U.S. stock index futures rose slightly Friday as the stock benchmark wrapped up a volatile, but winning quarter that saw more Federal Reserve rate tightening and a mini-financial panic spurred on by the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. S&P 500 futures gained 0.4%, and Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 134 points, or 0.4%. Nasdaq-100 futures increased 0.3%. The market got a slight boost Friday after the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge showed a less-than-expected increase in prices. The core Personal Consumption Expenditures index, which excludes energy and food costs, rose 0.3% in February, less than the 0.4% expected by economists polled by Dow Jones. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite are up 5.5% and 14.8%, respectively, for the first quarter through Thursday’s close. The Dow is down slightly. For the month the S&P 500 and Nasdaq have gained 2% and 4.9%, respectively, in March. The Dow, meanwhile, is up 0.6% through Thursday’s close. But it hasn’t been a smooth ride. Stocks mounted a comeback in the latter part of March after the month began with the failure of two regional banks, a forced-takeover of Credit Suisse and a flight of deposits from smaller institutions. The government’s backstop of the deposits of SVB, as well as Signature Bank, and the setup of a special lending facility for other banks, helped stem the crisis. Primary credit lending totaled $88.2 billion while banks took out $64.4 billion through the Fed’s new Bank Term Funding Program, according to Fed data released Thursday that covered the period from March 22-29. That total of $152.6 billion was down slightly from $164 billion the week before and a further sign the crisis was stabilizing as the month comes to an end. The SPDR Regional Banking ETF ticked higher in Friday premarket trading, continuing its comeback from the contagion lows. The ETF is up about 5% from its March low. Tech stocks were the big winner this month as investors rotated out of financials. The Technology Select SPDR ETF is up 9% in March, far more than any other sector ETF. The recent rally is “helping to confirm the market’s perception that the problems that brought the market to a crisis of confidence could very well be contained,” said Quincy Krosby, chief global strategist for LPL Financial. “The semiconductors, [which] have come to be viewed as an important bellwether for global growth, delivered a strong performance,” Krosby continued. Markets in the Asia-Pacific traded higher on Friday as technology stocks continued to see renewed interest and led gains on Wall Street, with some shaking off concerns of a further banking crisis. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.93% to 28,041.48 and the Topix rose 1.02% to 2,003.5 as Tokyo’s inflation print continued to show lower levels from its recent peak of 4.3% seen in December. The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia rose 0.78% to close at 7,177.8. South Korea’s Kospi also rose 0.97% to end its session at 2,476.86 while the Kosdaq fell 0.35% to 847.52. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong pared earlier gains and last traded 0.65% higher in its final hour of trade. The Hang Seng Tech index also rose 0.92%. In mainland China, the Shenzhen Component gained 0.64% and the Shanghai Composite inched up 0.36%. Oil prices were up on Friday ahead of key U.S. inflation data which could give clues on future interest rate moves. On the month, oil was on course for its weakest performance since November. Brent futures, which have risen nearly 6% this week, were up 33 cents, or 0.4%, at $79.60. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) U.S. crude was up 44 cents, or 0.6%, to $74.81, having gained about 8% so far this week. Gold prices held steady on Friday, but the safe-haven metal was bound for its second straight quarterly rise after recent banking turmoil raised hopes of a less-aggressive U.S. Federal Reserve and shored up interest in bullion. Spot gold was trading near flat at $1,981.69 per ounce. U.S. gold futures added 0.1% to $1,999.30.