Local shares fought back in afternoon trading to close by just 0.7% lower, after being down by 1% in morning session.

For the week, the ASX 200 was up 0.35%.

Investor sentiment was negative throughout the day, amid fears the Russian invasion of Ukraine was imminent after mortar shelling was reported along the tense line of contact.

Overnight, Wall Street fell with all major benchmarks falling by around 2%.

Gold rose almost 2% amid flight to safe haven, but oil prices surprisingly fell almost 3%. Experts are saying however that whatever weakness is seen in the oil market is most likely to be short-lived.

By sector, the ASX fell across the board today, with Healthcare and Utilities the worst performers falling by over 2% each, while Mining being the only sector to eke out a gain, up 0.1%.

While war uncertainties continue to play havoc on the market, next Wednesday’s key Q4 wages data release in Australia could be a catalyst for the RBA’s next move.

The RBA has consistently said it won’t make any adjustment to monetary policy until a further pickup in wages growth is evident.

BIG CAP WINNERS

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Embattled fund manager Magellan (ASX:MFG) surged almost 20% on the back of robust first half profit $251.6 million, 24% higher than pcp.

Its average funds under management was up 12% to $113bn and the company reported a 110.1 cents per share dividend.

Core Lithium (ASX:CXO) jumped 6% after announcing more discovery at its Finniss Lithium Project in the NT. Results include: 57.35m at 1.83% lithium oxide at drill hole NMRD016.

BIG CAP LOSERS

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QBE Insurance (ASX:QBE) tumbled 8.5% despite swinging from a $1.52 bil loss in 2020 to a $750 million profit in 2021 – mainly off the back of strong premium growth.

However, NPAT was still below the market consensus of US$870m.

The gains were mainly a by-product of gross written premiums, which rose around 25% for the year to US$18.45b.

Incitec Pivot (ASX:IPL) tumbled 5.5% after reporting an incident at its hydrogen plant in Louisiana, US.

The company said all employees are safe and no injuries have been reported, and based on initial investigation, no chemical was released to the environment.