The ASX 200 started Christmas week in the red today, down by 0.27%, as investors turned increasingly cautious around the societal ramifications of Omicron.

PM Scott Morrison has just called for a snap cabinet meeting to deal with the latest surge in cases across the country, with Victoria and NSW now recording daily cases in the thousands.

Overseas, the tone was similar as volatile trading engulfed Wall Street on Friday that saw all three major stockmarket indexes falling.

The Energy sector had a woeful day as Omicron fears drove down oil prices 2%, triggering a broad based sell off in energy stocks.

Santos (ASX:STO) and Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) both fell by 4.5%.

Conversely, ASX 200 healthcare stocks — an investor favourite when volatility spikes due to the defensive nature of their earnings — outperformed the broader market with a gain of 0.83%.


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Viva Energy (ASX:VEA) has substantially increased its earnings guidance for FY21.

Viva has now forecast that group EBITDA for the full year of FY21 will come in at between $470m-$490m, a 96% increase from its earnings in FY20

Bluescope Steel (ASX:BSL) gained after advising that the acquisition of the ferrous scrap steel recycling business of MetalX LLC has been completed on Friday, 17 December US time.


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Magellan Financial (ASX:MFG) plunged another 32%, driving the stock price to a multi year low, as UK-based St James Place terminated its multi billion dollar mandate with MFG.

St James is Magellan’s largest corporate client, and the contract termination is expected to cost MFG around $18bn in funds under management.

CIMIC Group (ASX:CIM) has responded to an ASX enquiry, after its stock price dropped 15%.

CIMIC released a statement to the ASX, explaining that an article published today by the AFR about its exit from the Middle East region might have contributed to the stock price move.