• ASX closes 0.34pc higher on Friday
  • Best sectors Utilities and Energy
  • Top small cap performers led by K2Fly


A slightly whacky lead out of New York has not deterred the local benchmark from getting all up in Friday’s face after a strong showing from the Utlities Sector offset losses across local mining and industrial companies.

The S&P/ASX200 closed Friday, up 26.60 points or 0.34% to 7,796.00.




The top performing stocks on the benchmark, Friday, were Strike Energy (ASX:STX) and Stanmore Coal (ASX:SMR) , up 7% and 4.5% respectively. Over the past week, the index has gained 0.93% and is currently 1.45% off of its 52-week high.

A the very top end of town, the Commonwealth Bank (ASX:CBA) clocked a new record high earlier in the session, making it’s march on BHP as the country’s largest company by market cap appear a foregone conclusion in the coming days

Less happy on Friday arvo was the Hero of Thursday’s Dish Mexicstralian fast-food chain Guzman y Gomez which had to say goodbye the Mastercap kitchen after returning about 5% as punters purloined profits after the excitement of Thursday’s IPO – GYG added more than 30% on debut.

Shopping stocks actually had a tough day all round.

Mosaic Brands (ASX:MOZ) home to a gaggle of family fav clothing names like Katies and Rivers, just pitched right into the ocean this morning, losing circa 20% after revealing to the bourse that it was likely to post a loss for the 2024 financial year, cost-of-living crisis and all.

Also setting the market to chill was an update from another major retail group – this time KMD Brands (ASX:KMD) – owner of an unlilikey rabble of brands including Kathmandu, Rip Curl and Oboz.

KMD’s update was a bit more immediate after revealing sales crashed almost 8.5% between February 24 and May 24. The share price fell a similar amount.

More broadly, nine of the 11 ASX sectors moved into the green.

Utilities the standout performier, adding 1.35% and some 3.6% over the past five days.

Industrials (down 0.5 per cent) was the worst-performing sector as toll roads operator Transurban’s shares lost 0.9 per cent, plumbing supplies company Reece shed 1.1 per cent and Seven Group Holdings slid 1.8 per cent.

Miners were dragged down by lower commodity prices and some sharp selling for the volatile twin diggers – Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) lost almost 7% and Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) about 3%.

Jarden knocked the stuffing out of MIN on Friday, dropping a note lamenting the digger’s “lack of valuation support, stressed balance sheet metrics and corporate governance concerns.”

Jarden has maintained its Sell rating on Mineral Resource.

Fortescue was the worst of the iron ore majors, shedding some 2%.

On the happier front, a broker upgrade has shot REA Group’s share price into record territory after Citi added REA to a Buy Rating given prevailing optimism about the group’s strong execution and consolidation of its dominant market share..

Citi says it expects REA’s recent product/tech investments to result in strong earnings growth over the medium to long term, with potential upside from stronger than expected seller and mortgage leads monetisation.


ASX Sectors on Friday


ASX Sectors this week


Via MarketIndex


Of the major property plays, Scentre Group (ASX:SCG) and GPT Group (ASX:GPT) were up a few per cent.

Stadium sponsors and insurance rivals, QBE Insurance (ASX:QBE) and Suncorp Group (ASX:SUN) were both up over 1% while the lesser known insurance broker Steadfast (ASX:SDF) was also in the money.

Helia Group (ASX:HLI) , Wednesday’s biggest bigger-than-small cap loser, came out of the blocks on Thursday as a rare target of buying, ending the session among the biggest winners. Tony says its 15.5% gain followed a favourable broker upgrade.

“The broker’s positive outlook is based on the belief that Helia will likely retain Commonwealth Bank (ASX:CBA) mortgage insurance business and gain Bankwest’s – currently with QBE.”

Engineering services company Worley saw its shares rise 1.4 per cent, coal miner Yancoal was up 1.8 per cent, and EBOS Group gained 1.4 per cent, to be the biggest large-cap advancers.

Consumer staples (down 0.5 per cent) were among the worst performers, with Treasury Wine Estates (down 1.1 per cent) leading the sector lower.

The healthcare sector (down 0.7 per cent) was also weaker, with shares of market heavyweight and hearing implants maker Cochlear losing 3.7 per cent.

Meridian (ASX:MEZ) was short more than 4% by the bell, while gold miner Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) was down over 2.4%, both among the saddest of some depressed large caps.

On the wannabe bigger front, Special mention to founder Oleg Vornik’s drone killing DroneShield (ASX:DRO) – announcing yet another big contract win from yet another new customer

DRO’s share price is now trading at $1.65, a remarkable 82% increase from this time last month.



Wall Street ended mixed overnight after starting the session well enough.

Our Eddy says profit taking became the theme of the day once the S&P500 briefly soared beyond 5,500 points for the first time.

After that it was sell this and that. This being Apple and that being Nvidia – both down significantly.

In the end The S&P500 ended down 0.25% and the tech heavy Nasdaq lost 0.8%.

The blue chip Dow Jones enjoyed Thursday, however, adding 0.77%.

US stocks are looking ok for a winning week, though – OFC the S&P500 and Nasdaq have already clocked fresh highs.


US Futures on Friday arvo in Sydney

Via Fox


Meanwhile, the US economy has shown recent signs of the wobbles, which is usually good news for non-fans of high rates, ewuity investors and the like.

Last week the slowdown in the tight US jobs market was catalysed by consequently weaker retail sales data on Tuesday, suggesting that Q2 US economic activity remained less resilient than expected.

Additionally, initial claims for unemployment benefits decreased slightly last week, while new housing construction in May fell to its lowest level in nearly four years. Investors’ focus now turned to the flash purchasing managers’ indexes due later in the day, which could provide further insight into the economy’s strength.

Closer to home, mainland China stocks are apparently en route for a sixth straight week of losses, while the price of gold looks likely to land a second straight week of gains as the precious metal looked comfy on Friday arvo at around $2,360 per ounce.

The Shanghai Composite was down 0.15% at lunchtime while the Shenzhen Component was a little worse, down 0.2% .

Beijing’s ongoing twiddling of the economic thumbs and all round absence of urgence on the policy front is making a slow meal of investor sentiment.

Earlier this week, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) kept key lending rates unchanged despite market pressure to ease policy further. Data released on Monday showed that Chinese retail sales growth topped expectations in May, while industrial production and fixed asset investment missed forecasts.

The shorter trading week in New York has offset enthusiasm over the more recent weaker US economic indicators for the gold momentum we’ve seen this year, which has followed hopes that the US Federal Reserve might lower interest rates quick smart.



Today’s best performing small cap stocks:

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K2Fly (ASX:K2F), after the asset management consulting services company revealed that it has entered into a Scheme Implementation Deed with Argyle Bidco that will see the latter acquire 100% of K2Fly for $0.19 per share.

The K2Fly board seems very keen that shareholders take up the offer, as it represents a 90% premium on the company’s 20 June 2024 closing price, and will give shareholders “certainty of value and the opportunity to realise their investment in full for cash”.

Take it away, the Board:


Alicanto Minerals (ASX:AQI) is up off the back of a management restructure that will see MD Rob Sennitt leave and former Bellevue Gold (ASX:BGL) chair Ray Shorrocks step in as executive chair.

While Susan Field will take on fellow Bellevue alumnus Michael Naylor’s CFO role, the company has pledged that Naylor and Firefly Metals (ASX:FFM) MD Steve Parsons, formerly the MD at ASX 200 listed Bellevue, will be helping to review potential acquisitions that could reinvigorate the explorer.

The success of Bellevue, which recently entered commercial production in WA, means the star power behind its former players still attracts eyeballs and investor interest at the junior end of the market, says resources nut, crypto king and Legend of the Eastern Newsroom, Mr Robert Badman.

“Alicanto has thus far been focused on two projects of near Viking antiquity: the Falun copper-gold project and the Sala zinc-silver project. Both projects have a long history of high-grade production but have been the subject of very limited exploration in recent times.”

Alicanto on Friday notes that over their operating lives Falun produced in the order of 28mt at 4% copper, 4g/t gold, 5% zinc, 2% lead and 35g/t silver while Sala produced approximately 200Mozs of silver at an average grade of 1,244g/t.

The lift came despite a $1.6m raising for exploration and working capital purposes conducted at a hefty 31.58% discount to the explorer’s last closing price.


Critical minerals explorer Enova Mining (ASX:ENV) has reported impressive assay results from its recent sampling at its Poços rare earth element (REE) project in Brazil.

Highlights include findings of rare earth elements (REE) exceeding 2,000 ppm TREO, with notable results such as 3 meters at 2,744 ppm TREO and 3 meters at 3,030 ppm TREO.

The highest assays reached 5,158 ppm TREO, indicating a potential high-grade REE deposit at Poços. These findings confirm the enriched REE potential in the area, suggesting it could host a substantial REE deposit worthy of further exploration.



Today’s best performing small cap stocks:

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Pure Hydrogen Corporation (ASX:PH2)pending an announcement by the Company relating to a capital raising.

Terra Metals (ASX:TM1) pending an announcement by the Company relating to a capital raising.



Strickland Metals (ASX:STK) has made several executive and non-executive board changes to drive the next stage of exploration and resource growth at its Rogozna project in Serbia and Yandal project in Western Australia.

Additions include Paul L’Herpiniere as managing director, Richard Pugh as executive technical director (Western Australia), Jon Hronsky as non-executive director, and Peter Langworthy as non-executive director.

Resource Base (ASX:RBX) has commenced exploration at its Wali lithium project in Canada’s prolific James Bay region, with a soil sampling program expected to follow up anomalous targets defined in drilling last year across a highly prospective ~1.2 km² area which covers several mapped pegmatites.

Mt Malcolm Mines (ASX:M2M) has begun bulk sampling and an ore processing study at the Golden Crown prospect in WA, with a focus on resource estimation in the near-term.

Melodiol Global Health (ASX:ME1) has received two independent appraisals which value its land and building between $10.4 – $12 million.

The appraisals follow strong revenue progress at Melodiol, with $21.6m in revenue delivered for FY23.

PharmAust (ASX:PAA)has raised $10m via institutional placement to progress its pivotal adaptive Phase 2/3 STRIKE study of its lead drug monepantel (MPL) in patients with MND/AML.

Imricor Medical Systems (ASX:IMR) has kicked off the VISABLE-AFL global trial with two procedures at the Cardiovascular Institute of South Paris (ICPS).Imricor is looking to transform how cardiac ablation procedures are done to make them safer, faster, improve success rates and be more cost effective.


At Stockhead, we tell it like it is. While Strickland Metals, Mt Malcolm Mines and Resource Base are Stockhead advertisers, they did not sponsor this article.