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A stellar first half of the trading day hit a small speedbump after lunchtime as Asian markets opened mixed.

Our big banks continued to barrel ahead after a happy session on Wall Street last night. With hopes of a reopening economy, punters are hedging their bets early to make the most of the recovery.

Down under, our financials sector carried the market for the third time this week, surging ahead in early action. By market close, the rally had been somewhat subdued, but the sector’s 3.09 per cent gain is certainly nothing to sleep on. Over the past four sessions, the sector has tacked on a whopping 15.2 per cent.

Three of our big four where fighting for the position of top dog today, with NAB, ANZ, and Westpac each gaining between 4.43 per cent and 4.74 per cent. NAB won in the end. Meanwhile, Commonwealth Bank trailed behind with a 2.22 per cent gain.

The result was a 1.32 per cent gain for our benchmark ASX 200 index. The index has gained over 350 points this week alone, despite yesterday’s marginal decline, putting in on track for the best week of the year so far. Today, the index closed at 5851.10 points.

For the better part of the day, all 11 ASX sectors were sitting green in the shadow of finance’s rise. However, the energy and real estate sectors fell into red territory in the last hour of trade.

A decline in the price of oil saw Woodside close 2.04 per cent lower and Santos 3.2 per cent lower. Origin tried to offset the losses as it added on 2.06 per cent, but Oil Search lost 1.15 per cent.

Meanwhile, a reversal in the recent shopping centre rally dragged real estate down. Scentre Group gave up 3.64 per cent, Mirvac 1.24 per cent, and Vicinity Centres 4.39 per cent. Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield closed grey.

Nevertheless, the materials sector kept things steady with a 1.74 per cent incline. BHP gained 2.03 per cent and Rio Tinto 2.31 per cent, while Fortescue Metals tacked on 3.36 per cent.

Over east, when the ASX closed for the day, the Hang Seng was 1.37 per cent lower as tensions between China and Hong Kong escalate. Still, the Asia Dow was 1.18 per cent higher and the Nikkei 225 2.01 per cent higher. The Shanghai Composite was down by 0.33 per cent.

The Aussie dollar is weaker today, currently worth 66.08 US cents, 53.89 pence, and 11.47 South African Rand.

Today’s ups and downs

One of the most unusual phenomenons of the post-COVID recovery is a string of unexplained share price rallies. Medical logistic service specialist Cryosite (ASX:CTE) is the latest example. Today, shares gained a whopping 88.46 per cent to a four-year high of 24.5 cents with no reason as to why. When slapped with an “explain yourself” query from the ASX, Cryosite said it hasn’t the foggiest.

Shareholders of junior explorer Aldoro Resources (ASX:ARN) won’t be having as good a day, however. The company’s latest bout of drilling in WA fell short of company and market expectations, prompting a heavy 45.71 per cent share price drop. Shares closed worth 9.5 cents each.

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