Former AFL player Barry Hall stepped into the ring with Sonny Bill Williams last night and lasted just under 2 minutes.

“He conquered rugby league, he conquered rugby union and he has conquered boxing tonight. Barry Hall is one bad dude and Sonny Bill has schooled him tonight,” the lead commentator said.

 

Hall fought ex-NSW Origin captain Paul Gallen a few years ago but neither man won, with the judges giving even scores.

And after the fight, Williams said he had his sights set on Gallen for his next opponent.

For Hall, this could spell the end of his boxing career, but as one sassy tweeter pointed out maybe he just needs his opponent to be looking the other way to land a punch…

To Markets…

 

While futures were pointing lower this morning, the ASX 200 has managed to eke out a 0.11% gain at midday today to 7,385.70

Russia’s stock market is set for a partial reopening Thursday, almost a month after it closed trading following the country’s invasion of Ukraine. Some investors and analysts expect that the reopening could send Russian stocks into free fall.

In the US, futures markets for Brent crude oil gained 5.3%, to $121.60, the third highest settlement value of the year and the highest level since March 8.

Brent crude has surged 56% this year amid an expanding global economy as the coronavirus pandemic waned and concerns about supplies due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Adding to those concerns, Russia said on Tuesday that oil exports via a pipeline from Kazakhstan to the Black Sea may temporarily fall by around 1 million barrels a day — representing about 1% of global oil demand — citing storm damage. Repairs could take up to two months, Russian officials said.

But higher oil prices could spark more consumer interest in electric vehicles, analysts said. Shares of Tesla were up about 0.5%. The stock has risen each of the last seven trading days, its longest winning streak since August 2021, putting the EV maker up more than 30% in that time.

Commodities were snapping higher across the board on a range of issues that threatened to pinch supply chains. Aluminium, nickel and steel prices also rose on concerns ranging from the war in Ukraine to Covid-19 lockdowns in China. Tangshan, the biggest steelmaking city in China, told residents to stay home due to a Covid-19 surge, according to Reuters.

The city accounts for 58% of China’s strip-steel output, London commodity broker SP Angel said in a Wednesday note.

 

ASX SMALL CAP WINNERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for March 24 [intraday]:

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

 

Ukraine based graphite miner Volt Resources (ASX:VRC) was reinstated to quotation after belatedly releasing its half year accounts yesterday.

It also updated shareholders on plans to supply coated spheronised purified graphite (CSPG) to a US gigafactory that is expected to commence operations in 2025.

The Energy Supply Developers (ESD) Super Site will include the complete value chain for LIB manufacturing, with a planned annual capacity of 50GWh.

Participants in the ESD Super Site development include Thomas Crowley and Associates who will be the facility developers and provide development funding and Yates Construction who built the Panasonic/Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada USA.

Roots Sustainable Agricultural Technologies (ASX:ROO) has received USA design patent approval for its Heat Exchange Probe (HEP) technology which is designed to heat or cool plants substrates in pots, grow bags and soil.

“Our extensive R&D initiatives have proved the effectiveness and validated our technology so we can now securely sell the HEP into the large and lucrative market,” executive chairman and CEO Boaz Wachtel said.

“The timing of the approval coincides perfectly with the establishment of our central US logistics hub, which we have begun to leverage and expedite sales opportunities from.”

ASX SMALL CAP LOSERS