Australian markets smashed a new record on Friday. And then Wall Street smashed another one on Saturday morning. And then here we are on Monday. Terribly, awfully flat.

Via Google

Yes. At midday on Monday March 4, the benchmark has dribbled its way to a seven (7) point gain, which is lunchtime win of  0.090%.

Local gold miners are in the money, REITs are doing well, while IT stocks are digging in for another positive day after their near 10% week last week.


ASX Sectors at Lunch on Monday

Via MarketIndex


Goldies Northern Star and Evolution are up 6%, the two large caps almost double-handedly keeping the Materials sector in the green.

But not quite.

Mirvac, Vicinity Centres and GPT Group are driving property gains, all up around 2%.

But it’s not all about equities. There’s so much more to life.

Like local inflation-related macro-economic data.

Local job ads dropped this AM and fell back to 2.8% in February 2024, down from 3.4% in Jan.

That was the first drop in job ads since last November, ergo sum: the jobs market is worse because higher rates make the economy crap, but that’s good, because a bad economy needs lower rates.

Business inventories fell this morning too. I haven’t looked at the read, but I believe that’s unexpected.

Worse than all of it is that house construction isn’t happening.

Total dwellings approved to be built fell by 1% (to 12,850 units) in January. While that’s a big improvement from the 9.5% drop in December but it’s way, way off the 4% growth the market was looking for.

Or the 500k homes that the country is short of to house everyone.

The numbers office says the decline was driven by a sharp downturn in private sector houses which fell -9.9% to 7,461 units, while private sector dwellings excluding houses increased 19.5% to 5,238 units.

How’s this though – building permits fell in New South Wales by near 15%.

At least they increased in Queensland by 31.8%.

Corporate profits in Australia rose by 7.4% qoq in Q4 of 2023, easily beating market estimates of 1.8% while marking the strongest growth since Q4 of 2022.

Rightio. The heavyweight miners are tracking the ongoing dip in iron ore prices as weak economic data tears consumers in China a new one.

Oil prices rose ahead of the OPEC+ decision.

Nickel prices are unlikely to rise much above $18,000 a ton as Indonesia will ensure the market remains well supplied to keep costs lower for EV manufacturers, as per Septian Hario Seto, a deputy at the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment.

Seto said that the purpose for the government is to find an equilibrium so that nickel demand is well supplied. Recall that nickel prices declined by around 45 per cent during last year primarily due to concerns around oversupply.


Not the ASX…

Last week the Nasdaq added 1.75%, while the S&P500, swanned into another record close on Thursday, up 1%.

Both indices waltzed in their seventh positive week over the last eight.

The 30-stock Dow is the slow poke, down 0.1%.

Friday, the Nasdaq added 1.15% to 16,274.94, with a new high of 16,302.24 mid-session.

Thursday, the tech-heavy ended at its first record since November 2021.

The S&P500 added 0.8% for its first close above the 5,100 threshold.

The Friday session was still prickly on the corporate front. New York Community Bancorp crashed 26% taking the lender to a  65% loss so far this year.  They’re worried about a real estate shakeout in the states, which means they’re worried about a banking shakedown too.

Among the US sectors, all closed higher overnight except for Health and Consumer Staples. Tech was the best performer.

Globally, the MSCI’s equity index scaled a record high on Friday, as the S&P 500 and Nasdaq closed at record highs.

That was the S&P500’s 15th record high of the year.

Technology stocks rallied on continued enthusiasm for AI. Europe’s benchmark index hit a new record high, as did Japan’s Nikkei share average.

Wall Street on Friday was more of the Nvidia (NVDA) show.

The Nasdaq Composite rose to an all-time high Friday, whipping its 2021-COVID peak, as Wall Street spearhead and chipmaking fury Nvidia (NVDA) was up another 4% on Friday, Facebook Daddio Meta also jumped more than 2.3% on no news too.

Euphoria over AI has hoisted The Mega Caps – and all within their orbit – through last year, into this one and onto something no one knows about yet.

And this latest tech rally, where NVDA is up 260% and worth $2trn  is still all about new technology and the 7 or so stocks that do it best too.

Everyone seems to reckon 7 such stocks are yet the best way to play the slowing inflation story and the AI thingy. I guess it’s a boom. But I don’t really know how this one sounds. The last one a least had coughing.

The Mega-7 chipmaker finding another 4%, which helped drag friends and foes alike ever upward.

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) gained more than 5.2%, while Qualcomm, Intel, Broadcom and Micron all gained near or more than 2%.

The engine on NVDA right now is relentless. Having clocked $1 trillion in market cap around this time last year, the company’s valuation is suddenly $2 trillion as of Friday, meaning the AI play secured the last trillion in circa 180 days of trade.

It helped the index log its 16th weekly gain in the past 18 weeks, a hot streak last seen in 1971.

All three major indexes traded in the green Friday, opening March on a high note after four consecutive monthly gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.2%, or 91 points, while the S&P 500 glided 0.8% higher. Thanks largely to semiconductor firms, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite led the pack with a 1.1% climb, also setting a new record.

China shares posted a third straight weekly gain with investor focus on this week’s National People’s Congress with any hints at the government’s willingness to support the economy closely watched.


US Futures are thusly on Monday at lunch in Sydney:


Via Fox




Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for 4 March [intraday]:

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

Wordpress Table Plugin

Koonenberry Gold (ASX:KNB) h​as wowed with news of a ​capital raise ​ led by cornerstone investor Lion Selection Group .

KNB will raise $2.35 million​ to advance exploration of its Bellagio and Atlantis Projects, including high impact drilling programs planned​ with “exciting​” gold and copper targets:
​- Atlantis Cu-Au Prospect: 15% Cu, 0.84g/t Au in rock chips and 6.5km long soil​ anomaly,​ never drill tested
​ Bellagio Au Prospect: High grade gold rock chips to 39.4g/t Au and widespread​ bedrock Au mineralisation OPEN in all directions and along +20km Royal Oak Fault

K​NB says it has received firm subscriptions to raise $700,000 before costs via a placement to professional and sophisticated investors to issue 50 million new ordinary shares in the company at an issue price of $0.014 per share.,

The placement shares will include 1 free attaching option for every 2 placement shares subscribed for and issued, exercisable at $0.04 each and expiring two years from the date of issue.

KNB notes the placement received strong backing from existing and new professional and sophisticated investors.

Still rising like a souffle on acid is local cybersecurity minnow WhiteHawk (ASX:WHK). WHK jumped several hundred per cent last week, all on the back of two letters… A. I.

This is what WHK says about WHK:

WhiteHawk is a cloud-based cyber security exchange platform that delivers Artificial Intelligence based cyber risk profiles, interactive online maturity models, tailored Cyber Risk Scorecard reports, matching to innovative products, solutions and best practices, all via an intuitive virtual consult.

The platform enables customers to leverage their tailored Security Story … oh christ what a load of bollocks… here’s their response to an ASX speeding ticket, much more interesting (the cool logo comes free of charge):


Honestly, one more ASX announcement about anything “AI” and we’ll…

Queensland renewable energy company Genex Power (ASX:GNX) announced that it has received an indicative bid proposal from Japan’s Electric Power Development, J-Power, valuing its equity at ~$380m.

In an announcement GNX says its has granted J-Power, one of Japan’s largest utility companies, permission to conduct a thorough examination of its financial records to determine whether the proposed offer of 27.5 cents/share in cash will be formalised.

Additionally, J-Power has presented an alternative offer to secure control of the company in case there is insufficient support from GNX’s shareholders for the primary bid.

The second offer entails a lower amount of 27 cents/share in cash, contingent on approval from shareholders to hold a minimum of 50.1% of the company’s stock.

J-POWER is a 50% joint development partner of GNX for its Kidston Stage three Wind and Bulli Creek Solar and Battery projects, and holds 7.72% of its shares on issue. J-POWER also extended a $35 million corporate loan facility to Genex in 2023, which remained fully drawn at 31 December 2023.

That’s better. Thank you Genex.


Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for 4 March [intraday]:

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

Wordpress Table Plugin

ICYMI at Midday

Native Mineral Resources (ASX:NMR) has received binding commitments from a group of sophisticated and professional investors to subscribe for convertible notes with an aggregate face value of $1.1 million.

The gold and copper-focused explorer says proceeds from the raising will be used for general working capital purposes.

Conversion of the notes remains subject to and conditional upon the company obtaining shareholder approval.

ADX Energy (ASX:ADX) reports its Welchau-1 gas exploration well has reached a depth of 640m.

Welchau, located on the company’s ADX-AT-II exploration licence in Upper Austria, targets a best technical prospective resource of 807Bcfe.

The planned forward program is to drill to a depth of ~1,050m.

At Stockhead, we tell it like it is. While Native Mineral Resources and ADX Energy are Stockhead advertisers, they did not sponsor this article.