After a sluggish start, the ASX200 posted a solid session with steady gains across all the major indexes.

Gains were led by the IT sector, on another good day for Afterpay (ASX:APT) which has continued to track higher following last week’s marquee takeover announcement.

At around $135, APT shares are now trading well above the currency-adjusted acquisition price of around ~$126 and closed today at their highest level since February 23

Elsewhere, mining & materials stocks tracked sideways while the big banks continued to move higher.

The ASX200 Energy index lagged the pack, as oil prices stay stuck below $US70/barrel amid global demand concerns stemming from the impact of the COVID-19 Delta variant.

BIG CAP WINNERS

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Gains were led by battery metals technology company Novonix (ASX:NVX), which announced that NYSE-listed Phillips 66 has taken a strategic 16% stake in the business for US$150m (~$200m).

A logistics and refinery company, Phillips 66 is a leading manufacturer of speciality coke which is a key input in battery production.

The investment will give Novonix “the capital needed to support growth and R&D as we continue to scale our synthetic graphite production, and develop new technologies for higher-performance energy storage applications”, CEO Chris Burns said.

Also near the top of the winner’s list was sports betting stock Pointsbet Holdings (ASX:PBH), which ripped higher by more than 10% on no news, other than a Form 603 to announce that investor company Pu Luo Chung VC Private Ltd was no longer a substantial shareholder due to dilution, following the company’s recent capital raise.

BIG CAP LOSERS

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Among the laggards, road toll company Transurban (ASX:TCL) posted its second straight day of losses following the release of its FY21 results yesterday which showed the company is feeling the impact of reduced travel due to COVID-19 lockdowns.