Local markets have kicked off the four-day week in cruise control, with the ASX200 marching steadily to new all-time highs with a morning gain of 1%.

Those gains weren’t mirrored at the small end of town though, as the microcap Emerging Companies Index slumped by around 1.5%.

The relatively sanguine nature of global stocks has seen the S&P500 VIX index — a benchmark for market volatility — trade back below 20 for the first time since late May, the same level it was at before the pandemic sell-off began in February 2020.

Across asset classes, the Aussie dollar dipped slightly this morning and briefly fell under US77c following the release of the RBA’s minutes from its June meeting, where it concluded with no changes to its current view that rates won’t rise until 2024.

In crypto, Bitcoin is trading back above US$40,000 for the first time in about a month.

On global markets this week, the main event will be the US Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting, which kicks off tonight and culminates in the bank’s interest rates announcement on Wednesday night.
 

WINNERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks at 12pm Tuesday, June 15:

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

Deal-flow is alive and well, with M&A activity the main catlayst for the top two ASX small cap movers this morning (among companies with announcements).

As Stockhead’s Nick Sundich observed, a takeover bid at a hefty premium is a common dream for shareholders but for Isentia (ASX:ISD) the dream is reality.

UK firm Access Intelligence, which is listed on London’s AIM exchange, reckons the Aussie media data and analytics play is undervalued at current prices and lobbed a takeover offer at a 157% premium to ISD’s last closing price.

While ISD’s board has approved the deal, the 17c offer price is still off Isentia’s 2020 high above 25c, with the business struggling for traction in the first half of this year.

In other M&A news, shares in WT Financial (ASX:WTL) rose sharply following a deal announcement which put it on the buy-side of the transaction.

The company has entered into a share purchase agreement to acquire financial advisory dealer group, Sentry Group Pty Ltd, in a $7m deal comprised of 50% cash and 50% WLT shares.

WTL said it expects additional earnings from Sentry while also extracting synergies on the cost side, which will flow through to group net profits of more than $2m for the 2022 financial year.

The cash component of the deal will be financed by the issue of new WLT shares in a placement at 7.5c, which means investors were happy to finance the deal at a premium to WLT’s last closing price of 6c.
 

LOSERS

Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks at 12pm Tuesday, June 15:

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