Interest rates sensitive sectors dragged down the ASX today, as recent solid economic readings in the US spurred speculation the Fed could hold rates higher for longer. 

Overnight, US and European stocks fell as traders recalibrated their expectations of Fed rate cuts. 

“Our base case is that the Fed engineers a soft landing and starts to cut rates in the second half of the year,” said Gargi Chaudhuri at BlackRock. 

The ASX200 index finished the day -1.25% lower, dragged down by rates-sensitive Tech and Real Estate stocks.


Source: Market Index


Oil and gold mining stocks were mainly higher as gold neared its record high level last night. 

Jitters over the war in the Middle East as well as a drawdown in US crude inventories kept oil prices at October-high level and pushed ASX energy stocks higher today.

In other news, an earthquake measuring 7.4 magnitude has hit Taiwan this afternoon At least 26 buildings have collapsed and at 1  person has died with 50 injured.

Elsewhere, stocks in Asia mainly fell, with traders focused on remarks from Fed Chair Jerome Powell later tonight ,US time. 


In the large caps space, winners today were:


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Today’s best performing small cap stocks:

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Acrux (ASX:ACR) and its partner TruPharma today announced the launch of a generic of Dapsone 5% Gel, which is a prescription medicine used to treat acne vulgaris. The market in the US for this product is estimated to be worth around US$15 million a year – a large enough market to push Acrux up a staggering 70%.

West African Resources (ASX:WAF) continued its recent run of gains on the back of a well-timed 2023 sustainability report that had lots of funky numbers in it, like “226,823 oz Annual gold production” and “$661 million Annual revenue” and other things that tend to make investors happy.

Clara Resources Australia (ASX:C7A) was up 25% on no news. It did get a Please Explain from the ASX on 26 March 2024 about its recent announcement of a scoping study for its Ashford coking coal project in NSW, and has responded today. The response is thorough – 22 pages long, – with ots of details about the scoping study. 

Perpetual Resources (ASX:PEC) announced “significant expansion” of its land in the Itinga region of Minas Gerais, Brazil – aka within ‘Lithium Valley’.

Two options agreements are in play here, with the new landholdings containing multiple confirmed lithium soil anomalies and peak value rock chips up to 2.1% Li2O (based on initial LIBS analysis, still to be confirmed by assay). The permits reportedly include “historic artisanal mines exploiting large pegmatites” with confirmed lithium soil anomalies.

Terra Uranium (ASX:T92) said it will very likely expand its Canadian uranium hunt further with a capital raise of $500,000 from “sophisticated professional investors” to help advance the company’s acquisition of another promising prospect – Amer Lake. Amer Lake is in a proven uranium field, with typical assay values ranging from 5,000 to 15,000 ppm U3O8 (0.5 to 1.5% U3O8). That, says Terra, is “over 0.2 metre thicknesses enclosed in greater thicknesses of 1.5 – 2.0 metres above cut-off of 100ppm U3O8″.

Pacific Nickel Mines (ASX:PNM) said its March Nickel DSO shipment from its 80% owned Kolosori Nickel Project in the Solomon Islands has now completed. As anticipated. The company notes that the loading of its third 60,000 tonne bulk carrier was completed in less than six days with the ship departing site on March 24.

Large cap Ramelius Resources (ASX:RMS) was up after hitting record gold production of ~87,000oz – and free cash flow of $125.3m – in the March quarter… a result that “obliterated guidance of 70,000 – 77,500oz”. RMS says Q3 AISC (all-in sustaining costs) will be materially lower than guidance due to record gold production.

Craft beer producer Mighty Craft (ASX:MCL) was up 10% after selling assets associated with each of Mismatch Brewing Company and The Hills Distillery (78 Degrees) to a third party buyer led by a consortium of experienced publicans in the Australian hospitality industry. All intellectual property, trading names, contracting arrangements, inventory, plant and equipment, and licences will be sold to the buyer for cash consideration totalling not less than $7.2 million.



Today’s best performing small cap stocks:

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Westgold (ASX:WGX) slumped after reporting that it produced 52,100 ounces of gold from its operations in Q3, achieving an average gold sale price of $3,137/oz. The company added $9m in free cash in Q3, while cash and bullion holding grows to $247m. Whilst advancing multiple options to regain this lost production, the company has taken the conservative approach of revising its full year FY24 production guidance to 220,000 – 230,000 ounces at an all-in sustaining cost of $2,100 – 2,300/oz until these development plans are finalised.



Viridis Mining & Minerals (ASX:VMM) has formed a joint venture with Ionic Rare Earths (ASX:IXR) to position its Colossus ionic adsorption clay-hosted rare earths project in Brazil to be the first producer of all 17 refined rare earth oxides



Codrus Minerals Limited (ASX:CDR) – pending the release of an announcement regarding a proposed material acquisition and capital raising.

Encounter Resources Limited (ASX:ENR) – ending the release of an announcement regarding a proposed capital raising.

E&P Financial Group Limited (ASX:EP1) – pending the release of an announcement to ASX regarding the Federal Court of Australia settlement approval hearing scheduled for today, 03 April 2024, in relation to the representative proceeding filed by Shine Lawyers against Dixon Advisory & Superannuation Services (Administrators Appointed), EP1, Mr Alan Dixon, and Mr Christopher Brown.

Astute Metals NL (ASX:ASE) – pending an announcement regarding the results from the Scoping Study of the Governor Broome Project.

HeraMED Limited (ASX:HMD) – pending an announcement in relation to changes in Directors and Management, restructure of the business and associated capital requirements including a Shortfall of the Rights Issue.

Oar Resources Limited (ASX:OAR) – pending an announcement by the Company in relation to a capital raising to be managed by CPS Capital Group.

Alma Metals Limited (ASX:ALM) – pending the planning and execution of a capital raising.

Lepidico Ltd (ASX:LPD) – pending the release to the market of an announcement in relation to a proposed capital raising.


At Stockhead, we tell it like it is. While Viridis Mining & Minerals is a Stockhead advertiser, it did not sponsor this article.