The Nasdaq Composite stock index has closed out its best quarter since 2020, buoyed from bets on Big Tech companies by investors who rolled back expectations for higher interest rates. The tech-heavy index gained 16.8 per cent in the first three months of 2023 after rising 1.7 per cent on Friday. The broader S&P 500 index was also lifted by the strength in tech, adding 1.4 per cent on Friday to bring its quarterly increase to 7 per cent.
A gauge of global stocks was on course for its biggest weekly percentage gain in 4-1/2 months on Friday, with the two-year U.S. Treasury yield set for its first quarterly decline in the past nine, as U.S. inflation data fueled hopes the Federal Reserve may be reaching the end of its rate hiking cycle. U.S. consumer spending rose moderately in February, and while inflation cooled, it remained elevated enough to possibly allow the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates one more time this year.