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On Wall St, stocks closed lower on Friday but higher across the key indices for the week as investor sentiment was boosted by a rate pause out of the fed, encouraging inflation data and ongoing strength in the technology sector which saw the Nasdaq rise 3.3% for the week, marking an eight-week winning streak. The Dow Jones added nearly 1.3% for the week and the S&P500 rose 2.6% on the week. Software giant Adobe rose 0.9% on Friday after beating expected results and issuing upbeat earnings guidance, while Virgin Galactic rose 13% after announcing on Thursday that it will launch its first commercial space tourism flight this month.
Over in Europe, markets closed higher on Friday as investors digested the latest monetary policy decision out of the European Central Bank in the form of a 25-basis point rate hike for the month ahead. ECB president Christine Lagarde said they are not thinking about pausing yet. Germany’s DAX rose 0.41% on Friday while the French CAC added 1.34% and, in the UK, the FTSE100 rose 0.19%.
The local market jumped over 1% on Friday led by a 3.5% surge in the energy sector led by Whitehaven Coal rallying over 8%, while Santos added 4.1% and Woodside Energy jumped 3.5%.
AGL Energy was the winning stock of Friday’s session after the electricity and gas provider released a guidance update on Friday revealing it expects underlying profit for 2023-2024 double with an expected increase between $580m and $780m, which is a significant jump from the guidance issued this year of between $255m and $285m. The strong profit guidance is driven by higher wholesale power prices and improved power plant operations.
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