By Oliver Gray
Investing.com - The S&P/ASX 200 added 5.30 just points today to 7,383.20, easing from fresh 9-week highs touched in the previous session as market participants remained cautious amid elevated inflation pressures been since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sent commodities markets surging, with Crude oil prices remaining volatile over concerns that the ongoing conflict will exacerbate an already tight market.
ASX 200 Futures were trading 0.71% higher.
Among stocks, Energy companies were the biggest gainers, up 1.6% collectively amid higher WTI and Brent crude prices. Woodside Petroleum Ltd (ASX: WPL ) added 2.23%, Santos Ltd (ASX: STO ) gained 1.48% and Beach Energy Ltd (ASX: BPT ) added 1.87%.
Materials were up 1.16%, with Rio Tinto Ltd (ASX: RIO ) gaining 2.03%, BHP Billiton Ltd (ASX: BHP ) adding 1.67%, Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (ASX: FMG ) down 0.16%, Champion Iron Ltd (ASX: CIA ) dipped 2.31%, Arizona Lithium Ltd (ASX: AZL ) up 6.45% Avz Minerals Ltd (ASX: AVZ ) gaining 7.28% and Core Lithium Ltd (ASX: CXO ) lifting 3.24%.
The Technology sector was 1.54% lower as Block Inc (ASX: SQ2 ) fell 3.67%, Appen Ltd (ASX: APX ) lost 1.27%, Megaport Ltd (ASX: MP1 ) fell 2.09%, Novonix Ltd (ASX: NVX ) dipped 2.39%, Brainchip Holdings Ltd (ASX: BRN ) eased 0.49%, Altium Ltd (ASX: ALU ) lost 2% and Wisetech Global Ltd (ASX: WTC ) fell 2.01%.
Financials were about 0.7% lower with Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG ) down 1.44%, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ASX: ANZ ) falling 1.04%, Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC ) down 0.25% and Commonwealth Bank Of Australia (ASX: CBA ) falling 0.69%.
National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB ) eased 0.06%, after launching another buy-back worth $A2.5 billion, with chief executive Ross McEwan noting that the buy-backs “supports our ambition to reduce share count and increase sustainable [return on equity] benefits for our shareholders”.
Meantime, JB Hi-Fi Ltd (ASX: JBH ) added 3.55% after reporting booming sales for the third quarter amid heightened customer demand and strong sales growth.
In New Zealand, the NZX 50 fell 0.54% to 12,019.
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