New Zealand’s 2021 Bird of the Year has been won by a bat – the pekapeka-tou-roa/long-tailed bat to be exact.

It’s the first time the mammal has been included in the competition because there are only two bat species so a ‘Bat of the Year’ wouldn’t have been very exciting.

“I think I’m going to be fired,” Forest & Bird’s Bird of the Year spokesperson Laura Keown said.

“Kiwis clearly love their native bat, and they have chosen our only native land mammal to be the 2021 Bird of the Year.

“A vote for bats is also a vote for predator control, habitat restoration, and climate action to protect our bats and their feathered neighbours!”

To Markets …

The ASX 200 is up 39.4 points or 0.54% at midday today to 7,363.10.

Global oil prices were firmer after Iran said talks on its nuclear program will resume by late November, raising hopes that it will be permitted to lift oil exports.

The Brent crude price rose by 0.1% to US$84.38 a barrel and the US Nymex crude price gained 0.9% to US$83.57 a barrel.

On Friday, the two largest US oil companies, Exxon Mobil and Chevron, reported their most profitable quarterly earnings since before the pandemic.

Exxon gained 16 cents, or about 0.3%, to end at $64.47. Chevron added $1.37, or 1.2%, to finish at $114.49.

Base metal prices were mixed. Tin rose 4.5% and zinc rose 0.5% but other metals fell by as much as 1.7% (lead) with aluminium down the most in reaction to lower Chinese coal prices.

The gold futures price fell by US$18.70 or 1.0% to U$1,783.90 an ounce with spot gold trading near US$1,783 an ounce.

According to Morningstar with AAP, fresh data from the US Commerce Department showed that Fed’s preferred inflation gauge, the personal-consumption-expenditures price index, rose 4.4% in September from the previous year, the fastest pace since 1991.

The department also said consumer spending grew more slowly in September, as the Covid-19 Delta variant and supply-chain disruptions weighed on households.

 

ASX SMALL CAP WINNERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for November 1 [intraday]:

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

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The biggest small cap winner today was Wooboard Technologies (ASX:WOO), up 100% after launching its new platform ‘Sixty’ targeting the corporate wellness and consumer wellness mobile app sectors.

The company says the corporate wellness global market was valued at US$52.8 billion last year and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 7% from 2021 to 2028.

Plus, individual wellness mobile app spending is growing 15% year-on-year and is forecast to reach US$1.6 billion by the end of 2021.

Next was Dominion Minerals (ASX:DLM), up 74% off the back of relisting on the ASX and acquiring PowerLine and the Georgia Lime project in the US.

Both up 70% were freshly listed men’s underway retailer Step One (ASX:STP), and Prime Media Group (ASX:PRT) which was just acquired by Chanel Seven.

 

ASX SMALL CAP LOSERS

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The biggest loser today was a -25% tie between Metals Australia (ASX:MLS), which dropped after releasing its September quarterly detailing exploration across its Western Australia and Canadian projects, and Newpeak Metals (ASX:NPM), dropping on no news.