Markets close: ASX investors end week in better mood as tech and telecom stocks rise

Technology and telecommunications stocks helped fuel a rise on Friday as the ASX 200 capped a killer week.

ASX investors ended the week in a much better mood than they started it, as technology and telecommunications stocks helped fuel a solid rise on Friday.

A sharp three-day drop stretching either side of Anzac Day spoiled the start of another holiday-shortened trading week, but a rally in the past two sessions has limited the stock market to a weekly decline of 1.3%.

Friday’s session was strong for the more speculative end of the local market, with tech names Block Inc, Xero, Wisetech Global, Appen, Altium, Computershare and EML Payments joining Zip Co in the winner’s circle after an overnight performance. booming tech-rich Nasdaq index.

Blood giant CSL, Sonic Healthcare, Cochlear, Fisher and Paykel also jumped, while the local telecommunications sector jumped on gains from Telstra, Seek, REA Group, Carsales.com and Domain Group Holdings.

The benchmark ASX 200 eventually added 78.1 points, or 1.1%, to close the week at 7435.0, after falling to a six-week nadir of 7233.3 on Wednesday.

The broader All Ordinaries also rose 1.1% on Friday, adding 82.4 points, while it stood at 7724.8.

The Australian dollar was steady near 71.50 US cents at the local close.

Wall Street investors set the Australian index for a bumper session after several big tech companies recouped some of the heavy losses suffered in recent weeks.

Facebook parent company Meta Platforms gained 17.6% after reporting it had returned to user growth, while Apple rose 4.5% before what turned out to be a solid set of financial results.

The Tim Cook-led company slipped in after-hours trading, however, along with fellow giant Amazon, which fell around 10% on disappointing guidance.

Jeffrey Halley, OANDA’s Asia-Pacific analyst, said regional traders appeared to be content to brush off a falling US futures market and focus instead on booming performance in the US session proper. .

“I take today’s rally in Asia with a grain of salt as month-end flows can distort the true picture,” he said.

“Similarly, readers should apply the same skepticism to big moves in European and US markets (Friday night), although Wall Street stopped its schizophrenia medication this week, anything could happen there.”

There are certainly many sources of anxiety – as evidenced by this week’s volatility – with wars, inflation, slowdowns, overheating economies, supply chain disruptions, energy shortages and monetary policy changes that all play a role.

On Friday, however, the ASX 200 was largely a positive spot.

There were slight declines for BHP and Fortescue Metals, while Rio Tinto ended the session flat, but a 6% gain for Pilbara Minerals and a 4.1% rise for lithium player Allkem at 12, $25 helped the mining sector finish on top.

Nickel Mines was up 7.4% at $1.315, Vulcan Energy jumped 1.7% at $8.48, Core Lithium was up 2.2% at $1.40 and Mount Gibson Iron was up 4 .5% to 70 cents.

Gold diggers were also bright, with the precious metal finding support near $1,880 an ounce to send Newcrest up 0.6% to $26.88 and Northern Star up 0.7% to $9.82. .

Energy companies rose as oil prices recovered on reports that Germany and Hungary would join a ban on Russian imports.

Banks also finished ahead, with Commonwealth Bank up 0.6% at $103.88 and Westpac up 1.2% at $23.87.

ANZ rose 0.8% to $27.30, NAB gained 1.4% to $32.63 and Macquarie Group jumped 1.8% to $206.98.

Block Inc gained 0.6% to end the week at $145.20, while Zip Co rose 7.9% to $1.095.

Xero gained 2.6% to $96.35, Wisetech Global gained 2.1% to $45.27, Appen finished 4.9% ahead at $6.66 and Altium rose 2.6% to $32.87.

Telstra rose 1.8% to $4.04, Seek rose 4.2% to $28.38, REA Group jumped 2.9% to $129.42 and Carsales ended the week higher 3.5% to $21.38.

Originally published as Markets close: ASX investors end week in better mood as tech and telecom stocks rise