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ASX standouts: Friday’s big movers and gainers

Fri 10 Dec 21, 11:01am (AEST)
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Key Points

  • Mining stocks inch higher amid broker optimism around China
  • Broad-based declines for energy stocks after crude oil fell 3% overnight
  • Afterpay shares weigh on tech after Square slides overnight

The ASX opened lower on Friday as major overnight indexes fell amid new covid restrictions across Europe and jitters about upcoming US inflation data. 

ASX gainers 

Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) has opened slightly higher, up 1.1% after Morgan Stanley upgraded the stock from equal-weight to overweight with a $110.50 target price. Upsides for the iron ore major include tailwinds for the aluminium industry and an improving outlook for China. 

On the topic of aluminium, South 32 (ASX:S32) is up 1.1% to a near 2-month high. The company's stock is up almost 9% in December. Aluminium prices have traded sideways for the past 6-weeks, holding steady at US$2,620/t.  Vulcan Energy (VUL) is making headlines again after acquiring an Insheim renewable power plant in Germany’s Rhine Valley for 31.5m euros.

The new plant has the ability to produce a maximum of 4.8 megawatts of power, equivalent to approximately 8,000 households.

Vulcan will become its effective owner from 1 January 2022 with plans to expand and modernise the new asset. Its stock was up 3.8% as the market opened. 

Healthcare products distributor EBOS Group (ASX:EBO) has opened 3.7% higher despite a successful $642m capital raising that gave a 5.5% discount to new shares.

The funds will partly fund the acquisition of LifeHealthCare, one of the largest independent distributors of third party medical devices in Australia and South East Asia. 

ASX losers 

Afterpay (ASX:APT) slumped 4% at open after its soon-to-be parent company Square declined 4.1% overnight. This has dragged the overall ASX 200 tech sector down 1.5%. 

The ASX 200 energy sector is posting broad-based declines after crude oil prices fell 3% overnight to US$70.4 a barrel. Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL), Santos (ASX:STO), Oil Search (ASX:OSH) and Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) are all down between 1-2%.

Oil sentiment is facing headwinds out of Europe, where many countries have opted to tighten restrictions in response to surging covid cases. Germany, France and UK have all registered more than 50,000 cases a day. 

Lithium exploration company AVZ Minerals (ASX:AVZ) has plunged 11.3% after successfully raising $75m from global institutions and existing sophisticated shareholders.

The raise was priced at 50 cents, a significant 22% discount to its last closing price. The funds will enable AVZ to undertake early site works while awaiting approval for its mining licence.

Written By

Kerry Sun

Finance Writer & Social Media

Kerry holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Monash University and was Vice President of the University Network for Investing and Trading (UNIT). He is an avid swing trader, and drawn to breakouts and technical set ups. Outside of writing and trading, Kerry is a huge UFC fan, loves poker and bouldering.

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