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Asia markets choppy, BOJ holds on rates

woman using a flight simulator

The S&P/ASX 200 had the biggest weekly gain for 13 months - since the last week of January 2021 - finishing 3.3% higher for the past five days. The index closed at the day's high on Friday, up 0.6% for the session at 7294.40, with energy and technology stocks the main gainers. Markets across Asia have turned more positive through the afternoon. New Zealand's NZX 50 closed 1.5% higher for the day. US futures are indicating a fall in markets in the US at the open.

Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 were up 1.23% and the Nasdaq advanced 1.33%.

The Bank of Japan has kept its ultra-easy policy in place, distancing itself from a global wave of monetary tightening because inflationary forces remain weak in Japan. The bank maintained its target for short-term interest rates at minus 0.1% and its target for the 10-year Japanese government-bond yield at around zero.

The decision was a contrast to the Federal Reserve, which raised its policy rate on Wednesday to a range between 0.25% and 0.5%. It was the first US rate increase since 2018. On Thursday, the Bank of England raised rates for the third consecutive meeting, reports Dow Jones.

Crude oil prices are gaining again, holding above US$100 a barrel after slipping under that level earlier in the week.

Which is the fastest-growing energy sector?

The renewable energy market is currently valued at $880bn but it is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.4% until 2030 and will be worth just under $2trn by then.

Nuclear energy has a current valuation of $35bn as a market, but it’s expected to grow almost ten times over in the next eight years to roughly $300bn. Some optimists believe that nuclear will be worth several trillion dollars over the course of the next few decades.

Lastly, there’s oil. Big Oil is by far and away the largest commodity, valued at roughly $2.1trn last year by IBISWorld. While oil demand is expected to slow in the long-term as the world shifts to alternative resources, the market is still growing steadily for now.

READ MORE: Best energy stocks to buy: renewable, nuclear, and oil

AUD/USD US73.93c

WTI currently US$105 a barrel

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