The ASX 200 climbed off its midday lows, but still closed in the red following a weak lead from Wall St, after US inflation data gave investors more jitters around the outlook for stubborn inflation and higher interest rates.

Gold stocks were back in the mix, with Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST) jumping almost 5% as the precious metal climbed back above US$1,850/oz.

There were solid gains across the resources complex, as the ASX 200 Materials index rose by more than 2% — offset by sharp falls for banking and energy stocks.

Throughout the day, the ASX microcap Emerging Companies index was a big out-performer, climbing by 1.29% compared to a 0.57% fall for the ASX 200.

TODAY’S BIGGEST SMALL CAP WINNERS

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

Scroll or swipe to reveal table. Click headings to sort.

Code Company Price % Volume
MLS Metals Australia 0.003 50.0% 41,899,183
WOO Wooboard Tech Ltd 0.0015 50.0% 6,967,039
BAS Bass Oil Ltd 0.002 33.3% 5,651,223
PGO Pacgold 0.46 29.6% 587,454
ECT Env Clean Tech Ltd. 0.037 27.6% 28,623,986
KIS King Island 0.175 25.0% 7,267,654
YPB YPB Group Ltd 0.0025 25.0% 5,164,908
KAI Kairos Minerals Ltd 0.037 23.3% 40,806,030
SPQ Superior Resources 0.022 22.2% 31,903,143
VMS Venture Minerals 0.052 20.9% 19,239,367
SER Strategic Energy 0.042 20.0% 1,121,196
GT1 Greentechnology 0.455 19.7% 7,140,001
HMD Heramed Limited 0.225 18.4% 1,602,391
POD Podium Minerals 0.43 17.8% 1,329,797
TOU Tlou Energy Ltd 0.073 17.7% 16,884,612
AVL Aust Vanadium Ltd 0.027 17.4% 62,540,137
LRL Labyrinth Resources 0.042 16.7% 8,756,364
AMD Arrow Minerals 0.007 16.7% 3,373,849
ARD Argent Minerals 0.043 16.2% 6,893,837
FRM Farm Pride Foods 0.3 15.4% 35,572
ACP Audalia Res Ltd 0.015 15.4% 308,454
GLV Global Oil & Gas 0.03 15.4% 16,880,474
AHI Adv Human Imag Ltd 1.15 15.0% 850,388
EDE Eden Inv Ltd 0.023 15.0% 24,447,895
PAK Pacific American Hld 0.023 15.0% 19,304,876

Among stocks with no news, gold play PacGold (ASX:PGO) ticked higher in Thursday trade, following up Wednesday’s 18% gain with a ~30% rally after announcing a high grade gold hit at its Alice River project in North Queensland.

Elsewhere, there was a heavy resources and energy theme among stocks with market moving announcements.

King Island Scheelite (ASX:KIS) held its gains after flagging that the redevelopment of its’ ‘Dolphin’ tungsten mine on King Island, Tasmania, is officially on.

Tlou Energy (ASX:TOU) continued the recent run of small cap moves concerning anything to do with green (or blue) hydrogen, after announcing new plans for the Lesedi power project in Botswana.

The company and its technology partner, Synergen Met, “are working on combining large, established natural gas reserves with abundant solar energy to produce green hydrogen”, Tlou said today.

TODAY’S BIGGEST SMALL CAP LOSERS

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

Scroll or swipe to reveal table. Click headings to sort.

Code Company Price % Volume
GPR Geopacific Resources 0.24 -25.0% 5,798,016
EMT Emetals Limited 0.014 -22.2% 1,538,904
CCE Carnegie Cln Energy 0.002 -20.0% 4,766,841
DOU Douugh Limited 0.093 -15.5% 14,303,760
LPD Lepidico Ltd 0.045 -15.1% 91,717,512
DLC Delecta Limited 0.017 -15.0% 24,618,316
EME Energy Metals Ltd 0.33 -14.3% 68,150
RFT Rectifier Technologies 0.049 -14.0% 11,840,859
IND Industrialminerals 0.26 -13.3% 572,492
CGB Cann Global Limited 0.0035 -12.5% 6,623,887
KNB Koonenberrygold 0.14 -12.5% 812,707
NEA Nearmap Ltd 1.885 -12.3% 9,882,286
LTR Liontown Resources 1.64 -12.1% 27,234,163
SNS Sensen Networks Ltd 0.115 -11.5% 463,870
PRS Prospech Limited 0.077 -11.5% 13,500
BEE Broo Ltd 0.012 -11.1% 1,324,471
DDD 3D Resources Limited 0.004 -11.1% 5,320,425
NOR Norwood Systems Ltd. 0.016 -11.1% 749,900
TMK Tamaska Oil Gas Ltd 0.008 -11.1% 2,180,700

Among today’s laggards, Geopacific Resources (ASX:GPR) led the way after providing a project development update in early afternoon trade.

GPR said early earthwork activities at its Woodlark gold project in Papua New Guinea have been delayed due to a number of factors including “unseasonal inclement weather” and the impact of rising COVID-19 cases on the island.

Lithium explorer Lepidico (ASX:LPD) also slipped in afternoon trade, after advising that “it was made aware that a North American investor relations firm erroneously sent an email communication purportedly on behalf of Lepidico without management review”, which contained several inaccuracies in connection with offtake and project financing initiatives for the company’s lithium hydroxide operations.

ANNOUNCEMENTS YOU MAY’VE MISSED

Dacian Gold (ASX:DCN) finalised the refinancing of its debt facility. The company says its aligns the repayment schedule with the current mine plan and streamlines its banking arrangements.

The merger of Santos (ASX:STO) and Oil Search (ASX:OSH) is all but set to go ahead. The companies reported an independent expert concluded that the merger was in the best interest and the National Court of PNG formally ordered Oil Search to convene a shareholders meeting to consider the deal.

GenusPlus (ASX:GNP) announced its first power infrastructure contract in the defence sector. Liang O’Rourke hired the company for the Australia-Singapore Military Training Initiative training area in Shoalwater Bay – a deal expected to be worth $16 million.

Flight Centre (ASX:FLT) told shareholders it received ~$250 million in JobKeeper subsidies since March 2020. The company said all of this was either passed directly to stood-down employees or subsidised the wages of continuing employees.

Xero (ASX:XRO) announced it was buying US cloud-based inventory management provider Locate. Xero says Locate is one of the most comprehensive inventory-accounting workflows provider in the US market and the deal would cost US$14 million – 80% of which would be paid in Xero shares.

TRADING HALTS

Friday
Lepidico (ASX:LPD) – company update
ArchTIS (ASX:AR9) – capital raising
Greenland Minerals (ASX:GGG) – regulatory update
Latrobe Magnesium (ASX:LMG) – capital raising
Nitro Software (ASX:NTO) – capital raising and acquisition

Monday

Alicanto Minerals (ASX:AQI) – capital raising
Nexus Minerals (ASX:NXM) – capital raising
RooLife Group (ASX:RLG) – capital raising
Tanga Resources (ASX:TRL) – capital raising