The ASX 200 opened the week 0.54% lower, with travel stocks weighing on the index.

Travel and travel-adjacent stocks fell following similar moves in New York and Europe on Friday.

This comes as European COVID cases are increasing again, with Austria having just imposed a 20-day national lockdown.

Qantas (ASX:QAN) was down by 4% , while Flight Centre (ASX:FLT) fell 7% in a broad-brushed selloff in travel.

Concerns of a new COVID wave in Europe also caused the oil market to come under pressure, with the benchmark Brent crude falling by 3% in London on Friday.

Iron ore miners meanwhile have picked up today, after the spot iron ore rebounded by 5%.

Experts have warned however that the downward trend in iron ore price could last until Q1 of 2022 amid China’s steel production control.

Lithium miners like Orocobre (ASX:ORE) and Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) both rose by around 4%.


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Nickel Mines (ASX:NIC)
NIC has signed a multi-faceted MoU with Shanghai Decent Investment, setting out a framework for future collaborations over the next several years. The MoU outlines a plan by which Nickel Mines can participate in numerous future nickel development projects the Tsingshan group has planned across Indonesia. The MoU also outlined a framework for future collaboration on clean energy projects.

The company announced that AMP Capital will continue to act as trustee and manager of the $7b Wholesale Office Fund (AWOF). The independent committee hired by AMP has recommended against moving the funds under a third party.

Vulcan Energy (ASX:VUL)
The zero-carbon lithium play, which has fallen by around 30% since coming under attack from short-sellers, announced this morning that it’s signed a binding lithium hydroxide offtake agreement with car manufacturer Renault Group. Conditions precedent — events that must come to pass before the contract is considered in effect — include successful start of commercial production and full product qualification.


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