SYDNEY, AAP – Information technology shares soared by more than three per cent as the ASX bounced back from Thursday’s rate hike worries.
Buy now, pay later provider Zip rallied by 9.17 per cent to $8.09 and Afterpay climbed 6.30 per cent to $114.24 after investors earlier pushed the US Nasdaq higher.
ASX telecommunications and consumer discretionary shares gained more than two per cent.
There were increases of more than one per cent for healthcare and industrials. Market giant CSL rose 1.49 per cent to $306.75.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was higher by 37.3 points, or 0.50 per cent, to 7396.3 at 1200 AEST on Friday.
The index came within three points of a record high.
The All Ordinaries was up by 47.7 points, or 0.62 per cent, to 7648.2.
The major share categories, materials and financials, were down by less than half a per cent.
In the US, investors favoured buying on the Nasdaq after the first rise in weekly jobless claims in more than a month.
The rise prompted some to suggest the US economy needs much more progress from pandemic lows before interest rates can rise.
Technology stocks generally thrive on low rates.
On Thursday, US Federal Reserve officials brought forward their estimates of a rate hike to 2023, which sent markets lower.
On Friday, the Dow Jones and S&P 500 closed lower. The latter, broader index was little changed.
In Australia, Woolworths is facing legal action for allegedly underpaying managers.
The Fair Work Ombudsman has started Federal Court action against the supermarket giant over allegations it underpaid 70 salaried managers upwards of $1.1 million.
Woolworths in 2019 flagged the problem and pledged to compensate those affected.
Shares were lower by 0.93 per cent to $42.94.
BetMakers Technology Group climbed 12.03 per cent to $1.21 after completing the purchase of the racing, tote and digital businesses of Sportech.
The newly-acquired businesses are based in Europe, the UK and the US.
Infant formula provider Bubs soared by 12.32 per cent to 49 cents after a deal with Walmart to supply US consumers.
The Aussie Bubs range will be available via Walmart online from September.
Products will also be made available through Amazon.
Among the banks, the big four were all lower by less than one per cent.
The Commonwealth fared worst of the group and lost 0.97 per cent to $104.88, but remains near record highs.
In mining, the major players had varying performances.
BHP was down 0.88 per cent to $47.27. Fortescue was up 0.26 per cent to $22.67. Rio Tinto was little changed at $124.24.
Energy shares were lower by 1.87 per cent and were the worst performers.
The Australian dollar was buying 75.53 US cents at 1200 AEST, lower from 76.20 US cents at Thursday’s close.