ASX Small Caps Lunch Wrap: How low are you prepared to go today?
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Aussie markets have opened lower. Wall Street’s down. There’s not a green sector hidden across the board. Everyone’s got a profound case of the grumpies. Blergh.
But first, we’re going to quickly tell you about something that happened a few years ago, but it’s an interesting yarn that many people probably never heard of.
It dates back to 11 years ago, when a fella by the name of Arkadiy Dubovoy hatched a devious plan to game the American stock market, by breaking into a weak spot he’d spotted – and that was the newswires that carried company announcements.
Dubovoy was an interesting fella – he had a background in finance, and was also a Slavic Evangelist Baptist pastor, with a sizeable congregation of followers at his church.
We’ve all seen them before – the announcements that are most-often incredibly dry documents, chock-full of info that investors need to know so they can make informed choices about when to put money in, and when to pull money out.
From time to time, companies issue announcements that can fundamentally change the value of their stock – for good or for bad – and those documents need to be prepared, and then filed somewhere to be released at a certain time, so everyone gets that information all at once.
And that’s where Dubovoy spotted a weak link – the newswire services that handled the announcements for Wall Street… where the information was stored for a few hours, waiting to be published and released at the appointed time.
Long story short, Dubovoy and his team of money-hungry miscreants broke into several of the major newswire services, and had advance warning of major, market-shaking news, often hours before anyone else.
And so he had another team of people start to buy shares – effectively insider trading from the outside.
Of course, they got greedy and the whole thing came crashing down around them. And when it did, prosecutors said that the team had been working from inside the hacked news wires for more than 5 years, and had made over US$30 million using more than 100,000 stolen documents.
Seven people got pinched, seventeen bank and brokerage accounts were seized along with fifteen properties including a houseboat, a shopping centre, and an entire apartment building.
The conspirators were made to pay back millions of dollars in restitution as well – proving that if you’re gonna sink to an act that low, it’s most likely not going to be worth it in the end.
Speaking of sinking to unforgivable lows, let’s take a look at the markets…
It’s been a real fizzer this morning, like arriving for a Tinder date to discover that the hot person you matched with has both quadrupled in mass and had a swastika tattooed on their forehead since their profile pics were taken. Unless you’re into that kind of thing…
But yes… Aussie markets have followed Wall Street into a dark alley, and we got mugged to the tune of 1.0% the instant we got there – and as we lay dazed in the gutter, someone else has popped by to steal our shoes and jacket as well.
This totally happened to a friend of mine, once. His house caught fire because of a crazed, candle-obsessed hippy he lived with, and after he’d fought his way through the flames and smoke to escape, dressed only his pyjamas and some sturdy footwear, he sat down in the gutter to catch his breath.
And that’s when someone knocked him on the head and pinched his boots. The 90s were a wild, wild time.
But I digress…
The market’s down 1.5% as we head into lunch, and there’s a whole lotta red going on among the sectors. Worst hit have been Materials (-2.26%), InfoTech (-2.38%) and Real Estate (-1.90%).
The only patch of green in sight is the Energy sector, pushing harder than the All Blacks forward pack with the try line in sight, up a meagre +0.11%.
Predictably, there are a few well-performing Big Guys of Energy (now there’s a calendar you don’t want to get for Christmas…), with Washington H Soul Pattinson & Company (ASX:SOL) up +4.38% on news that its plan to move all its pharmacy outlets 3km underground looks to have paid off.
Air New Zealand also issued an earnings forecast of $200 million to $275 million for the first half of FY23, after denying media speculation of a takeover offer earlier in the week – so that might have affected its trading price today as well, but it’s hard to tell.
Let’s take a look overseas super-quick – maybe Air New Zealand could fly us there to see for ourselves… no? Bugger.
Wall Street, God love ‘em, sagged overnight, suffering more broad losses as the FOMC convened for the first day of a two-day gab-fest to decide on how much interest rates are going to rise in the US.
Our Man Eddy reports that while a 75bp hike is already fully priced in, some observers are speculating about a possible 100bp hike. The FOMC decision is due out on Thursday at 4am AEST.
Traders are positioning themselves ahead of the Fed announcement, with the US dollar rallying further against other currencies on potential interest rates differentials, while the 10-year Treasury yield has spiked by 7bp.
All three major stock indexes finished in the red – the S&P 500 by 1.13%, the Dow Jones by 1.01% and tech-heavy Nasdaq by 0.95%.
In Asia, Wall Street’s lead and some preposterously foul weather are making things difficult, with Hong Kong down -1.51%, the Nikkei lower by -1.37% and Shanghai dipping -0.58%.
In commodities, oil and gas are heading north again, up +0.3% and +0.98% respectively. Meanwhile, coal is continuing to climb, up +0.52% to 444.31 this morning.
Gold is inching up, +0.15% higher, silver’s performing well (+0.77%) and copper has flatlined on the way out the door to get lunch.
In the Crypto Circus Tent, the big news is that the Nasdaq is launching a “Digital Assets” division, which totally makes sense because it’s not like the Nasdaq people are busy or anything.
And XRP is the coin to be holding today, apparently, for reasons that Rob “I’m tech-heavy in all the right places” Badman gets into over at Mooners & Shakers.
Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for September 21 [intraday]:
Swipe or scroll to reveal full table. Click headings to sort:
In Small Caps Land, the big winner so far today has been Avenira (ASX:AEV), which has announced the signing of a tripartite non-binding MOU in relation to the Wonarah Project with global LFP cathode manufacturer, Aleees and the NT Government.
The plan is to develop an LFP battery cathode manufacturing facility in a phased capacity program starting at 5,000-10,000 tpa in 2023/24 and potentially scaling to 200,000 tpa by 2032.
Investors like this sort of thing quite a bit, so AEV is trading +30% higher today.
Also winning the morning is the in-like-Flynn Gold (ASX:FG1), which has hit some lovely shiny stuff at its Trafalgar Project – and the numbers look like this:
Investors also like this sort of thing quite a bit, so FG1 is trading +28.5% higher today.
And lastly, Arcadia Minerals (ASX:AM7) is also up today, climbing +16.3% on news that the company has instructed Hammerstein Mining and Drilling to execute a 526m RC drilling program for 9 drill holes at the Karibib copper-gold project in Namibia.
Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for September 21 [intraday]:
Swipe or scroll to reveal full table. Click headings to sort: