The ASX opened 0.12% higher following a mixed session on Wall Street last Friday, where the tech sector bounced and bank stocks fell.
Energy stocks are rallying after oil prices locked in a fourth-consecutive week of gains last Friday.
Crude oil prices are trading around 8-year highs of US$84.7 a barrel, as investors expect the demand impacts from omicron to be short-lived.
Lithium stocks are trading broadly higher, especially towards the more speculative end of town.
Early stage explorer Charger Resources (ASX: CHR) is up 26% after its geochemistry program suggested a large lithium-mineralised system at its Bynoe Lithium Project.
Wesfarmers (ASX: WES) shares are up 2.3% after the diversified conglomerate expects a -10.8% to -15.1% decline in first half earnings for FY22. The earnings decline was said to be "in line with current consensus expectations.
Other announcement-driven gainers include construction material company Adbri (ASX: ABC), up 5.0%.
Adbri has signed an extension for the supply of quicklime with Alcoa Australia. The deal is expected to contribute at least $25m in revenue.
Australian Ethical (ASX: AEF) is trading 5.5% higher after recording a 6% increase in funds under management for the December 2021 quarter. This provides a much needed bounce for Australian Ethical shares, which is still down 18.5% year-to-date.
MA Financial (ASX: MAF) is up 6.8% to a fresh all-time high on an earnings upgrade. The diversified financials company expects FY22 earnings to be up 10-20% on FY21, approximately 2-3% above its previous guidance.
Afterpay (ASX: APT) is weighing the technology sector, down -2.6%. This follows a -2.7% decline from Block.
Fortescue Metals (ASX: FMG) is weighing the materials sector, down -1.4%.
According to FastMarkets, overall iron ore sentiment was weighed down as most steel mills have finished restocking iron ore ahead of the upcoming Lunar New Year.
China will have a week-long holiday commencing 31 January to celebrate the Year of the Tiger. This period should spell muted volumes and price action for iron ore.
Finance Writer & Social Media
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