The ASX 200 still struggled for clear direction on Thursday, but a bit of risk appetite returned in afternoon trade that saw the index close in positive territory with a gain of 0.14%.

The resources and materials indexes did all of the heavy lifting, in connection with ongoing strength for gold and iron ore prices.

Australia’s big-three iron ore majors all jumped by more than 3%, while large cap gold stocks were especially prevalent on the winner’s list following a sharp jump in USD-prices for the precious metal overnight.

Those gains offset more falls for the big banks and large cap tech stocks, as the commodity rally extends its run while investors look to pivot out of stocks facing headwinds from the changing interest rates outlook.

BIG CAP WINNERS

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With gold pushing further above US$1,800/oz in a changing interest rates environment, Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST) walked into a hot market this morning as higher prices coincided with the company’s latest production update, which on the whole was well-received by investors.

Market darling Chalice Mining (ASX:CHN) was also among the leaders, following the release of a corporate presentation alongside an update advising that diamond drilling has now commenced at the Hartog target within its now-famous Julimar nickel-copper-PGE project in WA.

Other large cap gold stocks to outperform included ~$20bn major Newcrest (ASX:NCM) and WA-based De Grey Mining (ASX:DEG), which climbed back above $1.40 for the first time since May last. year.

BIG CAP LOSERS

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The hottest stock on the ASX — AI chip technology company Brainchip (ASX:BRN) — cooled off (slightly) with a fall of around 6%.

However, the largely pre-revenue company still closed near $2 with a market cap of more than $3.5bn.