Today’s the day that every company that received JobKeeper has to disclose the proceeds.

While many ASX companies have already done so, all who haven’t will have their proceeds listed on ASIC’s website.

The massive wage subsidy scheme was instituted in March 2020 as an attempt to stabilise the economy, after thousands of workers were stood down or laid off due to the pandemic.

While inevitably some companies needed the scheme, other recipients still took the funds while also getting a welcome boost to their business, as a result of the unique operating conditions created by the pandemic.

Of the latter group, some have returned the proceeds but others have only returned a portion of the funds. A small group of JobKeeper winners is yet to return any money at all.

On the ASX the largest recipient to have disclosed so far is Qantas (ASX:QAN) which received over $700 million.

To markets…

The ASX has notched up its biggest gain in a fortnight heading into midday trade, with the ASX 200 trading 0.59% higher today.

It followed a strong session on Wall Street, as investors shrugged off lingering fears over the omicron COVID-19 variant.

On the home front, Queensland announced that it will re-open its borders to vaccinated travellers from the rest of the country.

This afternoon, the RBA will meet for the last time this year and while a rate change is not expected for several months, it will be the first meeting since the omicron variant was first discovered.

“No policy changes are expected even as the GDP print showedeconomic activity had held upbetter than expected over the lockdown period,” CBA economist Stephen Wu said.

ASX SMALL CAP WINNERS

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Neuren Pharmaceuticals (ASX:NEU) nearly doubled off the back of its Phase III clinical trial results.

The study evaluated trofinetide in 187 girls and young women aged 5-20 years with Rett syndrome, a serious neurological disorder that emerges in early childhood. Neuren’s US partner Acadia said that trofinetide has met co-primary efficacy endpoints, demonstrating statistically significant improvement over placebo.

Acadia plans a Pre-New Drug Application meeting with the FDA in Q1 2022, and New Drug Application (NDA) around mid-year 2022.

In resources, one winner was Tanzanian focused graphite developer Black Rock Mining (ASX:BKT) which told shareholders it had been invited to a ceremony with the Tanzanian government to finalise an agreement with the country’s government.

Many ASX explorers focused on Tanzania, pivoted after new mining regulations in 2017 but Black Rock has stuck with it and the new administration appears more friendly to the sector (at least for now).

And Strategic Elements (ASX:SOR) revealed it had won a a patent in Japan for its Nanocube Memory Ink technology.

 

ASX SMALL CAP LOSERS