CLOSING BELL: Goldies cop a beating as investors race back into the arms of the risk monster
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The market opened this morning with a sparkle in its eye and a spring in its step, whistling a happy tune and bouncing 0.9% straight out of the gate.
If I didn’t know better, I’d swear it had taken a new lover and is basking in a post-coital glow – but I might be getting that confused with the dazed look it gets after being rogered as hard as it has been the past couple of weeks.
It’s getting harder and harder to tell them apart.
Anyhoo – the market’s good spirits persisted throughout the day, slowly losing pump like a poorly patched bike tyre until coming to rest at +0.87% at the close of play.
It was a huge day for Energy stocks, with the combination of a much-needed recovery and a boost in commodity prices pushing the sector higher by around 4.5% – a shot in the arm after the shellacking it took in recent days.
The sector feeling the pain today was gold, after the precious metal’s price slumped by around 2.0% overnights (thanks to a spike in Treasury yields), opening the exit doors for the sector and letting all the investors out.
The ASX All Ordinaries Gold index fell nearly 3.0% over the course of the day, after crashing by 4.3% straight out the gate this morning.
Worth noting as well today: Weebit Nano (ASX:WBT) has fallen back under the $1bn market cap water level, shedding 17.2% over the day’s proceedings and compounding the company’s price woes.
On March 9, Weebit closed at $8.75 a pop – today, it’s heading for a close at less than $5.75, more than 34% down for no particular reason, with barely a peep from the company to the ASX since announcing its deal with SkyWater.
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An unexplained surge in activity around mining minnow Labyrinth Resources (ASX:LRL) has propelled it into top spot on the ladder this afternoon, with a 6x spike against its 4-week average volume driving it 66.7% higher this afternoon.
If I ever figure out why, I’ll certainly let you know.
Meanwhile, this morning’s winners are still performing well as the market’s session ends, with Manuka Resources (ASX:MKR) up 29.6% after announcing that it’s ready to recommence gold production at Mt Boppy, with a build-up targeting approximately 25koz per year of gold for about three years.
The plan includes re-entry into the Mt Boppy open cut scheduled for later 2023, subject to finalisation of economic mine planning, to produce up to 45koz Au (included in current JORC resource2) beneath the base of the pit, as well as recovery of 3-4koz Au in broken ore at the base of the pit.
BPH Energy (ASX:BPH) saw some serious gains today, after being reinstated to trading after a three-month suspension by the ASX.
BPH was bounced after a major national news outlet published claims that the 30.7% BPH-owned PEP-11 gas project could be pumping out product by 2024, after BPH reportedly seeded the story through a small-caps focused website.
(Not us. A different one. No, not that one… the other one.)
Anyhoo – it’s been a gigantic mess, but BPH announced reinstatement at 6.30pm last night, and so far today it’s up a very gassy 27.8% for the day, easing from the 38.9% it hit earlier in the session.
LayBuy (ASX:LBY) has jumped 29.6% ahead of delisting on Friday, and Besra Gold (ASX:BEZ) has added another 26.7% to yesterday’s cracking haul, which came on news that it’s inked an (up to) US$300m gold pre-purchase and offtake non-binding drawdown funding facility term sheet with major shareholder Quantum Metal Recovery.
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Latitude Financial (ASX:LFS) has resumed trading today, after news of a data breach had the company scrambling to reassure customers that things were under control.
The good news, per today’s reinstatement announcement, is that “to the best of our knowledge no compromised data has left Latitude’s systems since Thursday 16 March 2023”.
The bad news: “Our review has uncovered further evidence of large-scale information theft affecting customers (past and present) and applicants across Australia and New Zealand”.
Rough translation: Remember when we said we’d been hacked, and it was bad? And then, we said that it was worse than that, and it was badder? Well… it’s even worse than that, again.
“We appreciate how frustrating this latest development will be for our customers and we unreservedly apologise,” Latitude says, which is probably about as much as customers are likely to be able to expect in terms of reparations.
But Latitude’s user base could probably take some small comfort knowing that, despite hiding from the market behind a requested trading halt, LFS is down just over 6.0% since going live again this morning.
In better news, Mamba Exploration (ASX:M24) has kicked off drilling at its Hyden REE Project where historical exploration identified anomalous Phosphorus and REE mineralisation.
Mamba is aiming to get the 50 aircore / RC shallow drilling program wrapped up to finalise the extent of the target at Hyden, with firm results from the recent 23 hole initial drilling set to be announced next week.
The company wants to get its head around what’s behind the project’s recently discovered gravity anomaly, which it has interpreted to represent a bedrock REE target, in the area where historical sampling identified phosphorus assay results including up to 9400ppm P, which when converted to an oxide (P2O5) equates to 2.15%.
Other samples reported up to 2.06%, 1.88% and 1.56% P2O5 and rare earth oxide results up to 1,295 ppm 2REO + Y2O3 (La2O3 + CeO2 + Y2O3).
Elsewhere, copper-gold producer and explorer Aeris Resources (ASX:AIS) says it has found a new massive sulphide lens – the Bacalar lens – at the Bentley deposit, located at the Company’s 100% owned Jaguar Operations in Western Australia.
Eleven drillholes have intersected massive sulphide mineralisation in Bacalar, with another four intersecting copper stringer sulphides at the same horizon:
“When we acquired the Jaguar Operations last year, as part of the Round Oak Minerals acquisition, we had a firm view that the Bentley Mine and the broader Jaguar tenement package was highly prospective for further discoveries of base metals and also potentially gold,” AIS executive chairman, Andre Labuschagne, said.
“The discovery of Bacalar supports our view on the prospectivity at Jaguar and follows on from the other recent discoveries of the Turbo and Java Deeps lenses.”
Little Green Pharma (ASX:LGP) – Capital raising.
Grand Gulf Energy (ASX:GGE) – Capital raising.
BelaraRox (ASX:BRX) – Project acquisition.
Race Oncology (ASX:RAC) – Board reshuffle.
National Storage REIT (ASX:NSR) – Institutional placement.