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S&P/ASX 200 rallies to close up 0.2%, March VIX futures still above 19

S&P/ASX 200 rallied nearly 30 points from its low to finish in the green.

trading floor
BAL, FLT, QAN, RFG, ORE, OZL and WEB reported results this morning

S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) (ASX:XJO) rallied from its low around 1.00pm to finish up for the day.

4.11pm: ASX 200 closes up 0.2%

The ASX 200 has closed up 10.7 points or 0.2% to 5,954.4.

The biggest large-cap contributors to gains today were Flight Centre (ASX:FLT) up 10.3%, a2 Milk (ASX:A2M) up 7.0%, Qantas (ASX:QAN) up 5.8% and Crown (ASX:CWN) up 4.4%.

12.31pm: ASX 200 down 0.2%

The ASX 200 is down 9.3 points or 0.2% to 5,934.4.

The most underperforming sector by some margin today is Utilities, down 2.3%, which is being dragged down by AGL Energy Ltd (ASX:AGL), down 4.3% as it trades ex-dividend.

The CBOE Volatility Index futures are back above 19 for the first time in a week, which could be creating some unease.

10.21am: ASX 200 up 0.3%

The ASX 200 is up 18 points or 0.3% to 5,961.

All of the companies reporting noted below are trading positively except BAL which is down 7.7%.

The biggest gainers of the below companies reporting are FLT, up 12%, and WEB up 16%.

Pre-market wrap: S&P/ASX 200 set for uncertain open as volatility rears its head again

The Dow Jones Industrial Index (INDEXDJX:DJI) finished lower on Wednesday (last night), down 0.67% or 167 points to 24,797.

The Dow was up nearly 300 points at 2.25pm EST but gave it all back and more going into the close.

The AUDUSD is off 0.98% to 0.7806.

Gold continues to give back recent gains, down US$5.00 to US$1,326.20 and WTI Crude Oil is trading at US$61.11 per barrel.

BAL, FLT, QAN, RFG, ORE, OZL and WEB report today

Companies of note reporting results today include:

• Bellamy's Australia Ltd (ASX:BAL);
• Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX:FLT);
Qantas Airways Limited (ASX:QAN);
• Retail Food Group Limited (ASX:RFG);
Orocobre Limited (ASX:ORE);
OZ Minerals Limited (ASX:OZL); and
Webjet Limited (ASX:WEB).

Upcoming economic data: Just US data tonight

The focus on economic data will start after-market Australia time when Federal Reserve Governor Randal Quarles is due to deliver a speech in Japan at 4.15pm AEST.

The speech is titled "10 years after the Global Financial Crisis: How has the world economy changed and where will it go?" and will be presented at the International Financial Symposium, in Tokyo.

US unemployment claims (estimate: 230,000) and crude oil inventories data will be released late tonight that have potential to affect markets.

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