At the closing bell, the S&P/ASX 200 was 0.51 per cent higher at 7,361.60, driven by gains in mining companies, which offset losses in health and property sectors. The benchmark lifted 2 per cent on the week, marking the third consecutive week of gains.
Gold and lithium producers dominated the top 10 performers, with seven spots taken.
The mining giants Rio (ASX:RIO) and BHP (ASX:BHP) made small gains of 0.1 per cent, while Fortescue (ASX:FMG) advanced 1.3 per cent.
The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a fall of 73 points.
The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a fall of 3.5 points.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a fall of 16.5 points.
The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 36 points when the market next opens.
Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector was Materials, up 0.89 per cent. The worst-performing sector was REITs, down 0.36 per cent.
The best-performing large cap was Allkem (ASX:AKE), closing 5.43 per cent higher at $11.64. It was followed by shares in IGO (ASX:IGO) and Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS).
The worst-performing large cap was Mercury NZ (ASX:MCY), closing 5.06 per cent lower at $5.63. It was followed by shares in EBOS Group (ASX:EBO) and The Lottery Corporation (ASX:TLC).
Japan’s Nikkei has gained 1.20 per cent.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has gained 0.25 per cent.
China’s Shanghai Composite has gained 1.99 per cent.
Sunstone Metals (ASX:STM) announced that their drilling has intersected more visible gold at the Limon target within the Bramaderos project in southern Ecuador. Sunstone Managing Director Malcolm Norris said: “This could have very significant ramifications for the total resource, the overall grade and the upfront development options at Bramaderos.” Shares closed 3.13 per cent higher at 3.3 cents.
GBM Resources (ASX:GBZ) announced that their Diamond drilling is about to commence at the Mount Margaret Project located in North West Queensland. In response, Managing Director & CEO, Peter Rohner, commented: “Following some recent geophysical work and resulting interpretation, it is good to finally be back drilling at our Mt Margaret Copper-Gold Project after a period of drilling activity.” Shares closed 28.6 per cent higher at 3.6 cents.
Vection Technologies (ASX:VR1) has announced that they have increased their FY23 Total Contract Value (TCV) metric to ~$16 million, a 60 per cent increase to their TCV metric announced on the 31st of January. As a result, the increase in TCV builds up on the growth and scale expected for the second half of fiscal 2023, expecting to generate a revenue guidance of $24 to $26 million. Shares closed 8.9 per cent higher at 4.9 cents.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$2,056.80 an ounce.
Light crude is trading $0.28 higher at US$82.44 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 67.82 US cents.