ASX Small Caps Lunch Wrap: Aussie markets and people are depressed going into lunch on Tuesday
I can tell you point blank, I’m not a regular attendee of the sonorous Westpac-Melbourne Institute Consumer Sentiment index.
I say good on ’em for doing it so often. Kudos to the idea. The more data, the better.
But you don’t have to be an economist (and I’m not) to know that anything which claims to be a reliable measure of an Australian’s sentiment is in trouble from the get go.
I mean, have you met an Australian man and/or woman?
David Beckham we are not.
The last definite emotion I felt was when Kim Hughes cried. And I certainly never told anyone.
And I still couldn’t say exactly what it was I felt either. Other than it seemed to sting.
Even with the benefit of beer and hindsight it’s safe to conclude as highly doubtful that any Australian anywhere ever knew what they were feeling at any given moment, let alone be possessed of the capacity to express it.
With that said, both Westpac and the Melbourne Institute have reported this morning that the co-mingled Aussie feelings of Aussie shoppers have hit ’81’ in January, down from ‘82.1’ in December. This, they continue, is a fall of 1.3%.
Such readings of sentiment have been wallowing at what are apparently “pessimistic levels” for nearly two years now.
Naturally, that’s down to the crap cost of living and the high interest rates.
We’ve been feeling various shades of pessimism since February 2022, which Westpac says is almost the longest streak of pessimism on record.
“The latest January read is in the bottom 7% of all observations since the survey was first run in the mid-1970s.
More pessimistic starts to the year have only been seen during the deep recession of the early 1990s.”
And we had to have that recession, I seem to recall.
I mention all this because the Australian stock market has feelings too.
For example, this is how the ASX200 felt around the time the Consumer Sentiment data dropped:
At 12pm on Tuesday, January 16 (me lovely mum’s birthday: Happy Birthday Mum!!), the ASX200 was down by 73 points or 1.0% at 7422.
So, the Australian market’s opened lower on Tuesday and looked instantly forlorn without signals from a Wall Street session to lead them.
With New York off the clock for the Martin Luther Day holiday, it was left to the Europeans to offer some guidance and it came willingly enough in the shape of grim central bank prognostications, awfully weak equity markets and – get this – a calamitous -0.3% quarterly GDP read out of Germany!
The good news on that front is that everyone was totally expecting it and the former industrial powerhouse’s economy will probably (narrowly) avoid a recession.
So the market action in Sydney’s been dull, bordering on the Anthropomorphic: the ASX on Tuesday morning, I’d say, is feeling about an 81 on the pessimistic scale.
All 11 Sectors are roundly depressed.
Utilities are so hangdog, I could scream:
Trying to find something happy… ahh.
DroneShield (ASX:DRO) has turned a maiden profit.
The Aussie drone killer and defence contractor says that over the three-month period ended 31 December 2023, the company hauled in a record $48m in customer cash receipts and grants.
DRO just answered the age old question: War, what is it good for?
The next 48 hours are important if you’re German, or wondering what might happen if China falls over.
There’s inflation and more feelings rolling out for the rest of the day across Japan and Deutschland. While Wednesday is the biggie in China.
Japan PPI (Dec)
Germany Inflation (Dec, final)
United Kingdom Labour Market Report (Dec)
Germany ZEW Economic Sentiment Index (Jan)
Canada Inflation (Dec)
Singapore Non-oil Domestic Exports (Dec)
China GDP (Q4)
China Industrial Production (Dec)
China Retail Sales (Dec)
China Fixed Asset Investment (Dec)
China Unemployment Rate (Dec)
United Kingdom Inflation (Dec)
United States Retail Sales (Dec)
United States Industrial Production (Dec)
United States Business Inventories (Nov)
Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for 16 January [intraday]:
Swipe or scroll to reveal full table. Click headings to sort:
The morning’s good going belongs to Koonenberry Gold (ASX:KNB), which dropped an announcement this morning that final approvals have been received for the maiden drilling program at its Atlantis Au-Cu Prospect, and “as soon as weather conditions permit” they’ll get the drills spinning to conduct first pass Air Core drilling at the site.
“The Atlantis outcropping copper-gold mineralisation, copper-gold soil anomaly, geophysical targets, structural and geological setting make Atlantis a compelling target,” KNB MD Dan Power said.
“Whilst this prospect has been known about for some years, Koonenberry Gold has advanced it to drill ready status and will be the first ever exploration company to conduct drill testing.” Presumably he means at that particular site, but you get the idea.
KNB also has assay results incoming from its Bellagio project, which the company says are “anticipated soon”.
BMG Resources (ASX:BMG) has dropped a bit of a bombshell this morning, fuelling a major surge in volume and pushing its price up more than 23% with news that long-time MD Bruce McCracken has resigned from BMG and all of its subsidiaries.
With McCracken gone, non-executive director John Prineas assumes the role of non-executive chairman, while non-executive chairman Greg Hancock transfers to the role of independent non-executive director.
Prineas steps into the role with a host of other responsibilities on his plate as well – he’s currently BMG’s largest shareholder (holding 9.8%), and is also the founder and executive chairman of St George Mining (ASX:SGQ) and founder and a non-executive director of American West Metals (ASX:AW1).
As it stands with BMG, Prineas is set to assume day-to-day responsibilities for BMG matters, until a new CEO or MD is appointed to the role.
There’s a bunch of Small Caps moving around for reasons probably known only to them – that includes Firebird Metals (ASX:FRB), which is clawing back some of the ground that it lost late last week, and Fatfish Group (ASX:FFG) which is lurching around like it often does, so no huge surprise there, really.
And Aerometrex (ASX:AMX) delivered a quarterly this morning, bearing upbeat news for investors – the company expects to deliver a record first half (1H) revenue outcome, driven by “strong ongoing performance of the LiDAR and MetroMap product lines”.
AMX reckons it’s likely to post a group revenue in the $11.8-$12.2 million range, which is a tidy climb from the previous years’ $10 million high water mark.
Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for 16 January [intraday]:
Swipe or scroll to reveal full table. Click headings to sort: