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Sharemarket set to finish financial year on positive note

As the financial year draws to a close, the Australian sharemarket is poised to end in positive territory. The S&P/ASX 200 index has experienced an approximately 11% gain, successfully recovering from a similar decline in the previous year. However, last week saw a 2.1% dip, potentially impacting the final double-digit reading for the financial year.

Across the Pacific in the United States, the S&P 500 index has surged by 15%, while the tech-focused Nasdaq has achieved an impressive 22% increase.

In Australia, the information technology sector has spearheaded the gains, with companies such as WiseTech (ASX: WTC) leading the way with a remarkable 90% gain as of last Friday.

The materials (mining) sector has also fared well, rising by 18%. Market giants BHP (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO) witnessed modest gains of approximately 8% or slightly more over the 51 weeks leading up to June 23.

Meanwhile, CSL shares (ASX: CSL) have experienced a less dramatic increase, up just under 3% for the financial year. However, without a surprise small downgrade a few weeks ago, their gains would have exceeded 11%. On the defensive side, the consumer staples sector has posted a modest gain of 4%. Woolworths (ASX: WOW) shares have risen by approximately 10%, Coles shares (ASX: COL) have recorded less than 3% growth, and Wesfarmers shares (ASX: WES) have increased by over 8%.

However, these gains have been overshadowed by the rise in consumer inflation, which stands at 6.8%, outpacing the nominal wage growth over the year. Energy prices have seen a notable decline, with crude oil down 31%, natural gas down 59%, and thermal coal down 68%.

Gold, on the other hand, experienced a 5.6% increase leading up to last Friday, while copper observed a marginal rise of 1.8%.

As the financial year comes to an end, investors will be closely monitoring market movements in the final days, hoping to sustain the positive momentum achieved throughout the year.