ASX closes up as Wall Street breaks losing streak



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China reopening has thrown an unexpected spanner in the works, with investors now unsure whether the country lifting lockdowns will have a negative or a positive outcome for major global indexes.

“Markets have been obsessed with the potential good news from a relaxation of COVID restrictions, but what I am now sensing is the markets beginning to scratch their heads.”

Miller said that investors were now wary that an easing of restrictions in China could lead to a wave of infections, which would put pressure on supply chains and stump Chinese economic growth.

On Friday, Gina Rinehart muscled out Kerry Stokes in the battle to acquire the Perth Basin gas group Warrego Energy. Rinehart’s Hancock Energy upped the stakes to a 28¢ a share bid, trumping Stokes’ Beach Energy 25¢-a-share offer. Warrego shares were down 3.3 per cent on the news.

The financial sector flip-flopped during trading after opening in the green, with all four big banks remaining relatively steady. Westpac posted the largest gains of the big four banks, up 0.6 per cent, while Maquarie Group pulled the sector down, closing 1.8 per cent lower.

ANZ announced on Friday that Clare Morgan had been appointed to the bank’s executive committee and the group executive Australia commercial. Morgan will be responsible for running the commercial business in Australia and will lead the team which serves customers. ANZ shares were up 0.2 per cent at close.

Overnight, the S&P 500 rose 0.8 per cent, while the tech-heavy NASDAQ composite closed 1.1 per cent higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.5 per cent.

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Major indexes are all in the red for the week and have been swinging between big monthly gains and losses throughout the year. Investors’ worries about inflation, rising interest rates and recession risks have made for a volatile market. That has also left Wall Street focused on data points on the economy, especially those regarding inflation.

Tech stocks powered much of Wall Street’s rally, along with healthcare companies and retailers. Chipmaker Nvidia climbed 6.5 per cent, Pfizer rose 3.1 per cent and Nike gained 2.8 per cent.

Activision Blizzard lost 1.5 per cent after the Federal Trade Commission said it is suing to block Microsoft’s planned $US69 billion ($102 billion) takeover of the video game company, saying it could suppress competitors to its Xbox game consoles and its growing games subscription business. Microsoft rose 1.2 per cent.

The Fed will meet next week and is expected to raise its benchmark interest rate by a half-percentage point.

Markets in Europe closed mostly lower, while markets in Asia ended mixed.

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“Essentially, this means that Star has 12 months to get their house in order if they do not want to see a 90-day suspension of their licence,” said Queensland Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman after the casino operator was slapped with a $100 million fine.

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