• ASX closes 0.85% higher today, up 0.75% for the week
  • Lithium stocks bounced back after Wednesday’s collapse
  • US Fed and RBA boards meet next week

Local blue chips tracked Wall Street higher today, as lithium and other metal miners rebounded strongly.

At the close, the ASX 200 was up by 0.85%, led by the Mining sector which rose by more than 2.5%.

For the week, the ASX 200 was down 0.75%.

Lithium producers around the world took a hammering on Wednesday after Goldman Sachs sent a note saying the price of three key battery metals — cobalt, lithium and nickel – were overcooked and would drop over the next two years.

Today the sector rebounded despite a bit of jitttery news as Mali-based gold and lithium explorer Firefinch (ASX:FFX) plunged by more than 60%.

The drop in share price reflected the spinoff of Firefinch’s lithium business, with the demerged business, Leo Lithium (ASX:LLL), set to start trading on the ASX on June 23.

Along with Mining, the Tech sector has also jumped by more than 2% today in line with the Nasdaq’s 2.69% overnight.

But stockmarkets in the US and Australia will face a crucible test next week, as both the Fed and RBA have scheduled board meetings to announce the latest round of rate hikes.

Investors have struggled for months to assess the likely size and pace of these planned rate increases.

“It’s a very difficult environment. There are so many factors at play here, and the dynamics are very difficult to interpret,” Peter Garnry, head of equity strategy at Saxo Bank, told the Wall Street Journal.

“We think the Fed will have to be extremely aggressive to get inflation under control.”

BIG CAP WINNERS

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Lithium producers like Lake Resources (ASX:LKE), Liontown Resources (ASX:LTR) and Core Lithium (ASX:CXO) were some of the best performing stocks today, rising by 7%-9%.

BIG CAP LOSERS

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Healthcare services provider Healius (ASX:HLS) dropped 6% after releasing a trading update.

The company says its Q3 Imaging business is slightly ahead of the May guidance, while its Pathology business is ahead of Medicare data.

For the year to date to May 31, Healius’ EBIT was in the order of $473 million, a 100% increase on the unaudited underlying EBIT of $234 million for the same period in FY 2021.