ASX ends week higher as risk appetite returns

It was a three-day winning streak for local shares, as the ASX finished higher by 0.60% on Friday. For, the week the ASX 200 gained 3.27%.

Risk appetite seems to have returned, encouraged by a potential resolution in the Russian-Ukraine conflict. Market sentiment has also been lifted after Russian bonds averted a default following coupon payments in dollars yesterday.

US President Joe Biden is scheduled to talk with China’s Xi Jinping later today, which could simmer down concerns over potential sanctions on China.

The Aussie dollar has been a major gainer this week, edging closer to US 74c as pressure mounts on the RBA to hike its rates following the US Fed’s 25bp increase earlier this week.

On the ASX, the Energy and Mining sectors lifted higher today on the back of higher oil and iron ore prices.

Tech has also made a comeback and this week, the sector was up 8% driven by the rebound in Block Inc (ASX:SQ2), whose share price has surged by almost 20%.

Meanwhile in global news, Amazon has completed its $11b acquisition of film studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), while the Australian consumer watchdog ACCC is suing Meta over crypto ads made on the Facebook platform.

BIG CAP WINNERS

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Code Name Price % Change Volume Market Cap
SMR Stanmore Resources 1.58 10.5% 2,630,060 $1,240,076,440
CRN Coronado Global Res 1.975 8.5% 8,008,309 $3,051,145,789
INR Ioneer Ltd 0.52 8.3% 8,488,614 $1,003,463,232
LKE Lake Resources 1.52 7.4% 31,249,895 $1,792,062,278
PDN Paladin Energy Ltd 0.84 7.0% 23,206,726 $2,103,146,794
SQ2 Block 168.525 7.0% 359,911 $7,663,464,270
LTR Liontown Resources 1.64 6.5% 16,254,728 $3,376,026,805
TLX Telix Pharmaceutical 5.11 6.2% 1,475,687 $1,495,166,374
IMD Imdex Limited 2.84 6.0% 967,024 $1,062,492,432
PPH Pushpay Holdings Ltd 1.085 5.9% 651,634 $1,169,358,600
ERA Energy Resources 0.38 5.6% 239,668 $1,328,897,951
AVZ AVZ Minerals Ltd 0.89 5.3% 55,021,893 $2,916,993,303
NVX Novonix Limited 5.61 5.3% 4,444,617 $2,589,654,422
VUL Vulcan Energy 10.07 5.2% 1,185,679 $1,259,843,511
CXO Core Lithium 1.105 4.7% 35,911,755 $1,799,347,745
ASM Ausstratmaterials 7.75 4.6% 338,255 $1,033,739,504
CXL Calix Limited 7.23 4.5% 1,505,013 $1,117,177,477
CMM Capricorn Metals 4.01 4.4% 4,232,371 $1,426,868,863
YAL Yancoal Aust Ltd 4.26 4.4% 377,581 $5,387,392,903

Energy players like Stanmore Resources (ASX:SMR), Coronado (ASX:CRN) and Paladin Energy (ASX:PDN) caught a bid today following the rise in oil and metals prices.

Airport operator Auckland International (ASX:AIA) also traded higher. On Wednesday, AIA reported that its passenger numbers for January were down 73% compared to the pre-COVID equivalent in January 2019.

BIG CAP LOSERS

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Code Name Price % Change Volume Market Cap
MP1 Megaport Limited 12.98 -8.2% 4,275,889 $2,233,399,086
ABP Abacus Property Grp. 3.345 -6.0% 4,013,656 $2,962,932,097
5EA 5Eadvanced 3.26 -5.5% 1,187,419 $1,038,657,932
HSN Hansen Technologies 5.2 -4.2% 361,537 $1,089,647,521
APE Eagers Automotive 12.5 -4.2% 684,646 $3,352,977,033
SGR The Star Ent Grp 3.18 -3.9% 10,210,186 $3,151,167,035
GQG GQG Partners 1.425 -3.1% 1,513,206 $4,340,623,988
BRN Brainchip Ltd 0.96 -3.0% 18,513,681 $1,697,218,523
PMV Premier Investments 27.63 -2.9% 171,364 $4,524,941,805
SGM Sims Limited 20.4 -2.9% 460,666 $4,151,293,923
FLT Flight Centre Travel 18.86 -2.8% 1,651,857 $3,876,525,875

The Star Entertainment Group (ASX:SGR) was down 4% over allegations in the media that it disguised $900m in casino transactions as ‘hotel expenses’ to help Chinese high rollers circumvent rules.

The casino released a statement today saying that it wasn’t in a position to comment as a formal review into its operations is currently ongoing.