Local stocks made a cautious start to the week, following a fairly volatile trading period last week as jitters stemming from rising bond yields dimmed risk sentiment on global markets.

The ASX 200 opened in the red before clawing back some ground to close 0.09% lower, with similar trading patterns for the microcap Emerging Markets index which finished down 0.19%.

Heading into the US session, S&P500 futures are lacking clear direction and a short time ago had edged higher by 0.12%.

All eyes on global markets this week will be on the latest US inflation data for December, due out on Wednesday night.

A new IPO joined the boards, as health-tech company Careteq Ltd (ASX:CTQ) joined the boards after raising $6m at 20c per share.

However, the stock closed at 16c for a day-one fall of 20%. CTQ’s core product is its SOFIHUB platform that includes fall-detection sensors that assists customers to live independently. The company will compete with other listed players in the market for remote monitoring solutions.

 

TODAY’S BIGGEST SMALL CAP WINNERS

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

Scroll or swipe to reveal table. Click headings to sort.

Among small caps with news, the market leader was Kingfisher Mining (ASX:KFM), which caught investors eye’ after drilling results confirmed an ‘impressive’ rare earths hit — including 12m at 1.12% total rare earth oxides (TREO) — at its ‘Mick Well’ prospect in WA’s Gascoyne region.

Something’s up with gold explorer First AU (ASX:FAU), which ripped higher at the opening bell before going into a trading halt pending a further announcement regarding a proposed acquisition.

Today’s winner’s list was almost entirely comprised of resources stocks, and another company which climbed more than 20% intraday on Monday was Traka (ASX:TKL), the sub-$20m nanocap which struck mineralisation with up to 57.4g/t gold at the Plantagenet’ prospect — part of the Mt Cattlin gold-copper project in WA.

 

TODAY’S BIGGEST SMALL CAP LOSERS

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

Scroll or swipe to reveal table. Click headings to sort.

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS YOU MAY MISSED

Funds management firm VGI Partners (ASX:VGI) issued a response to media speculation about potential M&A activity, confirming that it’s held discussions with Regal Funds Management as well as other players about possible transactions. Shares in the company were up by around 9% in afternoon trade.

Digital health company ResApp Health (ASX:RAP) has completed recruitment for its US-based COVID-19 clinical study, COVID-Cough. “The study has now collected audio cough recordings and self-reported symptoms for 122 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) confirmed COVID-19 positive cases and 139 PCR confirmed COVID-19 negative cases,” RAP said.

Explorer Pursuit Minerals (ASX:PUR) said a soil sampling program at Combatant project north of Perth has been completed, and assay results received. “The results confirm that the tenement package hosts intrusive ultramafic units, and aeromagnetic interpretation indicates that these ultramafics are intrusive in nature,” PUR said. Additional field programs will now be planned to test each site for potential Ni-Cu-PGE mineralisation.

Penny stock Lakes Blue Energy (ASX:LKO) announced a capital raising, with plans to raise up to $4.342m from retail and institutional investors — $1,604,000 of which will be underwritten by Bizzell Capital Partners Pty Ltd.

 

Trading halts

The following companies are in trading halts and are expected out in the next few trading days:

Zenith Minerals (ASX:ZNC) – Alliance and JV over ZNC’s lithium projects

Iris Metals (ASX:IR1) – material acquisition

Hiremii (ASX:HMI) – capital raising

Xantippe Resources (ASX:XTC) – material acquisition

White Cliff Minerals (ASX:WCN) – price and volume query

Compumedics (ASX:CMP) – material contract announcement

Critical Resources (ASX:CRR) – drilling results

First AU (ASX:FAU) – proposed acquisition

Emerald Resources (ASX:EMR) – takeover

PVW Resources (ASX:PVW) – rare earths exploration results

Structural Monitoring Systems (ASX:SMN) – capital raising

Castle Minerals (ASX:CDT) – capital raising

Pacgold (ASX:PGO) – drilling results