Australian shares took a hit on Friday, dragged lower by an undercurrent of anxiety that saw tech stocks bear the brunt of a market sell-off. The ASX200 slipped by 0.59%, both for the day and on the week, as investors grappled with the ripple effects of hawkish remarks from Federal Reserve officials echoing through global markets. The All Ords was down the same percentage (-0.59% on Friday) to end the week on 8,026.00, as Aussie markets continued the downward trend seen towards the latter part of yesterday in the US rather than the bullish end to Thursday seen locally.

Mirroring a downturn in the tech-heavy Nasdaq, domestic tech shares slid sharply. Concerns about more aggressive rate hikes to combat inflation have hit tech firms particularly hard, given their sensitivity to such moves. If only local markets would have known that the US indices with fight back to end the week, with the Nasdaq Composite more than 1.1% in the green, the Nas100 up by 1.16%, the DJIA +0.85% and S&P500 +1.05%.

Despite US markets picking up in to the weekend as the ASX stumbled, due to Wall Street opening on Monday whilst Aussie markets were closed, the local markets outperformed their US counterparts. Minus 1% or more for all the US indices on the week paints its’ own picture, but the Russell 2000, usually a good barometer of the local economy fared worst, down 2.93% on the week.

The bearish sentiment locally on Friday reverberated across the sector landscape, with all sectors, save Energy and Utilities, closing in the red. The slump in iron ore prices compounded matters as the commodity plunged 0.52% on the day. Industry heavyweights BHP (-0.89%) and Rio Tinto (-1.03%) were not spared, each seeing declines to end the week firmly red.

On the exploration front, Elixir Energy (ASX:EXR) showcased the promising potential of the Lorelle Sandstone at the Daydream-2 well, revealing a maximum gas flow rate of 2.3 million standard cubic feet per day during testing and a stabilised flow rate of 1.3 million standard cubic feet per day (MMSCFPD) without stimulation. After requesting the stock be put on a temporary halt on 3rd April before news was released, the penny stock soared on open. EXR shares were up 26.76% on the day, ending the day at 0.09 with a market cap of $103.39M.


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As the short week goes by, there is still plenty to digest over the weekend. The ASX (both 200 and All Ords) will remain under keen surveillance on Monday to see whether this trend of following US market momentum toward the end of their trading continues in our own. The next trading session Down Under might give us a clue, but with the weekend in between, fundamental triggers are more likely than not to play a bigger part.