• The ASX 200 trims gains to end circa 0.3% higher
  • Small caps drop 0.2%, but C29 Metals booms
  • China markets still choppy after political appointments


The big show, if balancing books and picking pre-chosen soundbytes is your thing, begins at 7.30pm Sydenham time when the government’s new moneybags, Jim Chalmers drops his federal spending and saving plans for the next 12 months or so.

With about 30 mins to play, the ASX is in something of a holding pattern ahead of tomorrow’s (Wednesday) September quarter CPI reveal, which – at an expected 7% annual headline read – just seems to me too perfectly set up not to surprise the hell out of everyone and make a fool out of anyone talking economics and budgets tonight.

As it stands, volumes on the ASX are light, the benchmark has fallen off early gains in weak arvo trade, the Wall Street Futures have dipped and around the ‘hood, Asian markets remain pretty roiled after Hong Kong’s 6.5% death spiral on Monday.

As Gregor told me, in the brief moments modern life permits us to indulge in the like that dare not speak it’s name: if anyone needed proof Xi Jinping’s cunningly wrought ascension to Total God Emperor of All He Surveys then the Hang Seng’s absurd capitulation should be “Exhibit A”.

Hong Kong investors, there’s a lot of them are going to struggle a little to come to the new terms – as Xi himself puts it – now it’s all about me and XJP.

Out front of the selling was persona non gratis Jack ma’s Alibaba, falling some 13% in Wall Street trading, dropping back under its US$68 world-record IPO eight years ago. It’s quiet staggering to think Alibaba has retreated 70% in a year – and forget COVID-19 and the US-China tech war – this is all on Xi Jinping’s appropriation of Jack Ma and the example it makes of indy enterprise being reabsorbed into the a state-owned ongoing concern.

Oh. And the Chinese Xi-delayed GDP data dropped on Monday, for what it’s worth. In my seasoned opinion, the official National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) year-on-year 3.9% GDP growth (over a meek and mild Q3) isn’t worth too much as a reflection of economic activity, but it says all you need to know about the Chinese economic outlook.

It’s a good number – real easy to both digest and accept – it buries the 0.4% Q2 shocker and represents a believable beat on Caixin’s 3.6% forecast.

Its most glaring fib is offsetting  a concessional rise in the rate of urban unemployment (up 5.5% in September), with a timely drop in worrisome youth employment after hitting a record high of 19.9% in July. Kids out of work is a major problem which – after saying it’s being addressed in official data – need to actually be addressed.

The main concern, as Julian Evans-Pritchard Capital Economics’ senior China economist most undelicately puts it is the ongoing no-omicrons policy:

“There is no prospect of China lifting its zero-COVID policy in the near future, and we don’t expect any meaningful relaxation before 2024.”

At home, the Property and Healthcare Sectors are up ahead of the budget, while mild-mannered reporter Josh Chiat is enjoying the sheer nonsense that is Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS).

Check out these numbers:

PLS more than doubled its cash balance from $591.7m to $1.375 billion in the September quarter alone, a radical $783.7m increase in a touch over 90 days.

With lithium prices like these it should be no surprise PLS is going from strength to strength.



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks:

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

C29 C29Metalslimited 0.31 107% 21,553,860 $4,500,094
ANL Amani Gold Ltd 0.0015 50% 3,353,046 $23,693,441
MEB Medibio Limited 0.0015 50% 311,028 $3,320,594
IHR intelliHR Limited 0.082 30% 142,073 $21,419,440
AHK Ark Mines Limited 0.295 28% 460,815 $7,937,324
PHL Propell Holdings Ltd 0.041 28% 125,000 $3,396,263
FIN FIN Resources Ltd 0.024 26% 186,334 $10,630,116
WZR Wisr Ltd 0.0645 24% 3,946,533 $70,522,646
NYR Nyrada Inc. 0.165 22% 83,103 $21,061,175
MAP Microbalifesciences 0.17 21% 44,558 $31,685,736
IMB Intelligent Monitor 0.145 21% 125,808 $15,684,035
BTR Brightstar Resources 0.018 20% 564,428 $10,147,464
RB6 Rubixresources 0.15 20% 536,674 $3,381,250
HLX Helix Resources 0.006 20% 1,142,373 $11,615,729
ROG Red Sky Energy. 0.006 20% 1,599,300 $26,511,136
BLZ Blaze Minerals Ltd 0.019 19% 325,000 $5,880,132
TBA Tombola Gold Ltd 0.033 18% 1,159,380 $30,573,557
REZ Resourc & En Grp Ltd 0.02 18% 205,751 $8,496,698
HMI Hiremii 0.055 17% 25,000 $4,975,756
LME Limeade Inc. 0.14 17% 155,940 $30,677,953
VMC Venus Metals Cor Ltd 0.14 17% 30,890 $19,209,442
AUH Austchina Holdings 0.007 17% 152,000 $12,220,996
CLE Cyclone Metals 0.0035 17% 59,766,146 $18,350,211
IPT Impact Minerals 0.007 17% 396,997 $14,888,223
MM8 Medallion Metals. 0.18 16% 30,000 $21,693,034
Wordpress Table Plugin

Big Tuesday over at the copper, gold and now lithium play C29 Metals (ASX:C29). Usually based out of Western Australia, the explorer’s share price has taken off following news the wee wanderer has an agreement option in place to acquire 2 x lithium brine exploration licenses somewhere lovely in South America.

C29 has inked an option agreement to acquire 80% of two exploration licences, Pocitos 7 and Pocitos 9, located within Argentina’s Salta Province, part of the world renowned South American lithium triangle. C29 says the plan is to suck the lithium straight from salt lake brines.

At 2.40pm C29 was ahead circa 80%.

Elsewhere, Rubix Resources (ASX:RB6) has jumped 20% on no news, and rolling out a diamond drill today is St George (ASX:SGQ) the lithium play enjoying its 5th day of upright gains, climbing another 18% this morning.

SGQ’s target province around Mt Ida is emerging as a new lithium province following the significant high-grade lithium discoveries by Red Dirt last year.

Also this is happening to WISR (ASX:WSR):

Via Google Finance

I’ve had a quick look about to determine the gains, but unfortunately at this stage… I’m none the WISR!

Seriously, dad jokes aside, I can’t explain it.



Here are the least best performing ASX small cap stocks:

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

IKW Ikwezi Mining Ltd 0.59 -62% 97,740 $63,007,460
ARE Argonaut Resources 0.001 -33% 1,010,000 $8,142,807
AO1 Assetowl Limited 0.0015 -25% 3,511,000 $3,144,260
FTC Fintech Chain Ltd 0.02 -20% 34,335 $16,269,240
FAU First Au Ltd 0.004 -20% 1,689,000 $4,657,055
KSS Kleos 0.25 -18% 280,349 $54,450,392
EMP Emperor Energy Ltd 0.035 -17% 3,813,545 $9,819,599
TUL Tulla Resources 0.375 -17% 1,340,360 $72,097,592
AQX Alice Queen Ltd 0.0025 -17% 1,199,998 $6,600,750
DDT DataDot Technology 0.005 -17% 109,752 $7,463,217
LSR Lodestar Minerals 0.005 -17% 200,000 $10,430,624
RMX Red Mount Min Ltd 0.005 -17% 23,566,938 $9,854,183
TRT Todd River Res Ltd 0.021 -16% 3,196,173 $14,298,357
LBT LBT Innovations 0.062 -15% 1,262,729 $23,445,196
TRU Truscreen 0.035 -15% 101,755 $14,877,516
RCR Rincon 0.094 -15% 96,168 $6,062,401
ARO Astro Resources NL 0.003 -14% 1,100,000 $17,126,434
GTG Genetic Technologies 0.003 -14% 109,000 $32,318,878
JTL Jayex Technology Ltd 0.006 -14% 1,106 $1,744,600
MHC Manhattan Corp Ltd 0.006 -14% 4,582,198 $10,683,951
PUA Peak Minerals Ltd 0.006 -14% 4,696,900 $7,289,595
FRX Flexiroam Limited 0.037 -14% 204,334 $27,602,271
RWC Reliance Worldwide 3.105 -14% 10,186,641 $2,836,440,206
MMI Metro Mining Ltd 0.013 -13% 11,343,607 $65,457,445
BCT Bluechiip Limited 0.033 -13% 21,822 $22,745,424
Wordpress Table Plugin

Ikwezi Mining (ASX:IKW) is out of its trading halt and down about 60% but I don’t think that’s going to be bothering too many punters out there on Tuesday, because:



It goes on, till about T or U. So. They ain’t coming back.

Goodbye IKW, we never really got to know you, or what’s behind your fascinating name.



Global Lithium Resources (ASX:GL1) – Ooooh, fancy! GL1 has two things on the boil, a project acquisition and capital raising. Someone’s gonna be busy for a few days.

Widgie Nickel (ASX:WIN) – Widgie’s got Scoping Study results from its Mount Edwards Project. Spoiler alert: I know Edwards quite well, and the results of mounting him are either delightful children, or a sustained burst of flatulence that sounds like a far-off flugelhorn, playing D Minor.

Rent.com.au (ASX:RNT) – Capital Raise, as if rents weren’t high enough already. Sheesh.

Theta Gold Mines (ASX:TGM) – Cappy cappy, cap cap, capital raaaaaaaaise. Tada!

Noble Helium (ASX:NHE) – Oh, Noble Helium… Most Noble of Allll the Heliums… Tie thyself to more Capital, so that it may be Raised by your Bouyancy and your coffers are filled with Fungible, Foldable Fiat Funds. (It’s a capital raise).

Clean TeQ Water (ASX:CNQ) – CNQ is raising capital as well. I don’t blame them. All the cool kids are doing it.

FOS Capital (ASX:FOS) – FOS Capital is Raising Capital so that it has more Capital. Capital.

Breaker Resources (ASX:BRB) – Breaker breaker, Big Buddy. Breaker has breaking news about a sales transaction, and the company will BRB once it’s ready to release the details. 10-4, over and out.

QMines (ASX:QML) – Qmines is holding an equity raise by way of a placement, to fund further mining for the second most rare letter in the English alphabet. In the meantime, “Kw” will be a suitable substitute until stocks are replenished.

Neurotech International (ASX:NTI) – Neurotech is hosting a capital raise… but first, there’s news regarding 20 week data from its ongoing phase I/II clinical trial. That’s a combo that bodes well.

(Disclaimer: there are jokes in this bit, but the real reason for the trading halt is in there, too. Any confusion, assume that bit is just me trying to be funny. Any questions or complaints, email me – not my boss – so I don’t get in trouble. Again. Thanks – Gregor.)