After climbing more than 1% in morning trade, local large caps lost ground in the afternoon session as the ASX 200 finished up eking out a 0.22% gain.

The big end of town was clearly outshone by the microcap Emerging Companies index, which ripped higher by 2.28%.

Amid what ended up being a patchy session for large caps, gold stocks fell even though prices for the precious metal edged higher amid lingering global concerns about the Omicron variant.

ASX 200 tech stocks were among the better performers, as the Information Technology index gained 0.7%, while the big banks and miners traded flat.

The Aussie dollar last ground across the board in afternoon trade, and is currently holding just above US71c.

BIG CAP WINNERS

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Among stocks with a market cap of +$1bn, Collins Foods (ASX:CKY) bounced sharply in the wake of its half-year results announcement this morning.

The ASX 200 company, which operates food brands including KFC in the Australian market, flagged a 10% lift in EBITDA to $92.5m.

And while markets in Europe deal with the fallout from the latest round of COVID-19 disruptions, CKY flagged stronger growth from its European operations.

“KFC Europe was the standout performer, experiencing a strong recovery with revenue and earnings back above pre-pandemic levels,” the company said.

Battery technology company Novonix (ASX:NVX) — now a $5.2bn company — is still ripping higher after already posting huge gains in 2021.

The stock rose more than 10% today following its AGM. At today’s close of $12.18, shares in NVX have risen more than 6,600% from their March 2020 pandemic lows of 18c.

Also rising strongly was Credit Corp (ASX:CCP), which earlier today flagged the sale of its Radio Rentals store network to Thorn Group in a deal worth around $45m.

And two market darlings (and former small caps) also got back on the winner’s list today, as zero-carbon lithium play Vulcan Energy (ASX:VUL) bounced off recent lows with a 6% gain.

Telco provider and NBN competitors Uniti Wireless (ASX:UWL) also rose strongly to close above $4, a premium of more than 2,000% to its 2019 listing price of 20c.

BIG CAP LOSERS

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