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The ASX lifted slightly higher today as mining stocks continued to keep the market in positive territory.

The S&P/ASX 200 Index grew by 33.10 points, or 0.44 per cent, to 7472.00.

What drove the market

As torrential rains affected the iron ore sector in southern Brazil, iron ore climbed overnight to its highest level since mid-October.

Consumer inflation in the United States has reached levels not seen in almost a generation, keeping the Federal Reserve on track with interest rate rises and other adjustments planned in the coming months to attempt to moderate the price increase.

Year-over-year inflation reached 7 per cent in December, according to the most recent Consumer Price Index (CPI) numbers issued on Wednesday, with price rises expanding over a greater variety of products and services.

Oil prices, which increased by 50 per cent in 2021, are anticipated to rise even more this year, according to some analysts, who predict a lack of production capacity and limited investment in the field will push oil to $90 or even $100 per barrel.

Winners’ circle

Energy, Materials, Financials, and Utilities sectors were all up on the market today.

Crown has gained 8 per cent on the market as it evaluates a greater non-binding offer of $8.87 billion from U.S. investment firm Blackstone Inc. If the deal goes through, James Packer might pocket about $3.3 billion in cash.

Material and energy companies dominated the market today, with the resources sector supported by commodities market advances.

South32 added 3.67 per cent, Poseidon Nickel Mines grew 2.5 per cent while FMG jumped 2.1 per cent after yesterday’s losses and BHP advanced 3.55 per cent. Rounding off the material winners, Pacific Nickel Mines is up 22.2 per cent, Hammer Metals grew 19.6 per cent whilst White Cliff Minerals rose 21.1 per cent.

Carnaby Resources led the market in growth, rising 36.6 per cent after the firm revealed “stunning” gold and copper finds from the first round of reverse circulation drilling at its Lady Fanny property in Queensland.

Fellow materials stock Archer Materials rose 31.6 per cent while Rent.com.au posted late gains, ending the day 28.3 per cent in the green.

On the Energy front, Santos has enjoyed a 1.29 per cent, Woodside is up 1.56 per cent and Ampol is 1.47 per cent in the green.

The big Financial players are enjoying gains, Commonwealth Bank is up 0.68 per cent, NAB grew 1.06 per cent, Macquarie lifted 0.37 per cent while Westpac and ANZ grew 0.42 per cent and 1.18 per cent, respectively.

Doghouse

Consumer stocks, Real Estate, Health Care, Industrials and Technology stocks have all ended the day in the red.

Despite overall advances, material stocks suffered some of the greatest losses today. Wildcat Resources is down 35.5 per cent after discovering a north-northeast trending line extending from the Red Panda discovery to the eastern edge of the Wildplay JV project in Western Australia.

Fellow Materials players Cantippe Resources and Culepo Minerals were both down, falling 13.6 per cent and 21.9 per cent, respectively.

Tech company JCurve Solutions dropped 23.78 per cent while BWX fell 15.6 per cent after announcing its COO was promoted to CEO.

Icon Energy finished the day in the red, down 14.3 per cent while Industrials player AJ Lucas dropped 13.89 per cent.

Afterpay was down 1.55 per cent after it cleared the final regulatory hurdle to be acquired by Block.

Other markets

Asian markets posted mixed results today. The Asia Dow increased 1.58 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up slightly by 0.081 per cent but China’s Shanghai Composite fell 0.31 per cent and Japan’s Nikkei dropped 0.82 per cent.

US futures moved slightly up. S&P 500 futures were recently up 3.5 points, or 0.07 per cent.

Oil is down, with Brent Crude falling to US$84.49 a barrel.

Gold was down. Gold prices fell 0.06 per cent to US$1,826.20 an ounce.

The dollar was up 0.05 per cent to 72.87 US cents.

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