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S&P/ASX 200 spikes 100 points on the open, but up 1% in afternoon trading

S&P/ASX 200 gave up half of its gains after an early morning surge.
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S&P/ASX 200's biggest gainers were Mineral Resources and Galaxy Resources

S&P/ASX 200 (XJO) spiked to a high of 5938 points on the open, up from the previous day’s close of 5803 points.

This reflected the pre-open SPI Futures indicator of a 100 point rally.

However, the surge was short lived and less than an hour into trading there had been a retracement of circa 50 points.

The index settled around the 5890 point mark after midday, representing a gain of 1%.

Energy sector shines as gold is hammered.

One of the best performers was the S&P/ASX 200 Energy Index (XEJ).

It was up 2% at one stage, hitting a high of 10,698 points and was still hovering in the vicinity of 10,650 points in afternoon trading.

This was one of the hardest hit sectors in yesterday’s rout.

Two of the best performers were Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) and Beach Energy Ltd (ASX:BPT), which were up 4.6% and 4% respectively.

Utilities and gold out of favour

The Utilities (XUJ) and Gold (XGD) sectors were the only ones in the red, both seen as more of a safe haven play when markets are unstable.

The main casualty in the Utilities Sector was APA Group (ASX: APA), which was down 1%.

It was a mixed bag in the gold sector even though the index was down 1.7%

Gains of 6% were made by Dacian Gold (ASX:DCN) and Doray Minerals (ASX:DRM).

On the other side of the ledger, Silver Lake Resources (ASX:SLR) and Ramelius Resources (ASX:RMS) came off 3.5%.

ASX 200 best and worst

Mineral Resources Limited (ASX:MIN) and Galaxy Resources Ltd (ASX:GXY) led the way amongst the ASX 200 stocks, both up more than 10% at one stage.

Carsales.Com’s (ASX:CAR) 8% increase in underlying earnings to $85 million for the six months to December was shy of expectations, and its shares drifted some 2% lower.

One of the standout performers in a volatile market was Sonic Healthcare (ASX:SHL).

The pathology and diagnostics group in an all-time high of $24.97.

The company is due to release its interim result on February 15 with Citi forecasting a net profit of $230 million, broadly in line with consensus.

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