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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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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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”.