The ASX 200 edged higher for a second straight day following the strong lead from Wall Street overnight.

But with a gain of 0.17%, it was again overshadowed by the microcap Emerging Companies index which rose more than 1%.

In line with the rebound in oil prices overnight, gains were led by the ASX 200 Energy index which jumped by 2.82%.

The ASX 200 Materials index also finished higher, as the big miners finally found some demand following a week of heavy selling amid the iron ore rout.

Gains on the broader index appeared to be tempered by a 1.2% drop for the ASX 200 Consumer Staples index, as investors moved out of defensive stocks amid the prevailing risk-on sentiment.



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The big winner on the day was infection prevention company Nanosonics (ASX:NAN), which ripped higher after investors responded to an operational rebound in the second half of 2021.

The company said installations of its automated disinfection technology, Trophon, rose by 20% in H2 while revenues came in at $60m — a gain of 39%.

Another large cap reporting season winner was telco stock Uniti Group (ASX:UWL), which was a small cap when it listed in 2019 at 20c.

The company flagged full-year core earnings (EBITDA) of $93.7m, which it said was above consensus, and booked $64.2m of free cash flow — up from $13.4m in FY20. At today’s closing price of $4.16, UWL now has a market cap of more than $2.6bn.

Rounding out the top three was consumer lending platform Pepper Money (ASX:PPM), which jumped by more than 7% following the release of its half-year accounts.

PPM delivered a statutory net profit after tax (NPAT) of $56m, a gain of 41.1% from the six months ended June 2020.

The company, which listed on the ASX in May, said it’s on track to beat its full-year prospectus forecasts, “subject to no significant deterioration in economic conditions following the most recent lockdowns”.


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Leading the laggards was online retailer (ASX:KGN), which has struggled to get the balance right around its inventory management practices despite scaling up operations to meet demand in the post-COVID ecommerce boom.

The company flagged annual revenues of over $1bn for the first time in its full-year results this morning, but net profits fell by more than 80% and it also scrapped its full-year dividend.