US President-Elect Joe Biden has hit the ground running a week before officially taking over the top job from incumbent President Donald Trump on January 20.

Biden announced overnight a $US1.9 trillion ($2.44 trillion) package of spending measures to boost the flagging US economy that includes $US2,000 cheques for citizen tax payers.

“We cannot let people go hungry, we cannot let people get evicted,” Biden said in a speech Thursday. “We must act now and act decisively,” he reportedly said.

The spending is on top of $US4 trillion of spending passed by the US Congress to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout.

This includes a $US900 billion package steered on to the statute books last month, and the latest spending package brings the total amount of emergency spending to nearly $US6 trillion.

US stock indexes appear indifferent to stimulus spending

Despite the promised spending injection US stock indexes reacted poorly, with the Dow Jones dropping 0.22 per cent to close Thursday at 30,991.5 points.

The Nasdaq index for US tech stocks finished Thursday trade 16.3 points lower at 13,112 points, and just off its recent record high of 13,200 points.

Gold prices edged slightly higher to $US1,852 per ounce ($2,382/oz) in Friday trade after the announced $US1.9 trillion spending package from Biden.

“Tech and consumer discretionary sectors were the biggest losers, while energy shares rose with oil,” said analysts at Argonaut Securities in a note.

Oil prices picked up speed to $US53 per barrel, their highest for 10 months.

At lunch, the broad ASX All Ordinaries index was in the green at 7,004 points, a rise of 21.6 points or 0.3 per cent.

 

WINNERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks at 12pm Friday January 15:

Swipe or scroll to reveal the full table. Click headings to sort.

Stocks highlighted in yellow made market moving announcements
CODE NAME PRICE % CHANGE VOLUME MARKET CAP
BAS Bass Oil Ltd 0.002 100 2492524 $ 3,342,140.10
ANL Amani Gold Ltd 0.0015 50 31100000 $ 9,386,996.75
CCE Carnegie Cln Energy 0.0015 50 8315000 $ 11,532,068.56
CLZ Classic Min Ltd 0.0015 50 11900000 $ 16,734,968.31
ECT Env Clean Tech Ltd. 0.0015 50 3500050 $ 9,601,032.79
VPR Volt Power Group 0.003 50 16176292 $ 18,339,067.12
VUL Vulcan Energy 6.59 32 2456635 $ 393,879,512.30
RNE Renu Energy Ltd 0.068 31 1656390 $ 5,522,937.73
IGN Ignite Ltd 0.05 28 123698 $ 3,493,704.83
FPL Fremont Petroleum 0.005 25 3756000 $ 18,700,716.75
ROG Red Sky Energy. 0.0025 25 250000 $ 4,863,844.39
LIT Lithium Australia NL 0.098 24 19395036 $ 63,744,510.34
SHE Stonehorse Energy Lt 0.031 24 33359130 $ 9,872,244.65
BRL Bathurst Res Ltd. 0.053 23 1703801 $ 73,509,335.53
A1G African Gold Ltd. 0.275 22 101991 $ 11,326,362.08
ADX ADX Energy Ltd 0.0085 21 26431784 $ 13,708,098.94
NWE Norwest Energy NL 0.0085 21 16297647 $ 33,141,269.52
MCM Mc Mining Ltd 0.175 21 29814 $ 22,390,835.48
RNU Renascor Res Ltd 0.018 20 16738538 $ 24,940,164.84
OEL Otto Energy Limited 0.012 20 3470650 $ 47,950,097.73

Energy and resources stocks led the charge higher in Friday morning ASX trade with renewable energy, coal, oil and lithium companies the focus of investor interest.

Top stock Friday is Bass Oil (ASX:BAS) which has not released any new information since an operations update in December for its Indonesian oil production.

Crude oil prices increased overnight, with the West Texas blend rising to $US53.65 per barrel, its highest since March, which means increased profit margin for Bass Oil.

Clean energy stock ReNu Energy (ASX:RNE) gained around 30 per cent in the absence of any fresh news as the company finalises the disposal of its two remaining geothermal wells.

The ASX company has been looking for merger and acquisition opportunities having sold its 2.2MW of solar energy projects and two bioenergy projects for 2.7MW.

“Opportunities are being explored actively by ReNu Energy. If discussions in relation to any of these are successful and lead to a definitive transaction, it could be transformational for ReNu Energy,” said the company in answer to an ASX price query, January 4.

ReNu Energy changed its name from Geodynamics in 2016 and listed on the ASX in 2002, and is a clean energy company focused on renewable energy.

MC Mining and Vulcan Energy Resources make gains
Another stock to rise significantly Friday without any news is MC Mining (ASX:MCM) which had some senior management changes in December with the departure of its CEO.

The coal company has mining operations in South Africa for thermal and coking coal including its Makhado project for hard coking coal.

Thermal coal prices have been on the rise with severe cold weather in north Asia that has seen LNG prices take off, and non-Australian coal is in vogue for Chinese buyers.

Vulcan Energy Resources (ASX:VUL) made strong gains after trading in its shares resumed after a short suspension to release a corporate update.

The update centred on a pre-feasibility study for its Zero Carbon Lithium project which aims to decarbonise the high carbon footprint of lithium-ion battery production.

Europe is the world’s fastest growing lithium-ion battery production centre and Vulcan Energy Resources’ project in Germany is designed to feed this soaring demand.

The feasibility study showed the company’s project has a net present value of 2.25 billion Euros ($3.5 billion) to produce approximately 40,000 tonnes per year of lithium.

 

LOSERS

Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks at 12pm Friday January 15:

Swipe or scroll to reveal the full table. Click headings to sort.

CODE NAME PRICE % CHANGE VOLUME MARKET CAP
WOO Wooboard Tech Ltd 0.002 -20 312434 $ 4,206,091.76
XTC Xantippe Res Ltd 0.002 -20 1324613 $ 10,186,411.01
DOR Doriemus PLC 0.047 -15 115535 $ 3,189,071.88
FGO Fargo Enterprises 0.0035 -13 575000 $ 4,743,026.81
MRD Mount Ridley Mines 0.0035 -13 305250 $ 15,540,852.18
YPB YPB Group Ltd 0.0035 -13 48117590 $ 16,913,435.92
AQC Auspaccoal Ltd 0.14 -13 10000 $ 8,077,569.60
NC6 Nanollose Limited 0.12 -11 5227797 $ 16,031,127.83
ELT Elementos Limited 0.008 -11 905666 $ 29,216,937.80
RXH Rewardle Holding Ltd 0.008 -11 114577 $ 4,736,893.39
TYR Tyro Payments 2.36 -10 6386732 $ 1,335,531,318.55
SWK Swick Mining 0.18 -10 384442 $ 59,808,644.60
ARO Astro Resources NL 0.0045 -10 9249908 $ 14,978,465.06
FNT Frontier Resources 0.018 -10 11269918 $ 9,782,038.76
EMT Emetals Limited 0.029 -9 778662 $ 12,806,400.00
RXL Rox Resources 0.039 -9 12357208 $ 88,142,623.91
BSM Bass Metals Ltd 0.005 -9 85000 $ 22,119,216.54
EFE Eastern Iron 0.01 -9 4063645 $ 5,210,539.77
TIG Tigers Realm Coal 0.01 -9 8256051 $ 143,589,542.45
SAN Sagalio Energy Ltd 0.03 -9 2061712 $ 6,753,784.29
REZ Resourc & En Grp Ltd 0.052 -9 2982891 $ 24,605,804.97

Britain-based oil and gas company Doriemus (ASX:DOR) was one of the biggest fallers in early trading without releasing any news to the market.

The ASX company is exploring for oil and gas in the Weald Basin in southern England and on the Isle of Wight, plus it has some farm-in interests in WA’s Canning Basin.

Doriemus has a 65 per cent interest in two petroleum exploration licences in the northern Weald Basin near London’s Gatwick Airport and covering nearly 100sqkm.

Dartbrook coal mine developer Australian Pacific Coal (ASX:AQC) dropped more than 10 percent on a lack of any market update.

The coal explorer is appealing a decision of the NSW Land and Environment Court to join legal action by the Hunter Thoroghbred Breeders Association against its Dartbrook project.

The case is expected to be heard by the NSW Court of Appel before mid-year.

Separately, the company announced earlier this week it has started a strategic review of its Dartbrook project valued at ~$3.3m that includes the option of selling it.

Eco-friendly fibres company Nanollose (ASX:NC6) lost some of the gains it made this week after announcing a tie-up with a unit of Indian company Aditya Birla Group.

The two companies have filed a joint patent application for a new type of high tenacity fibre made from microbial cellulose called ‘Nullarbor’.

The fibre is finer than silk and stronger than conventional lyocell made from wood pulp, and the lyocell market is forecast to be valued at $US1.5 billon by 2024.