Closing Bell: ASX200 gains but small caps edge lower; Polymetals soars on thick high-grade drill results
The S&P ASX 200 closed up 0.2% to near a two month high today but it wasn’t as good news for the the S&P ASX Emerging Companies index (XEC) – a benchmark for Australia’s micro-cap companies – closing down 0.61%.
Six of the 11 sectors were in the red. Leading the winners was real estate, up 1.20% followed by consumer discretionary rising 0.67% and information technology, which added 0.64%.
Utilities led the laggards board, falling 0.45%, followed by materials down 0.29% and consumer staples which lost 0.15%.
On Friday, major indexes on Wall Street lost ground, falling 0.4% as earnings seasons got underway.
On Twitter @agroasx seemed to be excited to see Atlantic Lithium (ASX:A11) have a good day and lithium stocks bouncing.
$A11 up 18% today – the lithium recovery about to begin! #asx
— AGRO ⚡️🔋 (@agroasx) April 17, 2023
Down, down, down, prices (or is that Coles credit cards) are down. Over the weekend Coles Financial Services, a subsidiary of Supermarket giant Coles Group (ASX:COL), announced it has been impacted by the Latitude Group (ASX:LFS) data breach.
Coles Financial Services confirmed personal information used to issue historical credit cards has been stolen by a cyber criminal group as part of the LFS hack, what has become one of the biggest cyber breaches in Aussie history.
Credit cards issued after 2018 were not affected as the organisation moved its partnership to Citibank. How many Coles credit card customers have been impacted and specific details of the breach have not been revealed.
In March LFS said the hack had affected more than 330,000 customer records. LFS last week told the market it had received a ransom demand from the criminals behind the cyber-attack which it will not pay.
“This decision is consistent with the position of the Australian Government.,” LFS said in an announcement.
“We will not reward criminal behaviour, nor do we believe that paying a ransom will result in the return or destruction of the information that was stolen.
“In line with advice from cybercrime experts, Latitude strongly believes that paying a ransom will be detrimental to our customers and cause harm to the broader community by encouraging further criminal attacks.”
Corporate Australia along with individuals have certainly had their share of cyber hacks with Optus and Medibank among those recently.
And it seems Aussies are targeted by hackers because they think we are stupid with lots of money.
Security researchers linked the Medibank cyber attack to REvil, considered one of the most successful cyber gangs of all time.
The ABC chatted to a hacker known as Kerasid who said he worked for REvil through an encrypted service and he had some very uncomplimentary comments on why Aussies are targeted by hackers.
According to an ABC report Kerasid said hackers think “Australians are the most stupidest humans alive ”.
Furthermore, “they have a lot of money for no reason”.
Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks:
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Among the big winners today is explorer Polymetal Resources (ASX:POL) which announced thick high grade drill hits at its newly acquired Endeavour polymetallic mine in NSW.
Highlights from the first six holes of a 21-hole program include 81m @ 19.5% ZnEq from 77m to end of hole.
POL says all six holes hit the good stuff, with near surface mineralisation grading up to 13.9g/t gold, 2,020g/t silver, 12% zinc and 17% lead. Stockhead’s Reuben Adams has provided a more thorough rundown of POL’s results.
Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks:
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XTEK’s (ASX:XTE) US-based, global body armour and personal protective equipment business HighCom Armour Solutions Inc (HighCom) has signed a collaboration deal to supply helmets to the Indian defence market.
XTE said HighCom has made a deal with Tata Advanced Systems (TASXL), a division of Tata Group, to collaborate on the supply of its advanced Level III Rifle Combat Helmets (RCH) for the Indian Defence market.
These world-leading, advanced ballistic helmets, which stop AK-47 and other high-powered assault rifle bullets, are manufactured using our patented XTclave tech.
XTE said the agreement follows a successful visit by a HighCom delegation, led by the Group CEO, Scott Basham, in February to meet with TASL and see their advanced manufacturing facilities in Bengaluru and Hyderabad.
The company said the Indian Ministry of Defence is expected to start a major capability enhancement program of its soldier ballistic head protection for specialist military units commencing in FY 2024, that will potentially see many thousands of new advanced helmets being required each year.
Cornerstone investor Thorney Investment Group, the private investment group of richlister Alex Waislitz, which also manages Thorney Technologies (ASX:TEK) has further thrown its support behind for fintech Way 2 VAT Limited (ASX:W2V) becoming a major contributor to a $3.54 million capital raise.
W2V has announced its undertaking a fully underwritten one for one non-renounceable entitlement offer to raise ~$2.35 million and has also received firm commitments for a $1.194 million placement (together ~$3.544 million).
The company said cornerstone investor Thorney Investment Group has committed to subscribe for $1 million worth of shares under the entitlement offer.
W2V has an AI platform that’s capable of reclaiming various types of VAT (value added tax) in more than 40 countries.
Proceeds from the capital raising will be used as working capital to increase focus on sales execution and revenue growth in the company’s key product suites of VAT reclaim for travel expenses and accounts payable.
The company said additional funds will be applied to the commercialisation of it Smart Spend Debit MasterCard.
Hannans Ltd (ASX:HNR) – Pending announcement of entry into a market development agreement for a proposed lithium-ion battery recycling operation in the UK.
Fiji Kava (ASX:FIJ) – Pending a capital raise announcement.
Kaiser Reef (ASX:KAU) – Also pending a capital raise announcement.
Latin Resources (ASX:LRS) – And yet another pending capital raise announcement.