ASX Small Caps Lunch Wrap: Who else feels like the wheels have come off this morning?
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Love ‘em or hate ‘em, electric vehicles are most definitely the future of transport – but it’s still a somewhat-emerging technology, so of course there are still some wrinkles that need to ironed out.
We understand there are going to be teething problems with any new technology. We talked about this very issue yesterday, after Meta revealed that they’ve built themselves a new chat bot, that totally won’t turn into a complete raging disaster like every other chatbot ever.
But sometimes there’s a story that’s just too good to ignore… and while we don’t really want to be raining on the parade of the increasingly awesome world of EVs, when the fruit is so juicy and hanging so low, it’s a crime not to pick it.
EVs have had their fair share of issues over the years. Perhaps the most glaring early-ish example was Chevrolet’s entrance into the EV market with the Volt… a launch that went brilliantly right up until they started catching fire.
But Toyota’s turn to struggle is special, and started when drivers of its snazzy-looking BZ4X electric SUV started to complain about, er, the wheels falling off.
The BZ4X – a platform that Toyota co-developed with Subaru – was recalled, because obviously a car that has wheels that fall off will provide a somewhat sub-optimal driving experience.
It should be noted here that the only reason Subaru hasn’t had to join in the recall is because it hadn’t managed to get its version of the SUV into customer’s driveways before the vehicles started shedding parts like a leper with luxurious leather seats.
The first recall of the BZ4X was called about a month ago, and after beavering away for an answer as to how the bloody wheels keep coming off, Toyota’s engineers have been backed into an embarrassing admission: They still don’t know why.
That’s led to an offer from Toyota to BZ4X owners: Either we will lend you an entirely different model of Toyota to drive until we figure it out, plus a ‘Sorry your wheels fell off’ greeting card with US$5000 stuffed inside it – OR – the company is now prepared to buy the dodgy SUVs back from customers entirely.
It’ll be interesting to see what sort of hit Toyota’s previously near-bulletproof public image is going to take – but you can bet your bottom battery anode that it won’t be as bad as the hit that a child-sized dummy took during a recent safety test of Tesla’s autonomous driving mode:
It’s 2022, and Teslas still aren’t stopping for children. pic.twitter.com/GGBh6sAYZS
— Taylor Ogan (@TaylorOgan) August 9, 2022
We reckon Tesla should team up with Toyota to work on a vehicle together – because there’s zero chance of obliterating a safety dummy at such high speed without any wheels on the car.
The ASX fell sharply at open this morning, following a downright shabby performance on Wall Street overnight, with the benchmark diving swiftly before struggling to get its head back over the 7,000 point mark.
As we head into lunch, the benchmark is still down by a super-skinny 0.08%, but trending upwards towards break-even.
InfoTech is the main culprit, dropping 3.25% so far today, with Health Care copping collateral damage, down 1.15% while the rest of the sectors tug valiantly in the opposite direction.
Best performer among the sectors has been Utilities (+0.68%), while the rest of the crew have stood awkwardly in line to collect participation trophies that will go straight in the bin as soon as they get home.
There are some Large Cap Winners this morning – most notably Imugene (ASX:IMU), which has bucked the broader Health Care trend to add nearly 13% since brekky.
Coronado (ASX:CRN) has climbed a respectable 6.0% off the back of a thunderous 147% HY revenue boost and an EU ban on Russian coal, and Graincorp (ASX:GNC) is also breathing a little easier, arresting its recent form slump and adding 6.9% after upgrading its earnings guidance this morning.
But the larger news is a steep sell-off from beleaguered dairy cow A2 Milk (ASX:A2M), which has slumped after the US Food and Drug Administration dropped a steaming -8.32% pat on investor sentiment by deferring further discussion around letting A2 join in on the infant formula bonanza.
As is customary, let’s look overseas and then come back for the Small Cap goodness.
The US news from Early Eddy’s desk this morning wasn’t super-unpleasant… just a bit less firm than hoped, ahead of the US CPI release today (US time).
The Nasdaq took it on the chin, down 1.2%, with the S&P 0.42% lower and the Dow dribbling like it needs to keep its next doctor’s appointment, 0.18% softer.
Experts are rooting for US inflation to ease in July, especially after the horror 9.1% reading in June, which came hot off the back to back 75bp hike rates by the Fed over the last two months.
Economists polled by Reuters see year-on-year headline inflation at 8.7% for July.
Money-market futures also show that traders are betting for 65% chance of another 75bp raise when the Fed meets again on September 20.
Asian markets are also (mostly) feeling the drag this morning, with the Nikkei down 0.59% and Hong Kong down 0.8%.
Shanghai, of course, is going its own way, on set to hit lunchtime flatter than a Chinese laundry’s freshy-folded linen, up by 0.01%.
Commodities are largely stagnant this morning. Oil is down 0.19%, and gas has dipped 0.17%.
Metals are mixed, however, with gold down 0.15% while silver climbed 0.04% and copper gleamed by comparison, up 0.4%.
In the crypto space, and it’s big gun Mark Cuban going out on a limb, with guarded comments about the future of the much-vaunted Metaverse.
In an uncharacteristically reserved statement, Cuban described the actions of people investing in virtual real estate as – *checks notes* – “the dumbest s–t I’ve ever seen”. Ouch.
Cuban points out that the things that give real real estate its value are, mainly, scarcity and location – and when you can build infinite quantities of land in a virtual space, the resulting scarcity of scarcity makes the value proposition scarce, so it’s scarcely a sound investment.
That, however, is so meta it hurts, which can only add value to virtual Metaverse real estate. So the system works, and your space farm is totally worth trillions of tokens. No, really. It is.
Meanwhile, FIFA’s World Cup fan token launched last night, and at the moment is trading at a breathtaking 0.000000000122 BTC, down 37%.
BTC (-4.36%), ETH (-5.49%) and XRP (-3.89%) all had terrible nights, too – but let’s just blame FIFA for that as well, just because we can.
Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for August 10 [intraday]:
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Looking over the Small Caps charts, and apparently it’s iSelect’s (ASX:ISU) turn to post some ridiculously high numbers. ‘
The insurance sales group has punched out a premium-busting 76% climb after major shareholder IHA decided 26% of iSelect isn’t a big enough slice of the pie, and went after 100% of the company instead.
Meeka Metals (ASX:MEK) has surged 30% on news that it’s sold off it’s Gecko North project and had a cracker of a find at its St Anne’s project.
Shallow aircore drilling has turned up highlights such as 32m @ 16.07g/t Au from 48m including 16m @ 28.59g/t Au, and 20m @ 20.74g/t Au from 48m including 16m @ 24.86g/t Au.
And Equinox (ASX:EQN) has jumped 28% for no apparent reason – when we find out why, we’ll let you know.
Licking its wounds is Limeade (ASX:LME), the largest fall this morning (outside of the micro-value stocks), taking one to the guts along with the rest of the InfoTech sector, dropping 14.3%.
Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for August 10 [intraday]:
Swipe or scroll to reveal full table. Click headings to sort: