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Australian Market Sharply Higher

The Australian stock market is sharply higher on Friday, recouping the losses in the previous session, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 moving above the 7,000 mark, following the mixed cues from Wall Street overnight, with strength in energy and technology stocks, even as rising worries about high inflation and tightening monetary policies remain.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 88.40 points or 1.27 percent to 7,029.40, after touching a high of 7,036.40 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 89.80 points or 1.25 percent to 7,256.40. Australian markets ended sharply lower on Thursday.

Among major miners, Rio Tinto, BHP Group, Fortescue Metals and Mineral Resources are gaining more than 1 percent each, while OZ Minerals is flat.

Oil stocks are higher. Woodside Petroleum is gaining almost 2 percent, Beach energy is adding almost 1 percent, Origin Energy is edging up 0.3 percent and Santos is up 1.5 percent.

Among tech stocks, Zip and Appen are adding almost 4 percent each, while Xero is rising more than 5 percent, WiseTech Global is gaining almost 3 percent and Afterpay owner Block is soaring 11.5 percent.

Among the big four banks, Westpac, ANZ Banking and National Australia Bank are gaining almost 1 percent each, while Commonwealth Bank is edging down 0.3 percent.

Gold miners are mostly weak. Northern Star Resources and Evolution Mining are edging down 0.3 to 0.4 percent each, while Newcrest Mining is declining more than 1 percent and Gold Road Resources is losing almost 2 percent. Resolute Mining is gaining 2.5 percent.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.688 on Friday.

On Wall Street, stocks saw substantial volatility over the course of the trading day on Thursday before ending the day little changed. After showing wild swings as the day progressed, the major averages closed narrowly mixed.

The major averages showed a notable recovery going into the close, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq inching up 6.73 points or 0.1 percent to 11,370.96. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 edged down 5.10 points or 0.1 percent to 3,930.08 and the narrower Dow dipped 103.81 points or 0.3 percent at 31,730.30.

Meanwhile, the major European markets moved to the downside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 tumbled 1.6 percent, the French CAC 40 Index slumped by 1 percent and the German DAX Index fell by 0.6 percent.

Crude oil futures ended modestly higher on Thursday as the European Union's proposal to ban Russian oil offset concerns of prolonged Covid-19 lockdowns in China. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for June ended higher by $0.42 or 0.4 percent at $106.13 a barrel.

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