France’s New Zealanders – they’re known locally as Belgians – will apparently have the right to work a four-day week without any loss of salary thanks to an overhaul of labour laws inspired by COVID-19 and a healthy regard for bière.

The option for these Belgians to work longer days – and earn a three-day weekend – was among a package of reforms which probably included some bière.

Four-day work weeks were trialled in Iceland between 2015 and 2019 and has since become the choice of some 85% of Iceland’s working population.

Belgium also allows its civil servants the right to disconnect and not answer calls or emails from their bosses outside of working hours. Probably because bière.

 

To markets – where we Stockheads aren’t disconnected for even a 15 minute mid-week beach splash.

The ASX is up ~37 points at midday (AEST) to 7244 points on the back of strong gains from several majors which reported this morning.  At the big end Liontown soared ~15% after  striking a five-year lithium deal with Tesla and blood plasma giant CSL rallied 6.6% after a nice guidance upgrade.

Russian reprieve

The ASX was also buoyed by US markets, which bounced back overnight amid reports Russia was pulling back some of its troops from the Ukraine border. The news was a reprieve to markets concerned about the geopolitical tensions.

Ongoing tensions between Russia and Ukraine, along with strong demand for transport fuels is expected to see oil prices remaining toppy.

Brent crude had fallen 2.45% to US$93.50 a barrel, while WTI was up  0.38% to US$92.44 per barrel.

Morgan Stanley is projecting the price of Brent crude will trade at US$100 a barrel through the second half of 2022 and remain at least ~US$95 through 2023.

Gold is slightly weaker trading at US$1852.04 an ounce, while the price of Bitcoin is rallying up 3.81% to US$44,188 at midday (AEST).

ASX SMALL CAP WINNERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for February 16 [intraday]:

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Code Company Price % Market Cap
LKO Lakes Blue Energy 0.0015 50.0% $43,103,090
BAS Bass Oil Ltd 0.002 33.3% $6,919,022
SIS Simble Solutions 0.026 30.0% $6,799,434
HPR High Peak Royalties 0.05 28.2% $8,149,300
GTG Genetic Technologies 0.005 25.0% $36,935,861
WNX Wellnex Life Ltd 0.13 18.2% $33,363,640
VAL Valor Resources Ltd 0.013 18.2% $36,762,090
BRX Belararoxlimited 0.475 17.3% $11,473,658
9SP 9 Spokes Int Limited 0.007 16.7% $8,960,023
PTR Petratherm Ltd 0.043 16.2% $7,359,959
MAY Melbana Energy Ltd 0.076 15.2% $176,438,650
DNA Donaco International 0.047 14.6% $50,650,965
ITM Itech Minerals Ltd 0.51 14.6% $39,382,499
LTR Liontown Resources 1.59 14.4% $3,047,193,025
MCT Metalicity Limited 0.008 14.3% $17,765,072
AUQ Alara Resources Ltd 0.08 14.3% $49,380,047
SHH Shree Minerals Ltd 0.0205 13.9% $19,138,264
4DS 4Ds Memory Limited 0.078 13.0% $99,848,164
BNR Bulletin Res Ltd 0.1125 12.5% $27,755,758
AO1 Assetowl Limited 0.0045 12.5% $3,699,129
NC6 Nanollose Limited 0.115 12.2% $15,260,853
HNR Hannans Ltd 0.037 12.1% $86,006,959
CDT Castle Minerals 0.057 11.8% $50,966,577
PKO Peako Limited 0.019 11.8% $5,243,720
MRR Minrex Resources Ltd 0.067 11.7% $42,023,673
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Lakes Blue Energy (ASX:LKO) had a 50% rally this morning after announcing a positive drilling update to its Wellesley-2 Well in Queensland’s Surat Basin.

Smart energy software company Simble Solutions (ASX:SIS) was up 30% after announcing Race Oncology (ASX:RAC) executive director and founder Daniel Tillet would join their board to help drive commercialisation of its CarbonView and SimbleSense ESG technologies.

Health and wellness company Wellnex Life (ASX:WNX) was up as well after formalising its joint venture with Australian Dairy Nutritionals Group (ASX:AHF) to launch Australia’s first organic A2 infant formula range using Australian milk under the new brand Ocean Road Dairies.

ASX SMALL CAP LOSERS

Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks for February 16 [intraday]:

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

Code Company Price % Market Cap
WOO Wooboard Tech Ltd 0.001 -33.3% $5,733,244
SMS Starmineralslimited 0.16 -23.8% $5,512,500
GGX Gas2Grid Limited 0.002 -20.0% $10,145,255
VPR Volt Power Group 0.002 -20.0% $23,361,334
MRI Myrewardsinternation 0.078 -17.0% $12,252,266
LRK Lark Distilling Co. 3.8 -16.5% $342,513,581
NWL Netwealth Group 12.43 -16.3% $3,620,620,095
ARO Astro Resources NL 0.006 -14.3% $32,936,689
LNY Laneway Res Ltd 0.006 -14.3% $33,085,577
MBK Metal Bank Ltd 0.006 -14.3% $18,254,727
PWN Parkway Corp Ltd 0.0095 -13.6% $24,258,907
PPS Praemium Limited 0.865 -12.6% $502,731,259
SUH Southern Hem Min 0.03 -11.8% $8,310,952
ADY Admiralty Resources. 0.016 -11.1% $23,464,425
EME Energy Metals Ltd 0.205 -10.9% $48,227,162
HUB HUB24 Ltd 22.77 -10.7% $1,749,241,538
X2M X2M Connect Limited 0.135 -10.0% $10,603,553
AUT Auteco Minerals 0.083 -9.8% $155,312,462
BAT Battery Minerals Ltd 0.01 -9.1% $25,822,110
OMX Orangeminerals 0.15 -9.1% $6,801,300
IEC Intra Energy Corp 0.023 -8.0% $11,397,066
RTG RTG Mining Inc. 0.092 -8.0% $79,529,793
ADR Adherium Ltd 0.012 -7.7% $28,610,351
PIL Peppermint Inv Ltd 0.012 -7.7% $25,541,263
RXH Rewardle Holding Ltd 0.012 -7.7% $6,842,179
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