ASX 200 closed up 5 points to 7457 (0.1%) in thin trade as resources slipped slightly on Lunar New Year with BHP down 1.1% and FMG off 1.0%. Lithium and base metals picked up led by PLS up 6.2% with IGO up 3.1% and LTR bouncing from Friday’s sell off, up 6.9%. Base metals and other commodity stocks did well, NIC up 3.2% and SYR up 1.3%. Gold miners too in demand, NCM up 0.5%, DEG up 0.3% and SBM doing well up 5.3%. Oil and gas stocks better, KAR up 7.4% on a reserve upgrade, WDS up 1.7% and STO still stuck in a hollow. Banks unchanged as Macquarie downgraded the outlook for the big four, Big Bank Basket $188.93, MQG up 0.7% and QBE doing well up 0.4%. Tech stocks in demand as SQ2 rallied 6.1% dragging ZIP with it by 22.8% and SZL numbers helping too rising 38.9%. XRO up 1.4% and CPU rallying 1.2% too. The All-Tech Index up 1.3%. Industrials firm but unexciting. Healthcare mixed, REITS better with GMG down 0.8% letting the side down. In corporate news, plenty of quarterlies again, AFI and WLE upped dividends, SMR achieved guidance but still tumbled lower, SZL reported it’s second month of profitability. On the economic front, supermarket inflation jumps 9.2% with dairy and meat leading the gains. Asian market mostly closed for Year of the Rabbit celebrations. Japan no bunny up 1.3%.
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