The recent super-toppy prices of Australia’s major commodity exports took a rare backward step today as analysts began to count the cost of China’s latest no-Covid lockdowns.

The mega-miners and most of the energy names dragged heavily on Tuesday trade, as crude oil and iron ore prices were scattered overnight, both shedding over a lazy 5%.

That hurt the ASX 200, to be sure, but fresh fears the world’s second largest economy might forego some of its furious demand for resources makes a complex market outlook that much more uncertain.

The resource heavy ASX Emerging Companies index (XEC) once again found itself squeezed between rocks and a hard place (to get Covid). The small cap gauge lost over 2.4% by lunchtime, paring those losses back to 1.7% at the close.

The ASX 200 had dropped 0.8% by 4pm AEDT.

 

TODAY’S BIGGEST SMALL CAP WINNERS

(Stocks highlighted in yellow rose after making announcements during the trading day).

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Just how good is Kincora Copper (ASX:KCC)?

It’s good, actually. And it’s still up an apparently easy 17% on news which Stockhead’s deputy editor Reuben Adams reckons is so good he combined the words ‘porphyry’ and ‘motherlode’ and then stuck a pic of that Star Wars medal presentation scene, which a lot of people don’t like because Chewbacca – loyal wingman, trusted space-wookie – doesn’t appear to get offered anything, other than a place to clap from.

In answer to my own question – Kincora a looking solid, following a “new geological discovery”  out at the easily-named ‘Trundle Park’ prospect, part of the relaxing, in your-own-good-time feel of the ‘Trundle’ project in NSW’s Lachlan Fold Belt.

Elsewhere in the limited sustainable agricultural technologies field Stockhead’s loose cannon of an editor Peter Farquhar notes Roots Sustainable Agricultural Technologies Limited (ASX:ROO) got a little bump after signing a deal with US ag supplier GroPro Hydro to sell its Root Zone Temperature Optimisation get-up.

GroPro Hydro will offer the system in Oklahoma, the largest medicinal cannabis market in the US on a per capita basis.

Uniti Group (ASX:UWL)  enjoyed a fantastic few short hours of morning trade –  up 16.8% to $3.70 before screeching into a trading halt – reporters at the Oz saying there’s takeover talk afoot, before returning to clean up the tail – ending about 26% ahead.

The Adelaide-HQ’d internet and telco firm (formerly known as Uniti Wireless), has been on a bit of an acquisition spree itself of late, developing a taste for communications infrastructure and more recently energy companies.

Shares in Pushpay Holdings (ASX:PPH) are higher on Tuesday after the donor-management fintech, system… kind of business… for US charities with a bit of a religious bent  – reconfirmed and narrowed its guidance for FY2022.

PPH now expects Underlying EBITDAFI to be between US$61.5 million and US$63.5 million (a few dollars better and tighter than its previously offered Underlying EBITDAFI of between US$60.0 million and US$65.0 million).

I feel compelled to add here – being a bit of a sh*t when it comes to the ASX fine print threaded as it so often is into the base of a 40 page announcement in ultra-violet lite sensitive invisible ink – that Underlying EBITDAFI is a seriously non-GAAP financial measure.

It’s what Gollum might call ‘tricksy’ before throttling someone nearby and just taking the damn ring.

EBITDAFI – earnings before tax, interest, depreciation, amortisation, and fair value adjustments in investments – does allow for some creative accounting –  and when PPH says, “an explanation of Underlying EBITDAFI and the reasons for using this measure are set out in Pushpay’s 2022 Interim Report,” I know I’ve been defeated by the better institution.

Pushpay shares are more than 5% higher.

Meanwhile, PharmAust (ASX:PAA) says it shipped its current good manufacturing practice (cGMP) grade flagship drug Monepantel (MPL) to the states, with the tableting process underway in San Diego. Completion of the manufacture of cGMP grade MPL tablets will clear the way for PAA’s planned motor-neuron disease and Covid clinical trials.

 

TODAY’S BIGGEST SMALL CAP LOSERS

(Stocks highlighted in yellow rose after making announcements during the trading day).

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PolarX (ASX:PXX), this one’s been walloped, despite recording assay results at Caribou Dome in Alaska showing copper grades higher than predicted.

PolarX has kicked off a full review of the resource model to include a follow-up drilling campaign to extend the known mineralisation.

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS THAT YOU MAY HAVE MISSED

Explorer Mallee Resources ASX:MYL) (formerly Myanmar Metals) says it now has all proceeds from the US$30 million divestment of its interest in the Bawdin silver-lead-zinc project in Myanmar. $30m is chump change, comparatively. Bawdwin was going to be the world’s #3 lead producer and a top-10 silver producer before a military coup crushed MYL’s dreams.

MD John Lam: “It has been a very challenging time to negotiate and complete a transaction in Myanmar, so we are very pleased with this outcome.”

Down about 3% on Tuesday, sports gamification app Sportshero (ASX:SHO) has appointed esports exec and former professional esports gamer Sam Stevens to grow its network and user base.

Stevens will be the new ‘eSports business development specialist’ a gushing COO, Scott Russell describing Stevens as: “perfectly positioned to be the central point of contact for our tournament operators and social media partners”.

Shares in Hansen Technologies (ASX:HSN) are about 1% the better after the software and services provider to the energy, water and comms sectors entered into a lucrative seven year deal with Exelon Corporation to support its digital transformation.

TRADING HALTS

Nanoveu Limited (ASX: NVU) – trading halt, pending the release of an announcement regarding a sales and product update.

Laneway Resources Ltd (ASX:LNY)  – trading halt, pending an outcome regarding the institutional component of its accelerated entitlement offer.

Golden Rim Resources Ltd (ASX:GMR) – trading halt, pending an announcement regarding a capital raising

Golden Mile Resources Ltd (ASX: G88) – trading halt, pending an announcement regarding an acquisition and capital raising

St George Mining Limited (ASX: SGQ) – trading halt, pending an announcement regarding a capital raising

E2 Metals Limited (ASX: E2M) – trading halt, pending an announcement regarding a capital raising