Despite a soft start to trade, the ASX 200 finished the session on a positive note, recording its first back-to-back gain this month after edging 50.3pts or 0.77 per cent higher to 6578.7. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, testified before Congress for a second day, reiterating that a recession remains a ‘possibility’. Our market was held back by mining, energy and financial stocks. The losses were partially offset by the Tech sector, which rallied 6.0 per cent – its largest daily increase in around four weeks. Nine of 11 sectors finished in positive territory.

Over the week, the ASX 200 snapped two straight weeks of losses, adding 1.6 per cent. The index was led by an 8.1 per cent rebound in the interest-rate sensitive Tech sector. Resource stocks continued their recent declines, sliding for another week. Despite the ASX 200’s gains this week, the index is still on track to post its biggest monthly decline since the onset of the Covid pandemic.

In company news, Qantas (QAN) has kept its 2HFY22 Underlying EBITDA expectations unchanged at $450-$550 million. QAN however, expects its net debt to fall to around $4 billion by the end of this financial year, and expects to return to profitability in FY23. QAN shares finished 1.6 per cent lower.

Shares of Vulcan Energy Resources (VUL) surged 26.8 per cent after it received a A$76m investment from Netherlands-based Stellantis NV. Stellantis will now become the second largest shareholder in VUL, with an approximate shareholding of 8 per cent. VUL says that the funds will go towards its planned production expansion drilling in its Upper Rhine Valley Brine Field.

With the end of the financial year around the corner, we’ve compiled a comprehensive analysis of the 2021/2022 financial year and our forecasts for the fiscal year ahead, in our End of Financial Year Wrap report. You can access the report here.

4.4bn shares were traded, worth $8.4bn. 988 stocks rose, 476 fell & 391 finished unchanged.

In the US, new home sales and consumer confidence data are both issued.

In economic news, Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe will participate in a panel discussion tonight in Switzerland (9:30pm AEST).

In the week ahead, an important gauge of US inflation – the PCE core deflator – will be delivered. Core inflation is tipped to increase by 0.5 per cent. US economic growth figures will also be handed down on Wednesday, a 1.4 per cent quarterly contraction is expected – its first contraction in eight quarters.

Originally published by Divik Nigam – (Author) CommSec