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The ASX rose just 0.05% yesterday as a rally for technology stocks offset sharp losses for healthcare, materials and real estate stocks. The winning stocks yesterday were led by Xero (ASX:XRO) charging 10.66% after the cloud-based software company announced it is cutting up to 800 of its staff to manage costs. New Hope Corporation (ASX:NHC) and Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) each added over 5.5% amid the rising price of coal. On the losing end, Imugene (ASX:IMU), and Breville Group (ASX:BRG) each fell over 3% and BrainChip Holdings (ASX:BRN) lost almost 3%.
Wall Street has just closed for Thursday’s session with the market responding negatively to Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell reiterated his comments about the need for the U.S. central bank to keep interest rates higher for longer, on the second day of his testimony to congress. The Federal Reserve chair said that signs of a hotter economy from the start of the year warrant faster rate hikes, prompting investors to believe a 50-basis point rate hike could be lock in for the next month. Next week’s US CPI print remains in focus for investors to gauge if the 50-basis point rate hike could become a reality. The Dow Jones fell 1.66%, the S&P500 fell 1.8% and the Nasdaq lost 2.05%. Powell also say he hasn’t made up his mind about what the central bank will do with regards to rates when it meets later in March.
In Europe, markets closed mostly lower after Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell reiterated his comments. Germany’s DAX closed just 0.1% higher while the French CAC fell 0.12% and, in the UK, the FTSE100 fell 0.63%.
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