The ASX market was a sea of red Friday as the All Ordinaries index cratered 2.3 per cent in one of its largest one-session falls since mid-January.

Australian stocks followed American markets lower with the Dow Jones losing 1.8 per cent overnight and the Nasdaq index dropping 3.5 per cent.

Playing on the minds of investors is rising yield rates on bonds both in the US and Australia.

“Wall Street’s main indexes tumbled Thursday, with the Nasdaq posting its largest daily percentage fall in four months, as technology-related stocks remained under pressure following a rise in US bond yields,” stockbroker Argonaut said in a note.

Benchmark US 10-year Treasury bonds were yielding as much as 1.5 per cent in Friday trade.

Yields on Australian 10-year bonds jumped to 1.84 per cent in Friday trade and have been climbing since breaking through 1 per cent in early January.

In November, Australia’s central bank reduced its target rate for the yield on three-year Australian government bonds to 0.1 per cent from 0.25 per cent.

“The [Reserve] Bank stands ready to purchase government bonds in the secondary market to help achieve this target,” it stated on its website.

Higher bond yields detract from equities as investors can earn a higher risk-free return from bonds.

Rising interest rates also reduce the value of future cashflows from shares in the form of dividends, particularly for companies carrying debt as they face a higher interest bill on loans.


To markets:

At lunch time in Sydney, the ASX All Ordinaries index dipped below the psychological 7,000 level to 6,939.40 points, down 2.3 per cent on Thursday’s market close.

Bitcoin’s price fell below $60,000 in Australian terms, and was trading at $59,150 in morning trade.

The price of gold in US dollars has broken through its $US1,800 per ounce support level, and was trading at $US1,768 per ounce ($2,250/ounce) mid-Friday.



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks at 12pm Friday February 26:

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Stocks highlighted in yellow made market moving announcements
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Clothing manufacturer GLG Corporation (ASX:GLE) bounded 100 per cent higher in Friday trade after declaring a 32 per cent rise in its December half-year revenue at $US99.5m ($126.80m).

The company’s customers include Walmart in the US and Canada, Macy’s department stores, and the J.Crew and Nautical brands and GLG Corporation has recently diversified into mask production.

Impressive maiden assay results for its Lamil gold-copper project in WA’s Paterson gold region gave a lift to AIC Mines (ASX:A1M) in Friday trade.

Hits for the Lamil project which is 30km west of the Telfer gold mine included 1.41m at 0.05 per cent copper from 98.6m and 4.92 at 0.11 per cent copper from 163m.

The results confirm copper sulphide mineralisation and low level gold anomalism in two intersections spaced 800m apart on the eastern flank of the Lamil Main Dome.

“The primary objective of this first campaign — to confirm prospective basement rocks beneath relatively shallow cover – has been achieved,” managing director, Aaron Colleran, said.

“This campaign reinforces our belief that the Lamil project has the potential to host significant mineralisation,” he added.

Another riser Friday is 3D printer tech company Aurora Labs (ASX:A3D) which has been granted an Australian patent for its multi-layer concurrent printing (MCP) technology.

Aurora Labs has received similar patents for its MCP technology in China and Japan, as it strives to protect its novel technology over selected jurisdictions.

Additional patents for its technology in the US and Europe are also pending.

“Intellectual property is central to our future commercial success and provides a secure platform for our continued development,” chief executive, Peter Snowsill, said.



Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks at 12pm Friday February 26:

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Timah Resources (ASX:TML) which produces energy and biogas from Palm oil mill waste at its plant in Malaysia sank Friday after declaring a net loss of Ringgit 176,000 ($55,000).

Revenue for the company doubled to R9.9m for the December 2020-ended year, but net profit dropped 209 per cent, it said in a report released earlier this week.

Timah Resources’ biogas plant only generated 21,267MW in 2020 because social movement restrictions related to COVID-19 affected its operations.

South America-focused copper ore company Southern Hemisphere Mining (ASX:SUH) dropped 20 per cent in early trade Friday, a day after delivering a company presentation.

The company announced in the update new drilling targets at its Llahuin and Colina2 gold projects in central Chile for investigation in the first half of 2021.

Llahuin covers 14sqkm and hosts a current resource of 149 million tonnes at 0.41 per cent copper equivalent and is close to the El Espino copper mine development

Colina 2 is 9km northwest of Llahuin and a drilling program is planned for the deposit to test results from up to 14m at 2.59 grams per tonne gold.

The share price of analytics software company Nuix (ASX:NXL) declined sharply Friday as it announced a 214 per cent year-on-year drop in net profit on a blowout in its costs.

Nuix unveiled a loss of $16.5m for the December 2020-ended half-year, compared to a $14.4m net profit for the corresponding 2019 half year.

Operating expenses for the company soared to $80m for the December-ended half-year from $44.5m in the December 2019-ended half-year. Nuix joined the ASX in December 2020.