• The ASX 200 was up 1.04% while the ASX XEC rose 1.17%
  • 8 out of 11 sectors were higher with Energy leading the way 
  • The Health Care sector was the weakest, down 0.94%


The ASX 200 was up 1.04% today on lower-than-normal volume, and the ASX XEC was up 1.17%. 

A total of 8 out of 11 sectors were higher, led by Energy, which rallied by 4.14%. Notable small-caps stocks Jade Gas holdings (ASX:JGH) and Greenvale Energy (ASX:GRV) were both up 16.67%, with Alligator Energy (ASX:AGE) following close behind, up 16.13%.

Health Care was the weakest sector, losing 0.94%



US indices closed as a bit of a mixed bag yesterday, after First Citizens agreed to buy much of Silicon Valley Bank and with the health of the banking sector still high on investors agenda.

Chinese shares also ended in a jumble as some doubts about the sustainability of the country’s economic recovery creeped in following the reopening rally. Focus will be on this week’s PMI releases, the first dataset for March, with investor views still split on how strong the rebound will be, Goldman Sachs analysts said in a note.

European stocks rose as banking concerns receded somewhat, though analysts said there could still be economic turbulence ahead.

“Stocks have begun the final week of Q1 on a more positive note. The lack of any more headlines about Deutsche Bank has been a big relief for investors, though nervousness still persists,” IG analyst Chris Beauchamp wrote, adding that “a recession is still the broad expectation for the end of 2023 following the recent turmoil.”



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks:

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The small cap leader today was Liontown Resources (ASX:LTR) who rejected a takeover offer from lithium giant Albemarle valuing the mine developer at $2.50 per share – a big premium to yesterday’s closing price of $1.54/sh.

Ablemarle, which has built a ~2.2% stake on-market, previously offered $2.35 per share on 3 March 2023, and $2.20 per share on 20 October 2022.

“In coming to its decision, the Liontown board noted the opportunistic timing of Albemarle’s indicative proposal, coinciding with recent softness in companies exposed to the lithium sector and the pre-production status of the Kathleen Valley project,” LTR says.

The LTR share price is now at record highs.

(Fun fact: on this day in 2019, LTR was selling for 2c per share. That’s a 11,600% gain in four years.)

The news also provided a boost to several sold-down lithium project developers and miners on speculation they could also be in the M&A crosshairs – you can read more about that here.

United Malt (ASX:UMG) has received an all-cash takeover bid valuing the company at $5 per share, a 45% premium to the last closing price.

UMG entered into an indicative proposal with Malteries Soufflet after previously rebuffing offers on December 16 2022 for $4.15 in cash per share; on February 6 2023, for $4.50 in cash per share; and on March 8 2023, for $4.90 in cash per share.

And Carbonxt Group (ASX:CG1) has announced a US$500,000 prepayment to advance its development of an activated carbon plant in Kentucky, USA 



Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks:

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Great Western Exploration (ASX:GTE) – Cap raising.

Danakali (ASX:DNK) – Sale of its interest in the Colluli project. 

RareX (ASX:REE) – A resource upgrade for the Cummins Range project.

AD1 Holdings (ASX:AD1) – Cap raising.

IntelliHR (ASX:IHR) – A material announcement around the current Humanforce Holdings offers to acquire the company and the competing proposals from The Access Group. 

Mayfield Childcare (ASX:MFD) – Based around an independent expert forensic investigation being undertaken by KordaMentha.

Godolphin Resources (ASX:GRL) – Speeding ticket.