The tech names and consumer stocks have made Friday a winner and the week on the ASX200 is looking an unlikely hero in a world of markets turned upside down.

Buyers came looking for bargains and found them on Friday after another cut to China’s five-year loan prime rate (LPR) has boosted hopes of a cracking stimulus package from Australia’s largest trading partner.

“The five-year loan prime rate (LPR) is 4.45 per cent,” The PBoC announced on their site with all the fanfare of a humourless one-party state, culling 15BPS off the key determining rate for most Chinese lenders.

The surprise cut in the five-year loan prime rate by Chinese banks comes off the back of the PBoC (People’s Bank of China) slashing the first home buyer’s mortgage rate last week in signs that Chinese officials are prepared to stimulate the world’s second largest economy as Shanghai emerges from a strict COVID-hibernation.

Brutal mandatory lock-ins across major cities has all but suffocated critical Chinese supply chains, neutered activity, hamstrung mobility and taken a big stick to what was an already stuttering manufacturing sector, as President Xi Jinping doubled-down on the Chinese Communist Party’s no discussion ‘zero-Covid’ pandemic fighting philosophy.

The reduction in the LPR shadows a rising wave of defaults across China’s real estate sector riddled with malignant debt levels and none of the demand to cure it.

However that bridge now appears to have been too big for the party to negotiate, with ANZ China economist Shaopeng Xing says by taking the knife to the five-year loan prime rate this week shows China’s leadership has given up teaching the wretched property industry to swim, “and decided to rescue it as soon as possible.”

The one-year loan prime rate, which guides how much interest commercial banks charge to corporate borrowers, remained unchanged at 3.7 per cent.

Nevertheless, the announcement made an impression here.

The S&P/ASX200 is up about 75 points on Friday or 1.1% to 7,141. Over the last five days, the benchmark has gained 0.94%, but is down 4.07% for the last year to date.

 

BIG CAP WINNERS

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Afternoon business delivered a spike in metals and iron ore prices. BHP (ASX:BHP) rose 2.1% while the China-focused Fortescue (ASX:FMG)  added a lazy 4%.

The technology sector rallied 4.5%, led by a 21% bump for Life360 (ASX:360) which told its AGM the firm would hit revenue and earnings guidance.

Elsewhere, the Novonix (ASX:NVX) share price is going quietly nuts today as part of the broader ‘lets get some lithium’ theme.

NVX is trading some 15% higher but the battery materials firm is climbing as buyers pour back into the market following some possible over-selling.

And Chalice Mining (ASX:CHN) is charging the hell ahead on Friday after finally telling the universe it had received long-awaited approvals to work inside a state forest in Western Australia.

Chalice hit its sooper-dooper platinum, palladium, nickel and copper deposit on out at Gonneville, about 60 kilometres from Perth, but aerial surveys suggest the hit may very well run deep into the nearby Julimar State Forest.

Julimaaaaaar. That’s a word every budding miner should learn.

Look just quietly, because we’re celebrating tech a little bit here in bigger-than-small cap land… Tech firm Calix (ASX:CXL) says its received $61m worth of the grants from the Federal Government this week, a nice bonus after a week of gains on the bourse.

The group secured a near $11m grant for its Adbri JV lime project on Thursday, after a $20m award for a lithium concentrate pilot JV with Pilbara Minerals and a $30m grant for a carbon abatement project with Boral on Monday.

 

BIG CAP LOSERS

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Come on. It’s Friday and as you know, there are no losers on Friday.