• The ASX 200 was up 0.42% and ASX XEC slips 1.58%
  • 8 out of 11 sectors were higher led by Energy
  • The Real Estate sector was leading the laggards


The ASX 200 was up 0.42% today and the ASX XEC was up 1.58%. 

A total of 8 out of 11 sectors were higher, led by Energy which rallied by 2.30%.

Notable small caps stocks in the sector included Norwest Energy (ASX:NWE) up a tidy 10.71%, followed closely by Energy Resources of Australia (ASX:ERA) up 10%, and Helios Energy (ASX:HE8) up 6.98%.

Leading the laggards was the Real Estate sector, down 1.52%.



US stocks climbed yesterday, reversing their morning declines, on reports that the nation’s biggest banks are discussing a joint rescue of First Republic Bank.

The banking system worries have spread to Europe, with Credit Suisse at the centre of a bank stock selloff. 

Credit Suisse said it would borrow up to $53.7 billion from the Swiss central bank to pre-emptively strengthen its liquidity position.

“This reiterates that both in the US and in Europe, regulators are going to be pretty quick to step in, first with SVB and now with Credit Suisse,” Legal & General Investment Management head of multi-asset funds John Roe said.

“It’s a reminder that when things start to go wrong, central banks are all over it trying to stop it from getting out of control.”

Jerry Braakman, president and chief investment officer of First American Trust, said he expects bigger banks to emerge as one of the beneficiaries from this crisis. 

Depositors are already moving money out of regional banks to national banks, which can help shore up liquidity for the latter.



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks:

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The small cap leader today was non-bank lender Payright (ASX:PYR). It says its institutional entitlement offer closed on Thursday, 16 March 2023, and will (subject to settlement) raise gross proceeds of approximately $5.29 million.

The company noted that the proceeds will be used to fund investment in new and existing loan assets, pay existing liabilities and costs of completion of ongoing projects, and fund general working capital and the costs associated with the entitlement offer. 

Recycling stock Close Loop (ASX:CLG) will acquire American refurbished electronics business, ISP Tek Services, for up to US$66m.

“ISP Tek Services is a Tier 1 full consumer electronics life-cycle management business with a keen focus to provide US-based remanufacturing capabilities for market-leading OEMs, which provides the Group with significant opportunities to expand in further regions around the world,” CEO Joe Foster said.

ISP Tek Services recorded revenue for the 12 months to October 2022 of US$49m with net profit after tax of US$13.7m.

IntelliHR (ASX:IHR) has received an updated proposal from The Access Group (TAG) for an all-cash acquisition of 100% of the issued shares of the company by way of a scheme of arrangement at $0.20 per share. 

The offer is subject to the final internal approval processes of TAG, which are expected to be received on Monday, March 20, 2023. 

And Kingsgate (ASX:KCN) has opened its Chatree hold mine in Thailand – which the Thai government ordered to close in 2016.

KCN challenged the closure of operations, and finally won.

The 3.4Moz mine will now produce ~110,00ozpa once fully ramped up over an initial 8-10 year life, at an all in sustaining cost of ~US$1,193/oz.

Ore will be initially sourced from low-grade stockpiles before mining operations recommence in September 2023, the company says.



Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks:

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Hills (ASX:HIL) – capital raising 

Lodestar Minerals (ASX:LSR) – pending exploration results

Celsius Resources (ASX:CLA) – an announcement in relation to a local partner for the MCB project in the Philippines

Auroch Minerals (ASX:AOU) – pending exploration results