Local stocks posted steady gains in Friday trade, ahead of a key US data release tonight (August employment figures).

Risk appetite held sway in Asian trade as the ASX 200 finished around 0.5% higher, while a uranium blitz helped the microcap Emerging Companies index to a larger 2% gain.

Gains at the big end of town were paced by the resources sector, as the recently volatility in iron ore continued with spot prices moving sharply higher overnight.

The ASX 200 Financials index also finished higher alongside energy stocks, with steady gains for most other sectors.

BIG CAP WINNERS

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Code Name Price % Change Volume Market Cap
PDN Paladin Energy Ltd 0.78 23.8% 98,983,930 1,687,071,375
ERA Energy Resources 0.315 10.5% 1,256,134 1,052,044,211
INR Ioneer Ltd 0.6 8.1% 19,033,234 1,056,829,280
LTR Liontown Resources 1.005 7.5% 12,807,462 1,783,064,790
ORE Orocobre Limited 9.79 7.0% 6,353,514 5,828,131,790
WHC Whitehaven Coal 2.84 6.8% 13,739,407 2,746,833,657
AWC Alumina Limited 1.995 6.7% 30,955,808 5,426,144,250
CUV Clinuvel Pharmaceut. 40.44 6.3% 422,241 1,879,569,258
MSB Mesoblast Limited 1.71 5.9% 8,993,557 1,047,644,153
HMC Home Consortium 7.09 5.3% 1,835,266 1,953,492,569
ARF Arena REIT. 4.45 5.2% 1,709,684 1,456,507,131
IEL Idp Education Ltd 31.5 5.0% 1,020,378 8,350,086,330
MGH Maas Group Holdings 4.82 4.6% 440,648 1,273,279,441
AVN Aventus Group 3.55 3.8% 3,350,832 1,951,083,994
PSI Psc Insurance Ltd 4.2 3.7% 501,669 1,306,539,752
WEB Webjet Limited 5.95 3.7% 4,181,532 2,175,516,361
TNE Technology One 10.49 3.6% 877,419 3,258,302,273
VUL Vulcan Energy 13.9 3.5% 1,591,677 1,461,068,019

Leading the large cap pack today was the $1.7bn Paladin Resources (ASX:PDN), which rode the uranium wave today to post an intra-day gain of more than 20%.

Lithium developer Liontown Resources (ASX:LTR) was among the large cap leaders, after confirming plans to de-merge its non-lithium assets and spin them out into a separate IPO.

The deal, first flagged in June, will see LTR spin out its Moora and Koojan JV projects in the WA Wheatbelt into a separate vehicle, with plans to raise between $15m and $30m in a new IPO priced at 50c per share.

Also rising strongly was enterprise Software as a Service (SaaS) company Technology One (ASX:TNE), which has struck a deal to acquire UK ed-tech business Scientia Resource Management.

TNE will pay £6m (~$11m) for Scientia, which makes software that assists in academic timetabling and resource scheduling. CEO Edward Chung said the deal aligns with TNE’s strategic focus on the higher education sector.

BIG CAP LOSERS

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Code Name Price % Change Volume Market Cap
BGL Bellevue Gold Ltd 0.855 -9.5% 20,895,009 811,624,963
AEF Australian Ethical 9.87 -5.7% 321,047 1,176,693,335
OCL Objective Corp 19.12 -4.2% 155,194 1,880,369,714
BET Betmakers Tech Group 1.23 -3.5% 11,155,374 1,092,341,729
BSL BlueScope Steel Ltd 23.92 -3.0% 2,073,044 12,423,861,878
DDR Dicker Data Limited 13.66 -3.0% 317,284 2,433,495,159
RMS Ramelius Resources 1.47 -3.0% 5,205,409 1,233,356,182
RMC Resimac Grp Ltd 2.41 -2.8% 181,305 1,012,843,063
APT Afterpay Limited 130.71 -2.8% 849,317 38,996,387,882
PNI Pinnacle Investment 16.44 -2.7% 580,510 3,216,024,539
DEG De Grey Mining 1.155 -2.5% 5,356,672 1,531,514,217
NWH NRW Holdings Limited 1.9 -2.3% 3,384,309 887,636,771
REH Reece Limited 19.83 -2.3% 622,062 13,107,019,032
SGM Sims Limited 14.48 -2.2% 979,903 2,982,607,932
EDV Endeavour 6.79 -2.2% 4,366,970 12,429,401,318
BRN Brainchip Ltd 0.495 -2.0% 9,745,131 845,742,258

Leading the laggards was Bellevue Gold (ASX:BGL), which dipped by around 10% after announcing a $106m share placement at 85c a share.

BGL managing director Steve Parsons said the raise leaves the company’s Bellevue project “fully-funded to production”.

The company will now “proceed full-steam ahead with development, while maintaining a strong emphasis on further growth by increasing and upgrading the Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves”.