The ASX 200 shook off a round of global market jitters to post a solid gain of 0.84% on Tuesday — its best session since December 9.

While there were steady gains across most sectors, investors showed a distinct preference for defensive healthcare stocks as the ASX 200 Health index rose by more than 4%.

Energy stocks recouped some territory following sharp selloffs as Omicron fears weighed on the outlook for oil prices.

Gains for banking stocks were more muted, while the iron ore majors all reported solid gains of between 1-3%.

ASX 200 tech stocks also found demand following a period of heavy selling, with a number of BNPL companies finishing the session in positive territory.

BIG CAP WINNERS

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Medical company Australian Clinical Labs (ASX:ACL) was a notable mover, after upgrading its profit guidance amid surging demand for COVID-19 testing kits stemming from the latest wave of Omicron infections.

Another large cap medical stock, the $2.1bn Telix Pharmaceuticals (ASX:TLX), also gained ground after announcing the first patient has been dosed first patient has been dosed at the Institut de Cancérologie de l’Ouest (ICO) in St Herblain, France for the Phase I study of the company’s TLX250-CDx treatment in patients with non-muscleinvasive bladder cancer (NMIBC).

Among the large cap BNPL leaders was Zip Co (ASX:Z1P), which rose off recent lows with a ~5% gain.

Another payments company that’s come under recent selling pressure, EML (ASX:EML), also outperformed.

And $130bn health giant CSL (ASX:CSL) also found demand after falling by almost 15% over the past month.

In a volatile day of trade, fund manager Magellan Financial (ASX:MFG) also climbed, a day after the stock got hammered when it announced the departure of its largest institutional investment client.

BIG CAP LOSERS

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Leading the large cap laggards was lithium darling Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS), which slipped after announcing a production downgrade which it attributed in part to a lack of skilled workers stemming from WA’s border closures.