It’s been an emotional ride for fans of the ASX200 (XJO) which, alongside the Emerging Companies (XEC) index, (down 0.6%) gave up its early gains in a topsy-turvy Monday session.

Just after the close, the XJO was weepingly flat – well, up 0.094% if you’re trying to look at things in a positive light.

Ongoing market fears, likely over more hawkish tightening-talk out of the US Federal Reserve, has caused ripples of jitters and wobbles to spread across regional indices.

In opening trade, the Shanghai Composite Index lost 1%, the tech-laden Shenzhen Composite 1.5%, and in neighbouring Honkers, the Hang Seng Index dipped by over 1.2%

In Japan, the Nikkei and the broader Topix index were 0.5% lower.

Tech stocks remain the focus of selling and materials the buying – led by interest in new and rare earth metals and lots of lithium.

This morning, analysts at Macquarie released a very punchy take on the outlook for the Aussie names in the space:

“Our preference for Australian-based producers remains unchanged, with Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) our key pick, offering strong near-term production growth.

Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) remains one of our preferred stocks in the broader resources sector.

Allkem (ASX:AKE) offers unique exposure to both lithium brine in South America and spodumene production in Australia.

Our positive view on Iluka (ASX:ILU) is underpinned by strong zircon and pigment raw material demand ex China.

Lynas Corp (ASX:LYC ) is the largest rare earths producer outside of China with a full value chain.”

 

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.

A cracking offtake agreement with none other than motoring giant Ford has Lake Resources (ASX:SLR ) up well over 10%. Now all of its clean Argentinian lithium has customers waiting. Tick.

And Bris Vegas-based health start-up ResApp’s (ASX:RAP) share price is up more than 22% to 11 cents after a lovely $100m takeover offer from global giant Pfizer.

Up into double digits is Ozz Resources (ASX:OZZ)has picked up some “compelling” ground prospective for rare earths in the goldfields region of WA.

The gold explorer calls the greenfields (unexplored) project at ‘Vickers Well’ “low risk, low-cost entry into rare earths” and the latest samples received from Vickers Well show elevated REE’s well above the regional averages generated from the total CSIRO data – often by factors of 5-10 times.

That’s significant, OZZ MD Jonathon Lea says:

“Vickers Well is a grassroots-generated project that demonstrates that OZZ is prepared to diversify from gold when a compelling project can be secured.”

There’s excitement in the copper space, and heaps over at Copper Strike (ASX:CSE) – it’s up 25% as the global copper supply crunch is not expected to get better anytime soon.

Last week members of the copper world gathered in Santiago for CRU’s 2022 World Copper Conference where mining consultancy group, CRU, highlighted the annual copper supply deficit will be 6Mt per annum for the next decade. This means around eight more Escondida Mines – a Rio Tinto and Japan-based JECO Corp JV – still might not fill the gap  of what’s needed in the immediate future.

CRU head of base metals supply Erik Heimlich said an investment of more than $100 billion is required if the world is going to meet demand requirements.

Last week, Copper Strike  announced that it was heading back to the market to raise over $1. million at an issue price of $0.09 (9 cents) per share, which comprised a single tranche placement of $1.1 million to an investor – with the aim of acquiring further copper assets.

And how could we possibly forget there’s over 40% more of the semiconductor tech company 4DS Memory (ASX:4DS) on Monday arvo –  after an operational update where the company flagged effective fixes in Q1 for trouble spots that had been holding up the development of its memory cell technology in the December quarter.

As a result of those upgrades, the company said it has “dramatically increased the likelihood that the Third Platform Lot will be successfully processed”, following a partial failure of the Second Platform Lot.

The Third Platform Lot was crucial for the final testing verification of 4DS’ memory cell technology, and the Third Platform Lot is “expected to reach the etch step in the next few weeks”.

 

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.

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED

Gas player TMK Energy (ASX:TMK) resumed trading at 1:30pm EST, after going into a halt following a 32% surge on April 6.

The company announced that it has intersected “44 metres of gassy coal in the upper coal seam in the first well (Snow Leopard – 1) of its high impact maiden drilling program”.

The drill program took place at TMK’s Gurvantes XXXV coal seam gas project, in the South Gobi Basin of Mongolia.

“Preliminary gas desorption results assessed over the weekend indicate high gas content and high gas saturation,” TMK said. The company will now carry out downhole geophysical surveys and a DST of the upper coal seam, after which “drilling will continue to target a second lower coal seam”.

Following last week’s bounce, shares in TMK fell by around 9% in afternoon Monday trade.

SME lender N1 Holdings (ASX:N1H), which has climbed strongly over the past year, released its quarterly 4C filing for March on Monday afternoon.

The company flagged another record quarter across its various business segments including SME lending, mortgage management (branded commercial and residential loans) and mortgage brokerage.

N1H booked net positive operating cash flows of $1.656m, on cash receipts of $3.897m. It finished the quarter with more than $12.5m in the bank.

And listed investment group Spheria Emerging Companies (ASX: SEC) has flagged a 2.5c dividend for the March quarter, which will be fully-franked.

The payment is “consistent with the intention to pay dividends on a quarterly basis, at a level of 1% of post-tax NTA at the end of each calendar quarter, subject to available profits, cash flow and franking credits”, SEC said.

 

TRADING HALTS

Aldoro Resources Limited (ASX: ARN) – capital raising

Scorpion Minerals Limited (ASX:SCN) – capital raising

Propell Holdings Limited (ASX:PHL) – capital raising

 Sunstone Metals Ltd (ASX: STM) – capital raising

Mithril Resources Limited (ASX:MTH)  – capital raising