• After grinding away for an entire working week, the benchmark has moved just 0.14%
  • InfoTech outperformed everyone, everywhere off the back of another round of US tech stock madness.
  • Ora Gold (ASX:ORA) topped the charts among Small Caps, banking +80% on thick, shallow gold.

 

It’s been another wild week on the Ol’ ASX, bringing the financial year to a close with a combination of a Whimper and a Bang… so let’s call it a Wang and be done with it.

I’ll get into all the details of how, when and why it went bad, then great and then mostly indifferent for local markets, but the broad strokes look a little like this…

The ASX 200 benchmark finished the week flat. Hard to believe, given all the heroics we saw on Wednesday, but there you have it… 30-ish steamy hours of Hot, Live Market Action and we managed to barely move the needle at all.

That said, it was a great week for InfoTech stocks, with the sector out in front of the rest of the market by a very wide margin indeed, banking a 2.7% gain while the broader market snored beneath its sombrero.

Consumer Discretionary also banked a solid weekly gain, up by 1.7% after the entire nation lost its mind buying Taylor Swift tickets, and taking advantage of the EOFY Speshuls on work-related PlayStations and other tax-deductible office essentials.

There’s a gaggle of lazybones on or around break-even for the week, and then Health Care on -1.3%, with Energy (-1.6%) and Utilities (-1.5%) getting hit with stones and sticks ahead of the spine-crushing power bill increases that come into effect from tomorrow.

 

ASX SMALL CAP LEADERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for the week 26 – 30 June, 2023:

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

Wordpress Table Plugin

 

Rightio – the winners this week include a couple that I’m not going to dig into too closely, because neither of them moved for any observable reason – I’m looking at you, Love Group (ASX:LVE), or the apparently massive hike was a fraction of a cent on below 4-week average volume and, again, no news… Horseshoe (ASX:HOR), that’s you.

So the winner’s trophy goes to Ora Gold (ASX:OAU), which put on 80% this week on news of high-grade gold results returned from drilling at the South-Eastern Ore Body (SEB) of Crown Prince gold prospect.

Ora kinda flew under the radar a bit this week, which is surprising because the intercepts are thick and shallow, much like an old high-school girlfriend of mine.

The intercepts include:

  • 40m @ 17.53g/t Au from 30m incl. 19m @ 36.8g/t Au from 35m in OGGRC488
  • 16m @ 35.77g/t Au from 28m and 3m @ 20.38g/t Au from 10m in OGGRC489
  • 13m @ 21.9g/t Au from 32m and 9m @ 6.22g/t Au from 57m in OGGRC490
  • 12m @ 9.73g/t Au from 6m in OGGRC483
  • 21m @ 2.53g/t Au from surface in OGGRC502 and
  • 25m @ 2.00g/t Au from 3m in OGGRC491

In second place is Western Yilgarn (ASX:WYX) on +71% for the week, and in third place is Inoviq (ASX:IIQ) on +68%.

Both of those I’ve covered in more detail below… and I am completely out of puff, so I’, not re-writing it all here.

The Bad Luck Brian of the week is preclinical stage, drug developer Nyrada (ASX:NYR), which crashed to earth horribly on news that adverse pathology findings in response to the company’s cholesterol-lowering drug candidate were observed in a number of animal subjects.

That finding rules the drug out of Nyrada’s planned Phase I/IIa clinical study, which the company has labelled as “deferred” for the time being while it works to figure out what the problem is, and if it’s fixable.

In the meantime, investors have stormed the exits, leaving Nyrada down 66% for the week.

 

ASX SMALL CAP LAGGARDS

Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks for the week 26 – 30 June, 2023:

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

Wordpress Table Plugin

 

HOW IT ALL PLAYED OUT

Monday, 26 June: ASX 200 down 0.4%

Monday was a choppy day on the bourse, with the benchmark swinging about like a baffled cat in the hands of a moron trying to figure out just how small his living room is, before coming to rest at -0.4% for the day.

InfoTech was at the top of the leaderboard, well above the rest of the market on +0.7% with a reasonably solid across-the-board rally that I can’t really pin on any particular stock.

At the expensive end of the segment, results were fairly well mixed – Altium (ASX:ALU) and Data#3 (ASX:DTL) posted sub-1.0% gains, but the usual faces that crop up here like Life360 (ASX:360) and the always-amusing Dicker Data (ASX:DDR) were both well down against the overall trend.

Metal Hawk (ASX:MHK) climbed more than 140% on news that the company has hit wide zones of Rare Earth Element (REE) saprolite enrichment identified from maiden aircore drilling program at Fraser South.

The results are pretty juicy, including:

  • 26m @ 1526ppm TREO from 16m to EOH, incl. 8m @ 3101ppm TREO from 32m
  • 13m @ 1202ppm TREO from 36m, incl. 5m @ 2298ppm TREO from 44m
  • 8m @ 1087ppm TREO from 36m and 10m @ 1781ppm TREO from 52m
  • 19m @ 816ppm TREO from 8m, incl. 3m @ 2840ppm TREO from 24m to EOH

On top of that, the company reports that the mineralised intervals have an average of 20.5% Magnetic Rare Earth Oxides (MREO), and that the high grades of up to 4120ppm Total Rare Earth Element Oxides (TREO) 1 from 4m composite sampling confirms regional prospectivity.

Ragnar Metals (ASX:RAG) has had a very busy day on the announcements board, which saw it gain 35% throughout the session, and limestone explorer Cassius Mining (ASX:CMD) came in third on news that 80% of drill assays from the ‘Soalara’ limestone project in Madagascar have returned an average grade of 97.44% calcium carbonate, classifying it as “high purity”.

 

Tuesday, 27 June: ASX 200 up 0.65%

Local markets were swimming against the tide on Tuesday, after a pretty awful showing from our overseas counterparts.

Outside the markets, the big news was PwC selling off its government consulting arm to international fix-it Allegro Funds for a single, measly dollar.

It’s a pretty shrewd move by PwC to try to save the jobs of around 100 partners and 1,000 staff, or roughly 10% of the existing firm – which translates to about a quarter of a billion dollars in business per annum – and I’m pretty sure there’s someone on staff there that will know how to turn the firesale $1 price into a handy-dandy tax write-off, too.

The bulk of the gains for the broader market came from the big players in Real Estate (+2.0%), with retail space giants faring rather well, including Charter Hall (ASX:CQE) which put on +2.5%, while Stockland (ASX:SGP) added 1.75% and Westfield operators Scentre Group (ASX:SCG) stacked on an impressive +4.0%.

Top of the Stocks was Forrestania Resources (ASX:FRS) after it issued a release at 8:20am to crow about hitting a lot (like, a lot) of potentially lithium-bearing pegmatite in 13 of 14 drill holes at the Calypso prospect, part of the Forrestania project in WA.

The thickest intercept was 63m, the company said, adding that assays are due in weeks – and that was enough to have FRS up as high as +180%, before the ASX pulled on the handbrake just before 11:00am with the needle on +163%.

At 12:35pm, FRS went into a trading halt, as the company’s been asked to provide a supplementary information to its release this morning – which it managed to sneak in just before the market closed.

Punters were not impressed by the update, paring gains to a still impressive ~90% for the day.

Health Care player Inoviq (ASX:IIQ), added 46% after revealing that its SubB2M/CA15-3 breast cancer test detects all stages of breast cancer with excellent accuracy (87%), sensitivity (81%) and specificity (93%).

And the recently-revived and re-listed Lincoln Minerals (ASX:LML) finished up 27% on news that it has drilled into broad zones of shallow, high-grade graphite alongside the existing 1.85Mt @ 9.8% Koppio resource, part of the Kookaburra Gully project in South Australia.

 

Wednesday, 28 June: ASX 200 up 1.1%

What a day Wednesday was, with a lovely EOFY bonus bump that saw the ASX rise 1.1%, thanks to some stellar CPI data.

The Australian Bureau of Calculator Fanciers revealed that inflation has eased dramatically, falling to 5.6% for the year to May, down from 6.8% in April, which – at the time – had a lot of observers putting bets on that the RBA will have no choice but to keep rates on hold when it meets on Tuesday next week.

Consumer Discretionary was top of the pops all day, up more than 2.1%, before it was pipped at the post by Real Estate (+2.1%) with Financials (+1.4%), Energy (+1.2%) , Industrials (+1.1%) and InfoTech (+1.0%) also on solid, profitable ground.

Utilities was really the day’s only sticking point, losing 0.2% despite the happy CPI news.

Little Tassie tin miner Stellar Resources (ASX:SRZ) closed up 30% after hitting a significant 38.6m-long Zn-Pb-Cu mineralised zone at ‘North Scamander’ in Tasmania, from 130m depth.

The exploration hole had reached a depth of 360m on 23 June with a planned EOH depth of 750m, according to Reubs.

“The significant Zn-Pb-Cu vein and breccia mineralised zones intersected in NSD005 are interpreted as being separate from Zn-Pb-Cu-Ag-Sn mineralised breccia-hosted intersections in historic drilling, highlighting the presence of a significant new Zn-Pb-Cu mineralised zone,” the company said.

Imagion Biosystems (ASX:IBX) got as high as +33% on news that it has expanded its collaboration agreement with Siemens Healthineers, before dropping back to around +16% as the session winds down.

In addition to extending the existing agreement, the companies have agreed to collaborate in the United States through the far less aggravatingly-named Siemens Medical Solutions USA, in anticipation of Imagion’s undertaking a multi-site Phase-2 study for its MagSense  HER2 breast cancer imaging agent.

And Cavalier Resources (ASX:CVR) jumped up 25% after an extensive soil geochemical program at the Ella’s Rock Li-Au-Ni project hit paydirt.

 

Thursday, 29 June: ASX 200 flat 0.00%

The CPI-driven magic didn’t even last 24 hours, because different, more newer data came seeping out from under the bathroom door to put a damper on the mood of the market.

A one-two combo punch of Retail Turnover and Job Vacancy data were both pointing in the ‘wrong’ direction, knocking any certainty over which way Phillip “The Phillowe” Lowe will jump on interest rates on Tuesday.

Starting with job vacancies in Australia, the RBA has already said it wants to get unemployment a lot higher before the end of next year – like 0.9% higher.

That’s going to be difficult, considering that despite a 2% drop against February’s data, there were still 403,000 vacancies on the Aussie labour market in May, which is a huge vacuum to fill, one which is likely to keep unemployment quite low for at least the next few months.

And then there’s retail spending, which the RBA wants to keep low – the less we spend, the happier the RBA will be, on the basis that lower spending = lower inflationary pressure.

But it looks like the retailers have won the battle for Australia’s hearts and minds – admittedly not a fair fight, really. It’s the people who give us shiny news things versus the people who hit us with the interest rate stick every chance they can get.

Anyway… retail turnover rose 0.7% in May, which in turn is going to put pressure on inflation, and I know you’re as bored of this as I am, but there you go.

That meant back to square one on the “What’s Phil gonna do?” front, and investors bottled out and the market – which had been travelling along quite nicely – just dribbled out a weak end to what could have been another nice day.

It wasn’t even a close race among the sectors this session, with InfoTech up top on +1.8% and daylight to the rest of the market.

It’s most likely because of the tech surge in the US which has been rubbing off on local markets quite a bit over the past few weeks, because for an alarmingly large chunk of the tech stocks making big moves today, there’s not a lot of reasons to back those moves up.

Next best sector was Financials (+0.5%) and Consumer Discretionary (+0.36%), the former up on solid (but pedestrian) gains among some big value money giants, and the latter because we’ve all gone mad buying new heaters and blankets to battle winter, and new printers and staples because of the EOFY sales that are on everywhere.

Losing ground today were Real Estate (-1.2%) and Utilities (-1.1%). I’ve spoken to them both, and they’ve promised to do better – which is the best I could ask for, really.

Western Yilgarn (ASX:WYX) finished up 60% on Wednesday’s announcement that the company has conducted a “desktop review” on its recently-renamed Julimar West project, which has come up with some interesting nearological conclusions.

Chief among them is that the company is confident it’s caught a bit of the nearby Gonneville Intrusion that’s powering Chalice Mining’s (ASX: CHN) fabulous Julimar project, home to the 3Mt NiEq Gonneville Resource that put CHN on the map.

Western Yilgarn is champing at the bit to get moving on the site, which it expects to get the greenlight on by the end of June 2023 (which is tomorrow…), after an FNA from the application area for its EL 70/5111 exploration application was removed.

Meanwhile, archTIS (ASX:AR9) stacked on a 27.5% jump this morning, on news that it’s signed a $4.06 million deal with the Australian Department of Defence for software licences and services to conduct a proof of concept (PoC) to modernise their workplace environment.

Parkway Corporate (ASX:PWN) saw a massive increase in volume – from a four-week average of 2.8 million to around 43 million today, driving a 22.2% gain despite nothing new on the ASX announcements list.

However, recent rumblings from Independent Investment Research (IIR) has flagged the company as a potential 50-bagger, saying its innovative tech for treatment of coal seam gas (CSG) brine could become best available technology with a solid financial uptick for shareholders. They also got a speeding ticket from the ASX.

 

Friday, 30 June: ASX 200 up 0.15%

Aussie markets opened lower this morning, falling quite quickly to -0.4% before 11:00am, but an End of Financial Year rally had the broader market up by 0.1% at lunch, but it struggled to make any real headway for most of the afternoon.

A very late surge before the closing bell rang, and the day ended slightly happier, up 0.15%.

It was actually a really quiet day – the only “big” news was Link Administration (ASX:LNK) falling off a -14.7% cliff on news that Super Fund Hesta didn’t renew their contract. Big Ouch.

Harvest Technology Group (ASX:HTG) led the ladder, up 36% after securing a juicy defence contract.

The company has received an initial order for its Nodestream technology for a Five Eye defence customer, in the total amount of approximately US$180,000 – to assist the un-named defence force with “ultra-low-bandwidth, high-quality secure” remote operations and communications tech.

In second place it’s Blue Star Helium (ASX:BNL), up 33% on news that the company has executed a Master Services Agreement for the provision of helium recovery services through the delivery and operation of a helium recovery plant at its maiden birthday-grade helium development, Voyager.

BNL has gone with experienced US midstream provider, IACX Energy to provide helium recovery services through delivery and operation of a pressure swing adsorption (PSA) helium (He) recovery plant.

And finally, agricultural waste fibre technology company Papyrus (ASX:PPY) added 29%, a belated lift on Wednesday’s news that the company has executed a service agreement with BPE Investments and Union Pacific Equities, in a bid to help “advance its international business”.

 

PO listings this week

ILTANI RESOURCES (ASX:ILT)

Listed: 30 June, 2023

IPO: $5.0m at $0.20

Led by MD Donald Garner, Iltani’s portfolio includes base metals and critical minerals projects dotted around the east coast of QLD (and one in Tasmania).

First moves for the company include exploration which is already underway at its Herberton project, which the company believes is one of Australia’s best silver exploration targets endowed with significant critical minerals such as indium and antimony.

It also plans to commence drilling at its Northern base metal project within the next 12 months and generate targets through mapping and sampling at its Mount Read Volcanics and Rookwood projects.

ILT raised $5m in for its IPO and has a market cap of $8.4m. Listed at 20c, shares are up 15% to 23c in trade today.