• The ASX 200 was unchanged 
  • The ASX XEC slips 0.38%
  • 8 out of 11 sectors were higher lead by Information Technology

 

The ASX 200 was unchanged today and the ASX XEC was down 0.38%. 

The index has lost 0.98% for the last five days, but sits 2.54%below its 52-week high.

A total of 8 out of 11 sectors gained, with Information Technology in the leading, rising 1.27%.

Notable small caps stocks in the sector included Serko (ASX:SKO) 5.31%, Silex Systems (ASX:SLX) up 3.56%, and Megaport (ASX:MP1) up 3.25%. 

 

NOT THE ASX

Chinese stocks ended higher yesterday, showing signs of improvement from the market’s muted trading pattern last week. 

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index ended 0.1% lower at 21164.42, paring earlier losses as bargain-hunting investors swooped in, seeing opportunity amid hopes that China’s economic recovery will continue. 

The Japanese Nikkei Stock Average ended 0.9% lower at 27427.32, tracking broad declines among other Asian equities amid worries over the global economic outlook and policy tightening by central banks. 

In India, the benchmark Sensex index closed 0.4% lower at 60431.84 amid losses in financial and tech stocks. 

European stocks rose as investors remained upbeat ahead of potentially significant consumer-price index data later out of the US later this week.

 

ASX SMALL CAP LEADERS

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The small cap leader today was Falcon Metals (ASX:FAL) has reported multiple high grade gold hits at Ironbark East, part of the flagship Pyramid Hill project in Victoria.

Highlights include 12m @ 6.18g/t gold from 74m, including 1m @ 52.9g/t from 77m – the highest-grade gold intercept to date at Pyramid Hill.

“Intersecting high-grade mineralisation at Ironbark East over a 400m strike length is a great result and provides us with encouragement ahead of the commencement of our diamond drilling program later this month,” MD Tim Markwell said.

Aircore drilling remains ongoing, with two rigs active at Ironbark East testing the strike extent of the mineralised trend before they move to the Wandoo Prospect.

Bounty Oil & Gas (ASX:BUY) and BPH Energy (ASX: BPH) announced the resolution of the Federal Court Proceedings around the decision made on 26 March 2022 by the Commonwealth – New South Wales Offshore Petroleum Joint Authority to refuse Asset Energy’s Application (as the PEP 11 Joint Venture operator) for a variation and suspension of the conditions to which PEP 11 is subject and a related refusal to grant an extension of term.

“The presiding Judge; Justice Jackson has agreed with the consent position reached by the parties quashed the Decision and concluded that the Decision of the Joint Authority was affected by apprehended bias,” BUY said.

“This was because a fair-minded observer would have reasonably apprehended that the former Prime Minister of Australia the Hon Scott Morrison MP, as a member of the Joint Authority, did not bring a fair mind to determine Asset Energy’s application.” 

And Mount Ridley Mines (ASX:MRD) has hit thick and shallow clay rare earths at its namesake project in WA, including 35m at 1,999ppm TREO (26% MagREO) from 18m at the new Jodi prospect.

 

ASX SMALL CAP LAGGARDS

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Total Brain (ASX:TTB) announced its voluntary delisting from the ASX at close of trade on 1 March 2023 following shareholder approval at its Extraordinary General Meeting at the beginning of Feb.

And Pivotal Systems (ASX:PVS) – which makes gas flow monitoring and control technology used while making semiconductors – is also looking at delisting “in order to continue its growth strategy as a private US company.”

 

LAST ORDERS

Tech-focused growth capital fund Bailador (ASX:BTI) recently announced a fully franked interim dividend of 3.5c, which implies an annual yield of 5.4% per annum, or 7.7% when franking credits are taken into account.

This is in line with the company’s stated policy of paying a fully franked dividend equivalent to 4% per annum of its pre-tax Net Tangible Assets.

More importantly, it places Bailador up at the top tier of dividend paying stocks, outstripping the major banks, which had an average dividend yield of 4.5% per annum, IT companies (2%) and other funds (5.5%).

This not only provides strong dividend returns for shareholders, it is also in line with its belief that there is a clear and positive relationship between delivering long-term shareholder value and high-quality corporate governance.

Bailador also has the capability to maintain this rate of returns for some time with additional franking credits of $24m, which is roughly equal to over five years of dividends at the rate it just announced, and a cash balance of over $100.

 

TRADING HALTS

New Talisman Gold Mines (ASX:NTL) – ensure compliance with ASX listing rule 5.16 for a rights offer document.

Botanix Pharmaceuticals (ASX:BOT) – an announcement to in relation to a press article published this morning. 

Seafarms Group (ASX:SFG) – around the proposed appointment of an administrator to its fully owned subsidiary, Project Sea Dragon Pty Ltd. 

Megado Gold (ASX:MEG) – around a proposed acquisition.