• The ASX pared gains after the CPI came in stronger than expected
  • Fortescue led the Mining sector after its quarterly update
  • TikTok’s ban in the US looms


The ASX closed modestly higher today by +0.1% as gains were pared after the release of the March quarter CPI data.

According to the ABS, Australia’s inflation rate was 3.6% for the quarter on a year-to-year basis (+0.8% on a quarter-to-quarter basis) – higher than the 3.5% economists had forecast.

The most significant price rises this quarter were Rents (+2.1%), Secondary education (+6.1%), Tertiary education (+6.5%) and Medical and hospital services (+2.3%).

The strong data has somewhat dimmed hopes of an RBA cut in 2024, initially tipped to be somewhere around August. 

The Aussie dollar jumped to over US65c, trading now at US65.16, following the CPI report.

On the ASX, gains in Financials and Staples were offset by losses in the Utilities and Industrials sectors.

The Mining sector was buoyed by Fortescue (ASX:FMG)’s quarterly update, in which the miner said it remained bullish on China where renewables are helping diversify its steel demand.

However, FMG saw iron ore shipments fall by 6% YoY in the March quarter after an ore car derailment and issues at its Iron Bridge magnetite mine.

READ: FMG Results: Fortescue stunned by ‘mind-blowing’ China renewables rollout, says steel demand is diversifying


Elsewhere today…

Most stock markets in Asia advanced today following the Tech rally on Wall Street overnight. 

Tesla kicked off the reporting for the Magnificent 7 last night, with its share price jumping by over 11%. 

Companies in US and Europe listed to report earnings later today (US/EU time) include: Biogen, Boeing, Boston Scientific, ENI, Ford, IBM, Lloyds, Meta Platforms, Qualcomm, Roche, Samsung C&T, VALE and Volvo.

In other news, the US Senate has passed a piece of legislation that will force Bytedance, the Chinese owner of TikTok, to divest the popular social media app, or face a ban in the US.

“We’ll continue to fight,” said Michael Beckerman, TikTok’s head of public policy for the Americas. “This is the beginning, not the end of this long process.”



Today’s best performing small cap stocks:

Swipe or scroll to reveal full table. Click headings to sort:

Wordpress Table Plugin

Western Mines (ASX:WMG) says a ~750m (and counting) deep drill hole hit ~700m of rock containing “disseminated nickel sulphide mineralisation and numerous sets of remobilised nickel sulphide veinlets” at the Mulga Tank project in WA. These cute veinlets — confirmed by spot pXRF up to 42.2% nickel — appear oblique to the drill core “indicating a possible source at depth”. Exciting times for the small explorer. The first 600m of core has been sampled and submitted to the lab for assay.

Ozaurum Resources (ASX:OZM) is up substantially over the past week, on low to average volume, and on no news. Its last announcement of note came mid-month when it started drilling the Boca Rica lithium project in Brazil. Chosen after the company reviewed and visited +100 projects in the State of Minas Geras, Boca Rica includes “extensive LCT pegmatite swarms” over a 1.7km stretch. This includes a bunch of 1m long spodumene crystals (usually grading 5-7% lithium). OZM is drilling below the weathered zone into fresh spod, and results are pending.

Canada focussed uranium and rare earths explorer, Newpeak Metals (ASX:NPM), has completed a $300,000 share placement at 1.5c/sh to Gerhard Redelinghuys, founder of former small cap success story Bowen Coking Coal (ASX:BCB). NPM expects to have binding commitments for another $200,000 via placement shortly. It will also undertake a Rights Issue to raise not less than $500,000 at the same issue price as the Placement shares.

Also up strongly, Carbonxt Group (ASX:CG1) has had a good March quarter, with an 8% increase in quarterly receipts. Sales of Powdered Activated Carbon (PAC) were consistent q/q and up 56% on the prior period due to increased sales in non-coal fired power station channels. Aales of Activated Carbon Pellets (ACP) were up 37% on the last quarter.

Industrial Minerals (ASX:IND) has a maiden high purity quartz (HPQ) exploration target of 1.5-3 million tonnes grading 97-99% SiO2 at the Pippingarra quarry project in the Pilbara.

And Lycaon Resources (ASX:LYN) now has final permission to drill its Stansmore project, a proverbial stone’s throw from WA1 Resources’ (ASX:WA1) globally significant niobium find in the West Arunta region of WA.



Today’s best performing small cap stocks:

Swipe or scroll to reveal full table. Click headings to sort

Wordpress Table Plugin



ADX Energy (ASX:ADX) has been granted an Italian offshore gas exploration permit in the Sicily Channel that could host 369Bcf of gas. There is also the potential that for a proven oil redevelopment project.

Alvo Minerals’ (ASX:ALV) maiden diamond drilling at its high-grade Palma Cu-Zn VMS project has intersected high-grade zinc-copper zones at the C4 prospect. A maiden resource is being prepared and is expected later this quarter.

EZZ Life Science (ASX:EZZ) has reported receipts from customers of $23.6m for Q3 FY24, up 111% on the prior corresponding period, as it launches four new EZZ health and wellness products.

Lycaon Resources (ASX:LYN) has lodged a program of works for helicopter-assisted drilling of the Stansmore niobium-REE project in West Arunta after securing crucial ‘consent to mine’ from WA’s Minister for Mines and Petroleum.

Mako Gold’s (ASX:MKG) mapping and rock chip sampling has uncovered a new high-grade zone – the Central Zone – at the Tchaga North prospect within its Napié project in Côte d’Ivoire. Rock chips returned a top assay of 76.1g/t gold.

Queensland Pacific Metals (ASX:QPM) is poised to spud the first of seven production wells at its Moranbah gas project in Queensland. Well workover operations are also continuing to increase project well count.

Summit Minerals (ASX:SUM) has discovered a large-scale surface saprolite clay system at its Aratapira rare earths project in Brazil’s Minas Gerais state. Aratapira is part of a 293km2 package of lithium, niobium, and REE projects the company acquired in Minas Gerais and Paraiba.

Lithium Universe (ASX:LU7) has moved to secure 18MW of green electricity from Hydro-Canada that will be used to power the production of greener, battery-grade lithium carbonate at its proposed Becancour refinery. This follows the finalisation of power requirements for Train 1 of the proposed refinery under a comprehensive engineering study conducted by Hatch Engineering. The first train will be capable of producing up to 15,000tpa of lithium carbonate to help close the North American lithium conversion processing gap.

Lord Resources (ASX:LRD) has raised $1.5m through a two tranche placement of shares priced at 5c each to institutional and sophisticated investors, along with existing shareholders. Proceeds from the raising will be used for exploration at the company’s Horse Rocks and Jingjing lithium projects near the Mt Marion lithium mine.

Meanwhile, Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) has completed due diligence on Horse Rocks as part of its agreement to acquire an initial 40% interest in the project.



Lithium Universe (ASX:LU7) – Cap raise


At Stockhead, we tell it like it is. While Lithium Universe Lord Resources, ADX Energy, Alvo Minerals, EZZ Life Science, Lycaon Resources, Mako Gold, Queensland Pacific Metals and Summit Minerals are Stockhead advertisers, they did not sponsor this article.