In proof that direct action works, Wally the walrus is set to get a floating couch pontoon after sinking several boats off the coast of West Cork in Ireland.

The 800kg juvenile has been hauling himself onto small boats to rest – and has sunk at least two.

Luckily, Seal Rescue Ireland (SRI) has managed to secure a sturdy pontoon for Wally when he next appears.

“Things have gone quiet over the weekend so we think he’s ‘flying below the radar’, which is good, for now,” SRI executive director Melanie Croce said.

To Markets …

The Aussie market is attempting to snap its two-day losing run at lunch on Wednesday.

The ASX 200 is managing a small improvement of 10 points or 0.14% to 7,251 around midday, having been down as much as 41 points or just over 0.5% at its opening lows.

“The AUD has fallen to 72.43 US cents following the release of the June Quarter Wage Price Index (WPI) by the ABS. Wages grew 0.4% over the quarter and 1.7% annually which was slightly below expectations,” Commsec media and capital markets analyst James Tao said.

Mining giant, BHP (ASX:BHP) is by far the largest individual weight erasing 28 points from the ASX 200 index, with the stock down 6% after the release of its FY21 profit results after market close yesterday.

Revenue for the year jumped 42% to US$60.8 billion while net profit also rose 42% to US$11.3 billion. BHP will pay a record final dividend of US$2 per share and also confirmed its agreement to merge its Petroleum business with Woodside (ASX:WPL) – which also released its first half earnings with operating revenue up 31% to US$2.5 billion.

 

ASX SMALL CAP WINNERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for August 18 [intraday]:

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

 

The biggest small cap winner today was Classic Minerals (ASX:CLZ) up 50% on no news.

It was followed by Canterbury Resources (ASX:CBY) up 26% after announcing it signed a major funding agreement with African Energy Resources (ASX:AFR) for a $1 million strategic investment to secure exclusive rights in relation to the Briggs Copper Project in Queensland.

Essentially, during an initial option phase, African Energy must sole fund $750,000 of exploration expenditure to earn the right to exercise the option and commence a staged Earn-In to form a Joint Venture.

This proposed exploration includes a ~3,000m reverse circulation percussion drilling program, scheduled to commence in September.

“The forthcoming RC drill program has potential to significantly increase the scale of resources for the Briggs prospect, as well as better defining some of the higher-grade features that are apparent in the deposit,” Canterbury managing director Grant Craighead said.

Key Petroleum (ASX:KEY) and Aguia Resources (ASX:AGR) were close at 20% and 19% respectively – both on no news.

And pub and hotel operator Redcape Hotel Group (ASX:RDC) was up 18% off the back of news its calling a general meeting on Friday 10 September to discuss the proposed delisting of the company which the board said had faced and continues to face significant headwinds in obtaining broader institutional and retail investor support in the listed market.

Orion Metals (ASX:ORM) was up 18% on no news, as were Strickland Metals (ASX:STK) and Assetowl Limited (ASX:AO1) both up 17% on no news.

And trailing the pack was video technology company Atomos (ASX:AMS) up 16% after announcing Record revenue of $78.6m, up 77% on the previous corresponding period.

 

ASX SMALL CAP LOSERS

 

The ‘biggest loser’ today was a tie between Amani Gold (ASX:ANL) and Oakridge (ASX:OAK) who both dropped 33% on no news.

They were followed by Newpeak Metals (ASX:NPM), down 25% after lodging the prospectus for its share purchase plan where eligible shareholders will have the right to apply for up to $30,000 worth of new shares to raise around $1,000,000 (before costs).

The cap raise is expected to fund ongoing exploration at the company’s gold projects in Argentina, Finland and New Zealand – as well as meet the vendor payment commitment associated with its Las Openas gold project in Argentina and fund the initial exploration of its Swedish project package.