ASX Small Caps Lunch Wrap: Who’s been busted ‘wasting police time’ this week?
Local markets were running just below zero this morning, with the market held back by another brutal sell-off in Health stocks as the fallout from pharma-giant CSL’s failed Phase 3 heart attack meds gave the sector a hugely ironic coronary episode.
But it’s been a decent morning for the goldies and banks – which is likely to be causing more than a few investors a case of the jitters, as that’s got all the hallmarks of safe haven hunters making for the hills.
I’ll get into the details there shortly, but first to a weird story from Wigan in the UK, where local coppers have been caught on CCTV watching Netflix and lifting weights in the home of a woman they were supposed to be searching for.
According to Abbygail Lawton, who was the subject of the search after going missing during a mental health crisis, she was alerted to the presence of people in her home by a security app on her phone.
Concerned that she was being burgled, on top of the fact that she was already having a terrible time, she signed in and saw two members of the local police force in her living room, watching telly and doing a few reps with some hand weights she had lying around her home.
Ms Lawton lodged a complaint, suggesting that the two officers should probably have done what they ‘normally do’ in these circumstances, which is check that she’s not actually at home, and then wait outside in the squad car.
The Greater Metropolitan Police issued a generic “we have investigated ourselves and found that we did nothing wrong” response, but that did include the following tacit admission that perhaps the officers might have been taking the piss, just a little bit.
“The officers have been spoken to and understand that, whilst the television had been left on and dumbbells left out, they should have refrained from watching it or using them whilst they were deployed to the location.”
Meanwhile, Ms Lawton has since been located and charged with “wasting police time” – which is surely a bit rich by any reasonable measure.
Local markets are struggling this morning, with the Health Care sector very much a dead weight around the benchmark’s neck, thanks mostly to CSL’s (ASX:CSL) continued dive on yesterday’s failed Phase 3 trial news.
CSL is down another 2.7% today, recovering slightly from a bottom of $278.73 per share mid-morning – and that’s down from $309 per share on 09 February, before news broke that the trial had failed to meet its primary efficacy goal.
The Telcos sector is also faring poorly this morning, with heavyweights like Seven West falling sharply.
Seven issued its half-year results this morning, and – despite being the “#1 national total TV network: audience and revenue share” and boasting “Audience growth underpinning revenue share gain of 1.7 points to 41%, things aren’t going as well as they might be.
Seven has reported that revenue is actually down 5% on PCP to $775 million, leaving the company with an EBITDA around $124 million, which is down 40% versus the corresponding period last year.
A more granular look at how things are tracking today shows that there’s been a move towards the goldies and the banks – often an indication that investors are looking for safe havens ahead of a storm, but in this instance it could also be due to some good news among the junior goldies this morning, which I’ll get to later.
With thanks to Earlybird Eddy: Overnight, the S&P 500 fell by -0.01%, the blue chips Dow Jones index was up by +0.33%, hitting a fresh record, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq slipped by -0.3%.
An early morning release by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York showed that inflation expectations in the US have settled back to levels last seen before the coronavirus pandemic struck.
Amongst many things described in the report, the gasoline price in the US are expected to hit its lowest reading since December 2022.
“This is a significant change in the investment landscape, so we think it’s less important whether the Fed cuts three, four, or five times this year,” Mark Haefele at UBS Global Wealth Management told Bloomberg.
Traders are now focusing on the actual CPI report, due out on Tuesday (Wednesday AM AEDT).
Bitcoin quietly went a little crazy overnight, topping US$50,000 and – the last time I looked at it – it was sitting at US$50,054.70 a pop, up another 0.23% so far today.
Some big news for British semiconductor designer Arm, after it jumped by a whopping 29% following its earnings report after the bell on Friday. Arm’s market cap has now eclipsed British icons such as HSBC and Unilever.
In Asian market news, Hong Kong and Shanghai are still closed for Lunar New Year, but Japan’s back to work today and the Nikkei has hit a new 52-week high, up 1.95% at last count.
Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for 13 February [intraday]:
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Dateline Resources (ASX:DTR) was well out in front Tuesday morning, after the company reported hitting wide, high grade gold during drilling at its Colosseum Gold Project in San Bernardino County, California, with the highlight being 70.1m @ 6.53g/t Au in drill hole CM23-14 Inc. 25.9m @ 15.31g/t Au.
IncentiaPay (ASX:INP) was also tracking well in early trade, after the company delivered its half-yearly report after hours on Monday evening, showing that while revenue has faltered -6.41% to 8,674,712 in PCP, the company has managed to turn around Loss from ordinary activities after tax attributable to members by 80.6% to $3,236,540, compared to $16,707,381 on PCP.
And a takeover deal in the works has pushed Ansarada (ASX:AND) higher, after the company entered into a Scheme Implementation Deed with Datasite, an entity owned by funds managed by CapVest, to acquire 100% of the fully diluted share capital in Ansarada at $2.50 cash per share, which implies an equity value of A$236.3 million and represents a premium of 19.0% to the last closing price of A$2.10 per share.
Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for 13 February [intraday]:
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Arafura Rare Earths (ASX:ARU) has informed the market that its 100% owned subsidiary Arafura Nolans Project has executed gas supply agreements (GSAs) with Mereenie field joint venture partners Central Petroleum, Cue Energy, Macquarie Mereenie and New Zealand Oil & Gas for the supply of up to a combined 27.4 petajoules of natural gas for the company’s Nolans Project.
Neurotech (ASX:NTI) has announced that it’s been granted Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) approval to extend the Phase 1/2 clinical trial in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by another 52 weeks in total, based on requests from the company’s lead investigator, patients and their caregivers, to continue to extend the duration of treatment for these patients.
White Cliff Minerals (ASX:WCN) has executed an underwriting agreement with CPS Capital Group and its nominees to underwrite listed WCNOE options, conferring to the owner a right to purchase a share in the company at a price of $0.015 per share before or on COB 28 February 2024. There are currently 288,528,071 listed WCNOE Options expected to raise $4.33m before expenses.