Good day and welcome to Friday lunch wrap, (possible) World War III edition.

Markets are fairly manic, a common response if recent history is anything to go by, although stocks often find a way of bouncing back quickly from geopolitical risk.

Still, the broader strategic goals of Russia’s Ukraine-takeover play current leave more questions than answers on little issues like the strength of modern Europe, NATO and the post-WWII world order.

As happens when the human race slips into all-out war, reports from the front line are many, varied and often difficult to confirm for validity.

The latest appears to be that some strategic airports and military locations are still in play, while Russian forces make a multi-pronged move towards surrounding the Ukrainian capital Kyiv.

Ukrainian citizens are evacuating to NATO states on the country’s western border, while others take cover in underground train stations.

Among many crazy developments that will no doubt emerge, former world boxing champion and Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko has pledged to take up arms to defend the country:

The ASX 200 is higher on Friday, following a brutal selloff yesterday and a wild session on Wall Street overnight, where stocks slumped before a huge surge which saw the Nasdaq close more than 3% higher.

Here’s a quick recap of Russian assets:

Brent crude oil prices have dipped back to US$98/b, after eclipsing US$100/b overnight for the first time since 2014.

Gold stocks fell while ASX tech is the high-beta play. ASX tech names got smashed yesterday but the sector ripped higher this morning, led by a massive 35% surge for Afterpay owner Block Inc (ASX:SQ2) following the release of its quarterly trading update.
 

ASX SMALL CAP WINNERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for February 25 [intraday]:

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Code Company Price % Market Cap
JAV Javelin Minerals Ltd 0.002 100.0% $7,568,253
PCL Pancontinental Energ 0.006 50.0% $28,616,891
SQ2 Block 155.67 34.1% $11,068,611,562
FNX Finexia Financialgrp 0.079 31.7% $9,726,426
ATP Atlas Pearls Ltd 0.05 31.6% $16,259,127
MRL Mayur Resources Ltd 0.165 26.9% $30,598,972
AVA AVA Risk Group Ltd 0.3 25.0% $58,306,791
CCE Carnegie Cln Energy 0.0025 25.0% $30,205,147
T3D 333D Limited 0.0025 25.0% $5,608,371
LSR Lodestar Minerals 0.011 22.2% $12,518,436
SHH Shree Minerals Ltd 0.017 21.4% $14,885,316
ALG Ardentleisuregrpltd 1.61 20.1% $642,806,061
ASP Aspermont Limited 0.025 19.0% $50,852,914
IEC Intra Energy Corp 0.02 17.6% $7,750,005
FRM Farm Pride Foods 0.245 16.7% $11,587,837
DDD 3D Resources Limited 0.0035 16.7% $12,541,116
AMO Ambertech Limited 0.36 16.1% $28,828,394
ASO Aston Minerals Ltd 0.145 16.0% $119,274,679
360 Life360 Inc. 5.42 15.8% $857,553,625
SMS Starmineralslimited 0.185 15.6% $4,200,000
DM1 Desert Metals 0.41 15.5% $14,132,550
CF1 Complii Fintech Ltd 0.082 15.5% $24,765,240
SHP South Harz Potash 0.15 15.4% $62,528,163
TNT Tesserent Limited 0.15 15.4% $163,563,845

SQ2 skyrocketed after the US company reported gross payment volumes of US$46.3bn, slightly above analyst expectations.

Revenues matched expectations while earnings per share — adjusted for ~US$178m of share-based payments — also beat forecasts.

After slumping from $176 to $116 since listing on January 20, the ASX version of Block Inc recouped a lot of that in just one session to climb above $155 into midday trade.
 

ASX SMALL CAP LOSERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for February 25 [intraday]:

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

Code Company Price % Market Cap
BWX BWX Limited 2.46 -27.0% $543,890,710
ZBT Zebit Inc 0.061 -24.7% $7,665,452
ECG Ecargo Hldg 0.025 -21.9% $19,688,000
RD1 Registry Direct 0.015 -21.1% $7,942,844
BVS Bravura Solution Ltd 1.56 -17.5% $469,389,064
CT1 Constellation Tech 0.005 -16.7% $8,827,202
MTB Mount Burgess Mining 0.005 -16.7% $4,555,027
GGG Greenland Minerals 0.054 -15.6% $86,020,950
CII CI Resources Limited 1.06 -15.5% $145,054,289
X2M X2M Connect Limited 0.14 -15.2% $11,663,908
BEX Bike Exchange Ltd 0.068 -15.0% $13,102,970
RNO Rhinomed Ltd 0.21 -14.3% $63,653,237
KGN Kogan.Com Ltd 4.82 -14.1% $599,642,852
CSX Cleanspace Holdings 1 -13.0% $88,572,451
DLT Delta Drone Intl Ltd 0.02 -13.0% $6,897,385
OAK Oakridge 0.17 -12.8% $3,353,157
MEB Medibio Limited 0.0035 -12.5% $9,004,401
PG1 Pearl Global Ltd 0.023 -11.5% $16,960,831
MMG Monger Gold Ltd 0.24 -11.1% $6,750,000
BKL Blackmores Limited 74.91 -11.0% $1,631,765,828
IDX Integral Diagnostics 3.445 -10.8% $792,932,016
CPH Creso Pharma Ltd 0.069 -10.4% $94,574,560
DDB Dynamic Group 0.39 -10.3% $39,889,784
ENR Encounter Resources 0.13 -10.3% $45,938,440
PPY Papyrus Australia 0.052 -10.3% $24,807,219

The ASX’s most high-profile ecommerce play, Kogan.com (ASX:KGN) continues to get smashed and has now lost ~80% from its post-COVID highs.

The company reported a 9.4% lift in half-year gross sales to $698.0m, but flagged ongoing margin pressures with an 8.1% drop in gross profit to $108.1m, and a statutory net loss of $11.9m.