Local stocks started flat, traded flat and closed flat in a lazy Friday to end the week, with few major catalysts in Asian trade.

The ASX 200 eked out a small gain of 0.18%, as the iron ore majors edged higher along with oil & gas stocks.

Following a rocky week, the ASX 200 Financials index traded flat, while large cap gold stocks initially fell by more than 2% before clawing back some of those losses in afternoon trade.

Looking ahead, S&P500 future markets are trading around 0.4% higher ahead of the Friday open on Wall Street, following a solid session overnight where big tech stocks led the way.

BIG CAP WINNERS

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It’s been a bumpy couple of years for casino group Crown Resorts (ASX:CWN), but some potential suitors have been circling the wagon of late.

Today, private equity behemoth (and current Crown shareholder) Blackstone fired off another bidding salvo, with a new offer valuing CWN at $12.50 per share.

Crown’s board said it will review the proposal and advised shareholders to sit on their hands, for now.

Leading the pack though (among stocks with a market cap of +$1bn) was an ASX debutante, as the local IPO market stays busy.

Ventia Services (ASX:VNT) is an essential services network that carries out jobs for a range of sectors in Australia and New Zealand. The platform — owned by listed infrastructure group CIMIC and Apollo Global Management — raised more than $400m from investors at $1.70 per share.

The stock jumped to more than $2 on day one, giving VNT a market cap of $1.4bn.

Also posting solid gains on Friday was Treasury Wine Estates (ASX:TWE), a day after announcing the acquisition the Frank Family Vineyards in the US for US$315m.

One of the ASX stocks hit the most by the freeze in ties with China, Chairman Paul Rayner last month told investors the company hasn’t yet given up on that market.

BIG CAP LOSERS

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