• The ASX has plunged alongside Wall Street on jitters of higher US rates for longer
  • All 11 sectors closed in the red
  • Uranium stocks gathered some ground today


The ASX200 has tumbled over 1% on Wednesday as hot US labour data sent jitters through global markets.

Overnight, stock investors across US and Europe rushed for the exit after data showed that US labour costs accelerated in Q1. 

The employment cost index came in 1.2% higher quarter-on-quarter versus 0.9% in the last quarter, well above the 1% expected and above every single forecast in the Bloomberg survey.

“Not a good look as this is the Federal Reserve’s favoured measure of labour costs, and given labour costs are the biggest cost input in a service sector-led economy, such as the US, it can help to keep price pressures elevated,” said a note out of ING Bank.

Traders are now focusing on the outcome of the FOMC meeting, which commenced last night and will culminate in a rates decision later today (US time).

“Powell’s message is clear: We can’t cut rates and we’re not there yet. We’ve still got a ways to go,” said Mark Zandi at Moody’s.

On the ASX today,  everything was flashing red, with Energy and Mining the biggest decliners.


Source: MarketIndex


Despite the horror show, there are a number of large caps pulling hard to gain value today, including a swag of uranium diggers that are making big moves, as yellowcake prices topped USD$87.70/lb this morning, up more than 64% year on year.

That includes Paladin Energy (ASX:PDN),  Boss Energy (ASX:BOE), and  Deep Yellow (ASX:DYL).

Food and Beverage packaging company Amcor (ASX:AMC) was also up  on news of a gangbuster quarterly, and a handy $0.125 divvy for shareholders.

Mesoblast (ASX:MSB) was also up on yesterday’s quarterly that included news that the company is working with FDA guidance to resubmit its Biologics License Application (BLA) for approval of remestemcel-L in children with SR-aGVHD.


Elsewhere today…

Across Asia today, stock markets mostly dropped, also on the back of the US interest rates-fuelled sell off on Wall Street.

There are public holidays in China and some parts of Europe today, which means trading will be thin ahead of the Fed decision later tonight.

Oil prices, on the other hand, declined further this afternoon amid easing tensions in the Middle East due to prospects of a cease-fire.

Meanwhile, reports out of Bloomberg in the last couple of hours said that Tesla Inc has significantly downsized its Supercharger team that was responsible for developing a widespread network of public charging stations in the US.

The decision to slash this nearly 500-person group has been initiated by CEO Elon Musk over the past week, and follows a reduction of over 10% in Tesla’s overall headcount in April.



Today’s best performing small cap stocks:

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Strike Resources (ASX:SRK) is in the winner’s circle after  Lithium Energy (ASX:LEL)  announced yesterday that it had sold its 90% share of the Solaroz lithium brine project in Argentina to CNGR – one of the world’s largest producers of precursor materials for leading companies in the battery materials supply chain – for about $97 million in cash. Strike is a 27% shareholder in LEL

YPB Group (ASX:YPB) was top of the small caps charts on news that the company has raised $33,075 after costs at a small 5.6% discount to the 15-day VWAP via an At-The-Market (ATM) subscription facility with Dolphin Corporate Investments. That deal was signed in November of last year, giving YPB access to up to $2 million – and today’s dip into the kitty comes on the heels of the company’s recent quarterly, showing that it has managed to reduce cash burn by 24% on Q4 2023 thanks to a revenue bounce.

Kalina Power (ASX:KPO) inched up $0.001 (+33.0%), ostensibly on news that it has appointed former Macquarie Capital Markets Canada CEO Matthew Jenkins to its board as non-exec director, as well as the board of its wholly owned Canadian project development company, Kalina Distributed Power.

Lithium project developer Anson Resources’ (ASX:ASN) signs a binding offtake deal with battery maker LG Energy Solution, which will buy 4000tpa battery grade lithium carbonate per year.

Orexplore Technologies (ASX:OXT) has been boosted this morning on news that it has developed a nuggety gold detection system that is being validated through commercial testing with multiple tier-1 gold mining companies. The company says its tech “identifies gold nuggets larger than ~100 micrometres throughout the entire core, providing data to support improved operational grade control and to assist in producing more useful estimates of gold mineralisation”.

Adisyn (ASX:AI1) will sell its VMware cloud platform for a total consideration of up to $1.4 million cash.

And Black Canyon (ASX:BCA) provided an update on activities in relation to production of beneficiated manganese concentrate feedstock from the KR1 and KR2 deposits. Dense Media Separation (DMS) has produced manganese (Mn) concentrates grades of 31.8% Mn and 31.3% Mn from the KR1 and KR2 test samples respectively. These results complement previously announced Heavy Liquid Separation (HLS) concentrates grades ranging between 29.2% Mn & 37.4% Mn also from KR1 and KR2.



Today’s best performing small cap stocks:

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Alvo Minerals (ASX:ALV) is poised to start diamond drilling this month at its Palma VMS copper-zinc project in Brazil to test several regional untested targets it had systematically refined and prioritised over the past 18 months.

Anson Resources (ASX:ASN) has finalised an offtake deal with LG Energy Solution for the supply of 4000dmt per annum of battery-grade lithium carbonate from its flagship Paradox project in southern Utah.

Dimerix (ASX:DXB) has received United Kingdom Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) approval for its Paediatric Investigation Plan (PIP) for the development of lead asset DMX-200 to treat focal segmental glomerulosclerosis.

Impact Minerals (ASX:IPT) has secured $180,000 in co-funding from the WA government to drill the Caligula copper target at its Arkun project.

Lithium Energy (ASX:LEL) has reached an agreement to sell its Solaroz lithium brine

project in Argentina to CNGR Advanced Material. The sale price of $97m, or 86.5c per LEL share represents a 52% premium to the company’s one month VWAP.

Lycaon Resources (ASX:LYN) has raised $2.5m and secured $180,000 via co-funding from the WA government to drill niobium-rare targets at its Stanmore earths project in the West Arunta region.

MONEYME (ASX:MME) has delivered a solid quarter with gross revenue remaining strong at $53m, up from the previous quarter but down on the previous corresponding quarter. This is in line with the company’s change in strategy to focus on higher credit quality and secured assets along with lower risk adjusted interest rates and lower net credit losses.

QMines’ (ASX:QML) pre-feasibility study has indicated that its flagship Mt Chalmers copper project near Rockingham, Queensland, could deliver $363m in free cash flow over its initial 10-year mine life.

Sovereign Metals (ASX:SVM) is installing an industrial-scale concentrator at its expanded lab and testing facility to pump out 10 tonnes of ore per hour from its world-class Kasiya project for graphite and rutile sample preparation.

Terra Metals (ASX:TM1) has been awarded up to $435,000 in government co-funding grants for diamond drilling and electromagnetic surveying of its highly prospective Dante copper-gold-nickel-PGE project in WA’s West Musgrave region.

TG Metals (ASX:TG6) has outlined the potential of the Burmeister deposit at its Lake Johnston project in WA to be a standalone operation after defining an exploration target of 15.6Mt to 20.1Mt grading 0.97% to 1.19% Li2O.

Azure Minerals (ASX:AZS) has secured Foreign Investment Review Board approval for its proposed acquisition by SH Mining – the big vehicle jointly owned by Chilea’s Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile and Hancock Prospecting. SH Mining is acquiring the company for $3.70 in cash for every AZS share with a fall-back conditional off-market takeover offer for a cash consideration of $3.65 per AZS share should the scheme not be successful. The acquisition is now only subject to customary conditions precedent and approval by the Supreme Court of Western Australia at the Second Court hearing scheduled later today.

Lithium Universe (ASX:LU7) is raising up to $3.46m to further develop its Queensland Lithium Processing Hub strategy that is aimed at closing the lithium conversion gap in North America.

The hub will serve as an independent 1Mtpa concentrator and 16,000tpa battery-grade lithium carbonate refinery. It will raise the funds through a two tranche placement of shares priced at 2c each with the first raising $1.9m and the second the remaining $1.74m.

OD6 Metals (ASX:OD6) is a successful applicant for Round 29 of Western Australia’s Exploration Incentive Scheme that will co-fund the cost of exploration drilling to a cap of $180,000.

Funds from this award will be used to drill the prospective Tighthead and Loosehead targets at its flagship Splinter Rock clay-hosted rare earths project northeast of Esperance.

These two areas are northeast of the main Splinter Rock discoveries and were identified through industry collaboration and partnership with the CSIRO.



Global X Gold Bullion ETF (ASX:GXLD) – to allow further time to complete the market maker operational setup to facilitate trading in GXLD.

Boab Metals (ASX:BML) – pending the release of an announcement regarding a capital raising.

Quickfee (ASX:QFE) ) – pending an announcement to be released to ASX by the company in relation to a proposed capital raising.

Actinogen Medical (ASX:ACW) – ending an announcement regarding a fund raising.

Synertec Corporation (ASX:SOP) – to allow a capital raising by Synertec to take place.

Lanthanein Resources (ASX:LNR) –  pending an announcement in relation to a material capital raising.

Hot Chili (ASX:HCH) – pending the release of an announcement concerning the results of a capital raising.

Arcadia Minerals (ASX:AM7) – pending an announcement in relation to a capital raising and rights issue.

Provaris Energy (ASX:PV1) – pending an announcement regarding a capital raising.

Sunstone Metals (ASX:STM) – pending the release of an announcement regarding a proposed capital raising.

Evion Group (ASX:EVG) – pending an announcement regarding a change to the company’s board.

Openn Negotiation (ASX:OPN) – pending an announcement in relation to a material acquisition and capital raising.

Energy Technologies (ASX:EGY) – pending an announcement in relation to a capital raising.

VRX Silica (ASX:VRX) – pending an announcement and update regarding the current Rights Issue.

West Wits Mining (ASX:WWI) – pending an announcement regarding a proposed capital raising.


At Stockhead, we tell it like it is. While Azure Minerals, Lithium Universe, OD6 Metals, Alvo Minerals, Anson Resources, Dimerix, Impact Minerals, Lithium Energy, Lycaon Resources, MONEYME, QMines, Sovereign Metals, Terra Metals and TG Metals are Stockhead advertisers, they did not sponsor this article.