abroad.
Among stocks, major miners posted solid performances as BHP Billiton Ltd (ASX: BHP ) added 1.82% and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (ASX: FMG ) gained 0.96%, while Rio Tinto Ltd (ASX: RIO ) closed flat. Gold miners also surged as the precious metal traded near 2 week highs, with Newcrest Mining Ltd (ASX: NCM ) up 3.73%, Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST ) surging 5.59%, Perseus Mining Ltd (ASX: PRU ) up 2.96%, Chalice Gold Mines Ltd (ASX: CHN ) gaining 0.72% and Evolution Mining Ltd (ASX: EVN ) adding 4.23%.
Banking names closed higher, with Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ASX: ANZ ) up 0.73%, Commonwealth Bank Of Australia (ASX: CBA ) adding 2.41%, National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB ) up 0.28%, Bank Of Queensland Ltd. (ASX: BOQ ) lifting 1.13% and Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC ) gaining 0.33%.
Technology related stocks retreated on the prospects of rate hikes and inflation pressures, with Megaport Ltd (ASX: MP1 ) falling 5.31%, Link Administration Holdings Ltd (ASX: LNK ) down 0.81%, Novonix Ltd (ASX: NVX ) shedding 3.87%, Altium Ltd (ASX: ALU ) falling 4.86% and Xero Ltd (ASX: XRO ) slipping 4.69%.
In New Zealand, the NZX 50 was down 0.47% at 12,718, falling 1.02% for the week.
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