Local stocks posted solid gains on Tuesday as risk appetite returned to markets, with the ASX 200 posting a gain of +1% for the first time since October 4.

The two sectors that came under the most pressure during the recent market wobbles — Information Technology and Energy — both outperformed with gains of more than 2%.

Investors haven’t yet given up on the reopening trade (and by extension oil prices), as fears eased over the capacity of the omicron variant to cause another extended round of COVID-19 disruptions.

Meanwhile, big tech stocks in the US have steadied after the sector got sold off when the US Fed indicated it may taper faster than expected last week.

Amid broad-based gains, the defensive ASX 200 Utilities sector was the only major industry to finish in the red.

BIG CAP WINNERS

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$1.8bn lithium play AVZ Minerals (ASX:AVZ) led the pack among large caps with an intraday gain of more than 13% on no news.

While the company didn’t provide a market update, CEO Nigel Ferguson did provide the lowdown to Stockhead this morning on the company’s plans for its Manono lithium-tin project in the Democratic Republic of Congo as it heads towards development.

Another notable large cap mover was BNPL player Zip Co (ASX:Z1P), which led broader gains in a sector that has come under sustained selling pressure in recent weeks.

The gains followed a trading update where Zip Co flagged record monthly transaction volumes of $906.5m, up 52% from the prior year.

Other winners included market darling Vulcan Energy (ASX:VUL), the zero-carbon lithium play which has been under pressure since the J Capital short report but bounced back towards $10 today (down from all-time highs of ~$15).

Accompanying optimism around the reopening trade, $3.4bn travel stock Flight Centre (ASX:FLT) also posted solid gains in Tuesday trade.

BIG CAP LOSERS

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Rare earths play Australian Strategic Materials (ASX:ASM) led the laggards, following a market update where ASM said its Dubbo project in New South Wales would cost almost $400 million more than initially planned.

The cost increased was accompanied by higher gross revenue estimates but investors still got the jitters, sending shares in the company more than 10% lower.