The ASX 200 finished 0.36% higher in Monday trade, as the Information Technology sector and the Consumer Discretionary sector both outperformed with gains more more than 1%.

Across the commodities complex, the gold majors found demand with steady gains in Monday trade, outperforming BHP and Rio which edged lower (while Fortescue gained ground with a 1.16% rise.

Biotech stocks also had a strong session, as the ASX 200 Health Care index rose by 1.21% — its first intraday gain since last Tuesday.

Elsewhere, ASX 200 Financials stocks traded flat as investors reassess the outlook for banks and insurers in an environment of rising inflation.

Oil & gas stocks also lagged, with the ASX 200 Energy index finishing 0.19% lower.

BIG CAP WINNERS

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The biggest mover among the larger caps was $1.1bn biotech Mesoblast (ASX:MSB), which has struggled for traction since the US FDA asked it to conduct another study of its stem cell treatment for children with a complication from bone marrow transplants in October 2020.

Today, the dual-listed company (Nasdaq:MESO) jumped more than 10% after presenting details of a controlled Phase 3 trial of its rexlemestrocel-L treatment in 565 patients with heart issues.

The trial results indicated a “reduction in cardiovascular mortality, heart attacks and strokes, with greatest effect seen in setting of inflammation”, MSB said.

Also performing strongly was $3bn lithium play Liontown Resources (ASX:LTR), which issued a response to a media article concerning the procurement of funding for its Kathleen Valley lithium project.

LTR said it’s “progressing a range of funding options but has not yet determined the preferred mechanism, quantum or timing of funding for Kathleen Valley and it does not have in place any mandate to raise equity”.

BIG CAP LOSERS

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