Local blue chips have gone into the Easter Break back in the green. The ASX 200 was up 44.4 points to 7,523.4 at close of trade.

The ASX followed the lead of Wall Street overnight, which rallied and broke this week’s losing streak.All major stock market indexes finishing higher. The S&P 500 was up 1.12%, the Dow by 1.01%, and tech heavy Nasdaq by 2.03%.

By sector, large cap gold stocks outperformed, while the ASX 200 indexes for tech stocks, energy companies and the resources sector all posted a gain of more than 1%.

The ASX 200 financials index lagged the bank, in a lacklustre session for the big banks.

In news this afternoon, Australia’s unemployment rate has remained at 4% in March, despite ~18,000 jobs being added to the economy during the month. It’s the lowest level since monthly job numbers were first collated in the late 1970s.

BIG CAP WINNERS

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Positive moves in the ASX 200 were punctuated by solid gains for the listed large cap cohort of travel stocks.

Travel booking platform Webjet (ASX:WEB) led the pack with a gain of more than 7%, followed closely by the national airline, Qantas (ASX:QAN).

Also rising strongly were Flight Centre (ASX:FLT) and Corporate Travel Management (ASX:CTD).

BIG CAP LOSERS

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The Bank of Queensland (ASX:BOQ) posted its biggest daily loss since 2020, as the market reacted to a lower than expected interim dividend payout.

BoQ shares were down ~6% to $8.02, although CEO George Frazis tried to talk up the bank’s future prospects.

Essentially, the bank doesn’t appear to be earning a good return on capital, particularly the $1.3 billion acquisition of ME Bank, which was finalised mid 2021.