Local markets decided that enough was enough (for now) with the Russia-Ukraine crisis on Wednesday, as the ASX 200 closed higher.

The measured gains at the big end of town partially offset two separate +1% falls for the index over the previous three trading days.

Australia has joined other Western countries in announcing sanctions on Russia, after it declared sovereignty over two separatist states the international community doesn’t recognise as independent.

ASX 200 Energy stocks rose, although oil prices — a markets barometer of the military escalation risk — fell back from US$96/barrel to US$93/b overnight before stabilising just shy of $US95/b.

In an indicator that it was a risk-on kind of day, large cap tech stocks outperformed as the ASX 200 Information Technology index rose by almost 2%.

Gold stocks fell while there were no major catalysts across the other large cap sectors.


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With reporting season in full swing, online property settlement platform Pexa Group (ASX:PXA) led the large cap pack with a 15% gain following its half-year trading update.

The $3bn company, which listed last July in a $1bn IPO, said revenues were up 46% to $145.4m resulting in a statutory net profit after tax of $9.7m.

“We now expect to materially exceed previous Prospectus guidance across FY22 and have increased guidance across all key earnings metrics,” the company said.

Also on the winner’s list today was Zip Co (ASX:Z1P), the embattled BNPL company which is clinging to the large cap list with a market cap of $1.2bn after seeing its stock fall from +$12 to less than $2.

So was +$1bn uranium player Paladin Energy (ASX:PDN), which climbed by more than 7%.

Among stocks with news, Nickel Mines (ASX:NIC) found demand following the release of its annual report today.

After raising $200m in a 2018 IPO, the company is now looking to play a major role in the development of Indonesia’s Chinese backed nickel pig iron industry.


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Leading the laggards was Domino’s Pizza (ASX:DMP), which slumped following its half-year results where it flagged a 5.7% fall in EBIT to $144.7m.

Shares in DMP have now almost halved from last year’s high above $160.