Large cap Aussie stocks managed to close slightly higher on Monday, after a fickle few hours of afternoon trade.

But that brave little battler, the Emerging Markets index (ASX:XEC) is down 2.3%. — its biggest drop since February 3.

It followed sharp falls in the US where a rates-stressed Wall St ended sharply lower on Friday.

Oil prices are up, and Nymex and friends may get even a bit toppier if this Russia-Ukraine business gets pointy. The local energy sector has certainly done well.

Petrol prices at home are hitting some real ugly notes, and according to CommSec, crude oil hit seven-year highs earlier today in Asian trade, with the global benchmark Brent crude oil price above $US95 a barrel.

Them goldies have rallied too.

Meanwhile, Crown (ASX:CWN) has accepted Blackstone’s near $9bn bid.

Super news 

In some nice Monday news, down in Canberra the Senate has thrown out Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s superannuation ambush. So starting July, about 300,000 low income workers will at last cop some superannuation.

Legislation abolishing the minimum salary thresholds for receiving superannuation passed Parliament earlier today, despite the efforts of the Morrison government.

Now those Aussies – the greater majority by far are women – on less than 460 dollar-bucks a month will get to actually put some of it away.

TODAY’S BIGGEST SMALL CAP WINNERS

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

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Triangle Energy(ASX:TEG) has pleased investors with some fresh blood on its Board of Directors.

“With effect from 5pm (Perth time) on 14 February 2022, each of Mr Greg Hancock, Mr Conrad Todd and Mr Mike Collins have been appointed as Directors of the Company, and Mr Henko Vos has been appointed as Company Secretary,” TEG said.

The steal here is arguably Greg Hancock, who boasts some 25 years’ experience in capital markets bringing expertise in mining and natural resources. Hancock has a storied background in the finance and management of small listed companies, and was the founding shareholder and first Chairman of Cooper Energy (ASX: COE).

TEG is up 30%.

Enterprise Metals (ASX:ENT) The junior explorer is up about 20% after it reported “elevated lithium results” in soil sampling at the Matheson pegmatite, part of the ‘Bullfinch North’ project in WA.

This peggie (lithium host rock) was first mapped in 1939 but gold has always been the focus of exploration in the area, ENT says.

Canyon Resources (ASX:CAY) also jumped on no news.

That’s fine too – CAY’s focus is the ‘Minim Martap’ bauxite project in Cameroon – which is at the pointy end of the development cycle.

Bauxite is the only raw material used in the commercial production of alumina, which can then be turned into aluminium metal.

Last year prices spiked when Guinea – a leading supplier of bauxite – experienced its third coup d’etat in under 40 years. Indonesia is also mulling a bauxite export ban in 2022.

Felix Gold (ASX:FXG) is up around 25% on Monday. The TSX listed project generator Millrock Resources has snapped up a 5.8% stake in FXG, which listed on the ASX at the end of January.

Millrock currently has six active projects, including four in Alaska.

FXG is hunting gold deposits right next door in the Fairbanks District of Alaska, home to multimillion ounce monsters like Kinross’s ‘Fort Knox’ and Freegold’s ‘Golden Summit’.

Codrus Metals’ (ASX:CDR) maiden drilling has pulled up “excellent” results like 23m at 3.82g/t gold from 14m – including 5m at 14.29g/t – at the ‘Red Gate’ project in WA’s Edjudina mining district.

Edjudina hosts numerous operating mines, including Northern Star Resources’ (ASX:NST) Porphyry Mining Centre which is right next door to CDR.

CDR says 40% of the assays are still outstanding and should be received the coming weeks.

TODAY’S BIGGEST SMALL CAP LOSERS

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

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With the sale of its international platform business dragging on out, Aussie trading platform (Praemium ASX:PPS) has shed about 11% following the release of underwhelming half-year results, the first in the wake of former CEO Michael Ohanessian’s departure.

FUM (funds under administration) are up at record highs, near $50bn, but creeping costs and a bunch of expenses have trimmed profits significantly.

ANNOUNCEMENTS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED

Explorer – and soon to be producer – Blue Star Helium (ASX:BNL) says a listing on New York’s OTCQB market provides a whole bunch of access to US investors and delivers potential for enhanced overall liquidity in the trading of Blue Star.

“This is particularly relevant given the helium market and investor base in the United States is the largest globally – and our asset portfolio is focused in the United States,” managing director and CEO Trent Spry told Stockhead

American West’s first diamond hole at the West Desert project in Utah has intersected very thick intervals of visual zine, copper and lead mineralisation. Adding further interest for American West Metals (ASX:AW1), two of the 10 zones intersected by the drill hole represent new zones of mineralisation south of/underneath the Deep Zone and outside of the current resource.

And up about 3.5% is Aussie medical cannabis and hemp upstart ECS Botanics Holdings (ASX:ECS) which delivered a first shipment of dried cannabis flower to the UK’s mega distributor, Lyphe Group.

RareX’s Cummins Range project is known for its rare earths content as highlighted by recent extensional drilling intersecting multiple wide, high-grade zones of mineralisation.

But it turns out rare earths are not the only prospective attraction at the project in Western Australia’s Kimberley region with a diamond hole targeting a northern extension of the main Rare Earth Zone returning a broad, high-grade primary phosphate intersection.

This has the potential to be quite lucrative given how much phosphate is in high demand as a fertiliser.

While previous drilling by RareX (ASX:REE) had intersected wide zones of supergene phosphate mineralisation that demonstrated the potential scale of the system, the 71m intersection grading 15% phosphate in CDX0015 marks the first time primary phosphate mineralisation has been intersected.

TRADING HALTS

The following companies went into a halt on Monday and are expected out in the coming days.

Halo Food (ASX:HLF) – material acquisition
Aruma Resources (ASX:AAJ) – capital raising
Greenstone Resources (ASX:GSR) – capital raising
Avira Resources (ASX:AVW) – capital raising in relation to project acquisition