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The Aussie market ended last week with gains, with the energy sector rising the most, up 1.6%. The energy sector was led by Oil Search (ASX:OSL), Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC), BlueScope Steel (ASX:BSL) and Nickel Mines (ASX:NIC), which all ended the week higher. The financials also performed well on Friday after a volatile week. Meanwhile healthcare declined.
Imaging software company Pro Medicus (ASX:PME) made the most gains on Friday, however its share price is still down the past month. Aussie investment company, Washington Soul Pattinson (ASX:SOL) gained 3.3%, partly due to its exposure to energy investments. While, TPG Telcom (ASX:TPG) dropped 8.6%, off the back of news that its founder was selling a $335 million stake in the company.
In US equities, all three major benchmarks closed lower, wrapping up a volatile week. The Omicron variant has had investors concerned, and the US also delivered a disappointing jobs report, with slower than expected job creation last month. The Dow was down 0.2% and the S&P500 down 0.8%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq dropped 1.9%, with Tesla falling over 6% and Zoom falling over 4%.
There was however a late rally on Wall Street, and the ASX200 is set to open higher this morning. The SPI futures are suggesting a rise of 0.15% at the open.
Citing concerns on the Omicron strain, Goldman Sachs cut its forecast for US economic growth in 2022 from 4.2% to 3.8%. They say a downside scenario is the most likely outcome, where the virus spreads quicker, but immunity against hospitalisations falls slightly more.
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