As Stockhead’s Josh Chiat reported this morning, reports of an industrial production slowdown in the Middle Kingdom may have been greatly exaggerated.

In fact, the latest update from the People’s Bank of China raised the possibility to more stimulus measures to spur demand.

Iron ore prices rose back over US$95/t on the news, resulting in strong gains across the board for Australia’s mining giants in Tuesday trade.

That demand dragged the ASX 200 to a gain of around 0.8%, on a day when most other sectors took a cue from US markets in response to J-Powell’s renomination as Fed chair.

One of the biggest moves overnight was in the US dollar, as Powell was considered if not hawkish, then at least less dovish than the other Fed chair candidate, Lael Brainard.

A sharp move higher in the greenback weighed on the USD-denominated gold price, and large cap Aussie gold stocks fell in response.

There were solid gains for banking stocks, but the ASX 200 Information Technology index got clipped with a fall of 3.48%.

BIG CAP WINNERS

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Among the iron ore majors, Fortescue (ASX:FMG) was easily the best performer as shares in the pure-play iron ore company ripped higher by almost 10%.

Coming in second was ~$2bn market cap Champion Iron (ASX:CIA), which rose more than 8%.

Switching from bulk commodities to ESG investing, and listed fund Australian Ethical Investments (ASX:AEF) continues to push toward new record highs of around $15 — up almost 200% for the year.

BHP (ASX:BHP) and Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) weren’t left out entirely from the good China vibes, both posting gains of more than 3%.

Elsewhere, $2.1bn lithium multi-bagger AVZ Minerals (ASX:AVZ) had another strong session to close at new all-time highs of 70c.

In energy, a number of oil & gas stocks and uranium large caps also populated Tuesday’s winner’s list.

BIG CAP LOSERS

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On the red side of the ledger, automotive accessories company Bapcor (ASX:BAP) fell sharply after announcing that its 10-year CEO, Darryl Abotomey, will retire in February.

A number of large cap market darlings also came under pressure in the wake of the Powell renomination.

BNPL leader Afterpay (ASX:APT) slumped more than 5% to ~$107, with similar percentage falls for logistics tech platform Wisetech Global (ASX:WCT).

Green lithium player Vulcan Energy (ASX:VUL) also fell more than 5%, a day after rising by 7% after flagging an off-take deal with carmaker Renault.

Other notable laggards included Brainchip (ASX:BRN), the mostly pre-revenue $1.1bn semiconductor play which fell back following a 20% gain on Monday, after signing a four-year license agreement for the BrainChip Akida IP.