The ASX 200 finished in the red today, as the big end of town played second fiddle to the microcap Emerging Companies index which posted a solid ~0.7% gain.

Mining stocks dragged on the broader index, as BHP (ASX:BHP) traded ex-dividend (it was a big dividend) and promptly slumped by around 7% at the opening bell.

The Big Australian struggled to climb off the mat, although fellow large cap miner Fortescue (ASX:FMG) edged higher despite another 6% drop in iron ore prices overnight.

Elsewhere, there was plenty of attention on two more IPOs which hit the ASX boards, and a nanocap retail stock mooned by more than 100% on no news, raising questions about whether it was the target of a coordinated pump and dump.

TODAY’S BIGGEST WINNERS

Scroll or swipe to reveal table. Click headings to sort.

Gold explorer Great Boulder Resources (ASX:GBR) held its gains from morning trade and was the standout performer on Thursday, closing more than 100% higher.

The company returned ‘bonanza’ grade gold hits at its Mulga Bill project which CEO Andrew Paterson said now “has the potential to have a plus million-ounce gold endowment”.

$5m market cap retail minnow TTA Holdings (ASX:TTA) also closed sharply higher after coming out of a trading halt following a 127% surge at the opening bell. Was it targeted as a ‘pump and dump?’. Possibly (read more here).

Elsewhere, ASX debutante Rubicon Water (ASX:RWL) made an auspicious start to listed life.

The company, which operates irrigation automation technology that aims to help with water scarcity, raised $42.6m at $1 per share and closed more than 50% higher.

TODAY’S BIGGEST LOSERS

Scroll or swipe to reveal table. Click headings to sort.

Among the laggards, gold player West Wits Mining (ASX:WWI) lost ground after announcing the results of a DFS (definitive feasibility study) by third party mine engineering firm, Bara Consulting.

WWI said the DFS “confirmed the robust economic viability of Qala Shallows”, one of five projects the company operates.

ANNOUNCEMENTS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED

Tamboran Resources (ASX:TBN) announced its 3H Well in EP 161 in the Beetaloo Sub-Basin had spudded last week. T3H is currently ahead of schedule with the completion of the surface vertical hole section at 1,080 metres and the company is planning to drill to 3,800 metres.

Manuka Resources (ASX:MKR) announced it had returned to normal operations at Mt Boppy, 2 weeks since one of its staff tested positive for COVID-19. The company reported no other positive cases and noted that prior to the positive case, the company enjoyed a record monthly financial operational performance.

Chimeric Therapeutics (ASX:CHM) formed a partnership with clinical research organisation OncoBay Clinical. OncoBay Clinical will provide research support to advance and expand its clinical development program for its CHM 1101 drug.

Nuix (ASX:NXL) told shareholders it received documents potentially relevant to its investigation into the company’s IPO prospectus and financial statements in years preceding its listing. The company promised to co-operate fully with ASIC’s investigation.

TRADING HALTS

Friday 

Ultima United (ASX:UUL) – price query
Structural Monitoring Systems (ASX:SMN) – acquisition
Mosaic Brands (ASX:MOZ) – capital raising
Plexure (ASX:PX1) – capital raising

Monday

Diatreme Resources (ASX:DRX) – capital raising
Houston We Have (ASX:HWH) – material contract
Kaiser Reef (ASX:KAU) – capital raising
Pan Asia Metals (ASX:PAM) – capital raising
Kleos Space (ASX:KSS) – capital raising