The ASX lost ground on Wednesday, as the banks struggled and the US dollar strengthened as markets continue to assess the prospect of tighter monetary policy and its potential effect on asset prices.

Commonwealth Bank (ASX:CBA) tanked in the wake of its reporting season results and finished more than 8% lower, to lead a sea of red across the major banks.

Gold stocks also finished lower, although prices for the precious metal continue to hold above US$1,850/oz despite a broader round of strength in the US dollar against most of the major currency pairs.

Offsetting a dark day for the big banks, the ASX tech sector outperformed with steady gains for most companies within its largest weighting, BNPL.

Local markets also digested quarterly wage growth data which showed annual wages growth rise to 2.2% in Q3, up from 1.7% in the June quarter.

 

TODAY’S BIGGEST SMALL CAP WINNERS

(Stocks highlighted in yellow rose after making announcements during the trading day).

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As 2021 draws to a close, investor enthusiasm for resources IPOs isn’t showing any signs of slowing.

Today’s market leader was Lycaon Resources (ASX:LYN), a junior explorer on the hunt for minerals at three projects in WA.

Along with a couple of small tenements in striking distance of the now-famous Julimar PGE deposit, LYN is also looking for gold at Gnewing Bore and Rocky Dam.

LYN raised $20m from investors and 20c per share and almost tripled on debut, with a gain of almost 200%.

Elsewhere on Wednesday, there was a heavy resources lean in terms of stocks that jumped in the wake of market-moving announcements.

Another notable mover was Galileo Mining (ASX:GAL), the $34m explorer backed by mining luminary Mark Creasy.

The company reckons it could be onto a massive sulphide discovery at its ‘Norseman’ project in WA’s rich Kambalda nickel belt, after uncovering some impressive samples near surface, even though GAL’s aircore drilling program was unable to substantially break through the massive sulphide.

Elsewhere, medtech company Rhinomed (ASX:RNO), which specialises in nasal technology to assist in things like improved breathing and sleep, jumped more than 20% on no news.

 

TODAY’S BIGGEST SMALL CAP LOSERS

(Stocks highlighted in yellow fell after making announcements during the trading day).

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ANNOUNCEMENTS YOU MAY’VE MISSED

Mercury (ASX:MCY) issued its inaugural green bond in the Australian debt market. The bond was a $200m, issued on a seven year term and will be used to finance or refinance new and existing renewable energy projects.

Sovereign Metals (ASX:SVM) told shareholders it now had an indication when it would be listing on London’s Alternate Investment Market (AIM). The company tips it to occur on or about 14 December which allows for the required 20 business days notice period having lodged its pre-admission announcements.

Just two days after launching flights between Melbourne and Brisbane, Regional Express (ASX:REX) unveiled flights between Sydney and Brisbane. These flights will begin on December 20 with Queensland’s border expected to re-open on December 16.

Gym operator Viva Leisure (ASX:VVA) released a trading update reporting that membership returned to 99% of pre-lockdown levels and all locations were operating again. The company boasted that a member utilised a company owned or franchise location on average every 2.4 seconds in the last month.

Car dealer Eagers Automotive (ASX:APE) tipped a profit before tax for 2021 between $390 and $395 million, up from $209.4 million. Notwithstanding the improvement, it said lockdowns in the eastern states would have a $20-$25 million impact on the final result.

 

TRADING HALTS

Thursday:

Pacific Nickel Mines (ASX:PNM) – assay results
Activex (ASX:AIV) – capital raising
Turaco Gold (ASX:TCG) – capital raising
Volt Resources (ASX:VRC) – European lithium license applications
Black Dragon Gold Corp (ASX:BDG) – capital raising
Kingston Resources (ASX:KSN) – acquisition and capital raising
Tinybeans (ASX:TNY) – capital raising

Friday

BCI Minerals (ASX:BCI) – capital raising plans
eMetals (ASX:EMT) – acquisition and capital raising
Ultima United (ASX:UUL) – new project
Magnis Energy Technologies (ASX:MNS) – response to Australian article