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The Aussie market has shaken off a rather muted lead from US markets to continue into fresh record territory. The ASX 200 is rallying 27 points or 0.38% to 6989 and moving towards the 7000 point mark. The broader All Ordinaries has also lifted above 7100 for the first time ever.

A flat start was expected locally with Wall Street mulling over further details of the phase 1 deal, to be signed during US trade tonight (expected around 3.30am AEDT). Expectations for further tariff reductions were dulled with a report from Bloomberg that the US would only look to roll back other existing tariffs after the US Presidential election in November this year.

While gains have again been rather broad based, industrials are the most improved sector followed by materials, utilities and energy. Lagging behind is the performance of communications and consumer staples, which was the most improved yesterday.

Of the heavyweights, the major banks are all slightly higher with Commonwealth Bank (CBA) leading the way with a gain of 0.4%. The major miners are mixed despite iron ore firming by 1.7% and biotech firm CSL continues to hover around its all-time highs. Supermarket chains are weaker with Coles Group (COL) and Woolworths (WOW) both down ~0.8%, while Telstra (TLS) is 0.1% weaker.

Nufarm (NUF) is climbing 7.7% while several gold miners are also among the top performing stocks in the ASX 200. St Barbara (SBM) is 5.9% higher and Evolution is improving 4.8%. Another gold miner, Resolute Mining (RSG) is advancing 1.9% after confirming the sale of its Queensland Ravenswood gold mine to a private equity firm for as much as $300 million. $100 million is to be paid upfront and up to $200 million in potential future payments depending on gold prices and production from the mine.

Lithium miners are among the worst performers with sharp falls for the likes of Orocobre, down 5.9%, and Pilbara Minerals (PLS), which is falling 6.4%. Despite these losses today, both stocks are up roughly 35% and 28% respectively, just in January alone.

The Aussie dollar has fallen just below 69 US at 68.95 US cents. So far, 1.3b units have traded worth $2b with 582 stocks higher, 410 weaker and 336 unchanged.

Published by CommSec