• The ASX 200 was up today but the small cap index was lower
  • 8 out 11 sectors finished higher let by information technology, up 1.79%
  • NAB survey flags negative business confidence but Xmas spending holds strong


The ASX 200 gained 0.28% today on lower than normal volume, and the ASX Emerging Companies (XEC) index was 0.40% lower.

A total of 8 out of 11 sectors were higher, led by Information Technology which rallied by 1.79% led by Xero (ASX:XRO) up 3.24% and Computershare (ASX:CPU) up 1.14% and WiseTech Global (ASX:WTC) up 1.84%.

The losers were led by Materials (mining) down 1.39%, with Fortescue (ASX:FMG) dropping 4.55%, followed by Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) down 3.98%.

Looking at the Aussie economy, NAB says business confidence turned negative in November, falling 4pts to -4 index points – that’s the first time it’s been below zero since December 2021.

“There was a slight softening across a number of industries but the level of business conditions really still remains elevated across the board including in key consumer-facing sectors such as retail and recreation & personal services, and across the states,” NAB Chief Economist Alan Oster says.

In trend terms, confidence is now negative in retail, finance, business & property, recreation & personal, and transport & utilities – and across the States confidence is in negative territory everywhere excepts SA and Tas.

“The gap between current business conditions and business confidence is now at a record level in the history of the survey – with the exception of March 2020 – pointing to heightened concerns about the resilience of the economy in the period ahead as inflation and higher rates begin to weigh on consumers,” Oster said.

Even so, Christmas spending isn’t showing since of slowing down.

“The survey suggests the economy powered through November with consumers still spending in the run up to Christmas,” Oster said. 

“However, firms have become increasingly pessimistic about the future as they look ahead to a slowing global economy and a period of weaker consumption as inflation and higher rates weigh on households.

“Whether, and how soon these fears are realised remains to be seen however, and we will continue to monitor spending trends closely over coming months.”



Markets in Europe slipped yesterday in reaction to a sharp spike in natural gas prices as a wave of cold weather hits Western Europe.

“Improved sentiment around Chinese efforts to reopen appear to be swiftly faltering, with concerns over a dramatic surge in Covid cases bringing the potential for further restrictions and protests,” IG analyst Joshua Mahony writes.

Meanwhile, in the US, stocks climbed as investors geared up for a pivotal week for markets that will include consumer-price data and a Federal Reserve policy update.

“We think we’ve seen peak Fed and peak inflation,” said Jason Ware, partner and chief investment officer for Albion Financial Group. 

“We still have tightening to come, but most of it is behind us. We are much closer to the end than the beginning.”

The coming week could be make-or-break for those hopes, with US consumer-price index data due Tuesday ahead of several central bank meetings. 

The Fed is set to deliver its policy decision on rates as well as its latest economic projections Wednesday, with most investors expecting the bank will raise its benchmark interest rate by half a percentage point.

“There’s been a sea change in terms of the underlying sentiment and primarily that has been driven by the improvement in the CPI numbers turning south,” said Charles Diebel, head of fixed income at Mediolanum International Funds. 

“Given how jumpy the market has been, a disappointment in the CPI reading will get a big  negative reaction.”



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks:

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

Wordpress Table Plugin

The biggest winner was Doctor Care Anywhere (ASX:DOC), which announced a four-year, £10,000,000 secured loan agreement with AXA PPP Healthcare Group.

AXA is Doctor Care Anywhere’s major partner and its primary source of revenue, and has provided DCA with strong support over time.

“Today’s announcement is further evidence of AXA’s belief in the Doctor Care Anywhere service as an important benefit to its members,” said DOC chairman, Richard Dammery.

“The agreements announced today obviously increase DCA’s dependence on AXA, and enhance AXA’s rights in relation to the company, but they also ensure that the company can continue to develop innovative healthcare pathways into 2023 and beyond.”

DOC says the loan will be used for general working capital purposes in accordance with the terms.

Sierra Nevada Gold (ASX:SNX), which listed on he ASX back in May,  hit 26.7g/t gold over ~1m in maiden drilling at the New Pass gold project in Nevada, USA.

Its an intersection 80m down dip beneath the deepest previously mined high-grade vein position the Superior Level 4 which itself is 90m below surface.

The company said the results attest to its belief that New Pass has the potential to host a “significant high-grade gold vein system.”

“The discovery of two additional veins by this first hole attests to the exploration opportunity of this remarkable project,” executive chairman Peter Moore says.

“We eagerly await further assay results which we expect in Q1 CY2023.”

And Coppermoly (ASX:COY) is selling its Papua New Guinean projects to Ever Leap Services. 

The company will instead focus on its highly prospective grounds for copper gold and critical minerals in the Eastern Successions of Mt Isa, Northwest Queensland where management can more effectively progress exploration activities. 



Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks:

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

Wordpress Table Plugin



Classic Minerals (ASX:CLZ) – pending a funding announcement.

Pan Asia Metals (ASX:PAM) – pending an announcement about a business update.

Flynn Gold (ASX:FG1) – capital raising.

C29 Metals (ASX:C29) – capital raising.

Asra Minerals (ASX:ASR) – capital raising.