• Mining stocks rally
  • Australia job vacancies balloon to 6.9%
  • Lithium stocks keep surging

A rally in mining stocks wasn’t enough to push the ASX to an eighth consecutive day of gains.

The benchmark index closed 0.2% lower today, and for March it’s up by almost 6 % and inching towards all-time highs.

The Mining sector, which makes up one fifth of the benchmark index, rallied by 1.5% as giant miners like BHP (ASX:BHP) and Rio (ASX:RIO) climbed.

This comes as iron ore and other commodities continue to rise amid the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The war is raging on despite Russia’s promise on Tuesday to de-escalate activities in major cities including Kyiv.

The Australian Border Force has today slapped tariffs on Russian and Belarusian goods – of up to 35%, – in response to Russia’s invasion.

Meanwhile, Australia is in dire need of workers as job vacancies jumped to 6.9% in the three months to February. Vacancies are at 86% higher than what they were prior to Covid, raising more concerns around inflation.

Tech stocks erased most of yesterday’s gains after falling by almost 2% today.

BIG CAP WINNERS

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The raging hot lithium sector keep surging after media reports the US government could be investing more in Australia’s critical mineral projects.

ionner (ASX:INR) was one of the best performers today, up by 17%, on no specific news.

Core Lithium (ASX:CXO), another lithium play, jumped 8% after announcing positive drilling update from the Finniss Lithium Project near Darwin.

BIG CAP LOSERS

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Air New Zealand (ASX:AIZ) dropped 6% after coming out of a trading halt. The airline is is launching a NZ$2.2 billion recapitalisation package to help position the airline for recovery. It includes NZ$1.2 billion in pro rata renounceable rights offer to shareholder.