The Australian market finished higher with the ASX 200 index breaking through 5,800 mid-week for the first time in almost one month. The market gave up some of its gains on Friday, weighed down by energy stocks due to a big fall in oil prices. Information about the labour market released this week for the month of May surprised to with employment growth and the unemployment rate falling to 5.5%. This caused the market to scale back expectations of a rate cut this year. The best performer in the ASX 200 index was Bellamy’s Australia following a business update and the announcement of a 5 for 38 non-renounceable entitlement offer at $4.75 per share. The worst performer was lithium company Galaxy Resources despite no material announcements from the company. There are some concerns in the market about lithium over-supply next year.
In global markets, Wall Street was mixed despite the Dow Jones and the S&P 500 closing at records on Tuesday as technology shares rebounded on the back of a two day decline. The Dow Jones also closed at a record on Wednesday. The markets lost traction on Thursday though as large-cap names in the technology sector extended losses and energy names sold off. The U.S. Federal Reserve increased the federal funds rate by 25 basis points to a target range of 1.00-1.25% as widely expected. The Fed also reiterated its expectation of reducing its $4.5 trillion balance sheet this year.
European markets were lower as risk assets were sold off following the UK election, negative signs from consumers and divided views on the Bank of England’s decision to leave interest rates on hold. Asian markets were lower on falling oil prices and the U.S. Fed’s monetary policy decision.
The Australian dollar was higher against major global currencies this week and hit a two month high against the U.S. dollar. Weak U.S. inflation data and positive Australian labour market data supported the local currency.

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