CLOSING BELL: Hancock ‘wins’ the Battle for Warrego while the US endures a very long talking-to
Link copied to
Aussie markets have been in state of mild flux – or possibly reflux … it’s getting hard to tell them apart – for the bulk of the day, which saw the benchmark moving ponderously, yet positively, peaking a couple of times at +0.4% before grinding out to close at +0.3%.
Across the sectors, Financials (+1.0%) and Materials (+0.7%) have worked hard to provide some lift to an otherwise iffy market. Consumer Discretionary has rallied to +0.2-ish since lunchtime, but Consumer Staples is still languishing in the red at -0.4% while Health Care brings up the rear, down 0.6% for the day.
The war, my friends, is finally over – Hancock Energy has come out on top in the Battle for Warrego, after a months-long tussle that feels like it’s been carrying on for a lot longer than that.
The basics of it are as follows: Strike Energy (ASX:STX) has accepted Hancock’s 36c per share takeover offer for its West Erregulla gas field partner – a vastly improved price from the 20c-a-pop mark that this whole thing kicked off at.
And while Strike hasn’t won the war, it’s still limping off the battlefield with some spoils in its pocket – the company currently holds or controls 322,570,890 WGO shares (25.99% voting power), meaning that it will be in line for a fairly hefty payment of $116m.
In other finance news, the murky world of financial advisers is set to get the double-whammy “in the spotlight” and “under the microscope” treatment, if the federal government gets its way.
The government released a 267-page final report of Treasury’s Quality of Advice Review – which (of course) I haven’t read all of because it’s about 265 pages too long, and ain’t nobody got time for that.
But the thrust of it – as patiently explained by the Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services, Stephen Jones – is this:
“While protecting Australians from dodgy financial advice, we don’t want to make it harder to get sound advice.
“We want to see an industry with strong professional standards that’s accessible for more Australians and look forward to hearing views on achieving that goal.”
Not everyone is happy about the report, though – the team at Choice have slammed the government’s proposals, with Choice representative Alan Kirkland telling the ABC they “won’t make independent financial advice more accessible”.
“What they’ll actually do is undermine the provision of independent financial advice, because those independent advisors will still be subjected to professional standards, yet banks and super funds, the major firms, will be able to push out advice on mass without any requirement that’s provided by qualified staff or that they adhere to ethical standards,” Kirkland continued.
So… probably best to just stick to asking your cousin’s mate’s cousin for advice on where to park your Lotto money, until this whole thing blows over.
A quick look overseas, and the US has been subjected to the unending horror of President Joe Biden droning out his 2023 State of the Union address, which could adequately have been slapped on a billboard in two words – the first being “Everything’s” and the second one highly unprintable in our esteemed publication.
It actually wasn’t all bad news – the US economy is slowly showing signs of fixing itself, and after some spirited heckling from waaaaaaay over on the right hand edge of the Republican side of the chamber, Biden appears to have gathered at least a spoken commitment that both Medicare and Social Security are off the table when the GOP goes looking for fat to trim off government spending over the next 12 months.
CNBC reports that Biden “unintentionally drew a few seconds of riotous laughter from Republicans in the middle of his speech by predicting that the United States would remain dependent on petroleum ‘for at least another decade.’”
But the real noise in the chamber came from a certain subset of Republican representatives who, to the apparent annoyance of even their own GOP House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, couldn’t help themselves and frequently leapt to their feet to hoot and holler like yahoos at a Houston hoe-down.
And here’s a picture!
In Asian market news, it’s a thoroughly mixed bag of results that has seen Japan’s Nikkei fall 0.39%, Shanghai end the day flatter than a Peking pancake and the Hang Seng add just 0.3% in the closing stages of the day.
Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks:
Swipe or scroll to reveal full table. Click headings to sort:
|DCX||Discovex Res Ltd||0.004||33%||57,981,063||$9,907,704|
|DLT||Delta Drone Intl Ltd||0.009||29%||5,503,488||$3,581,235|
|IMR||Imricor Med Sys||0.24||26%||8,599,184||$28,756,049|
|LNU||Linius Tech Limited||0.0025||25%||1,010,000||$5,958,826|
|EME||Energy Metals Ltd||0.16||23%||10,000||$27,258,831|
|FIJ||Fiji Kava Limited||0.011||22%||19,613,622||$2,867,890|
|CNB||Carnaby Resource Ltd||1.315||22%||1,782,983||$156,125,766|
|CTO||Citigold Corp Ltd||0.006||20%||1,217,597||$14,168,295|
|MPG||Many Peaks Gold||0.36||18%||222,172||$10,446,860|
|TMS||Tennant Minerals Ltd||0.04||18%||90,615,507||$20,963,593|
|PET||Phoslock Env Tec Ltd||0.066||16%||1,703,385||$35,590,259|
|ICN||Icon Energy Limited||0.015||15%||790,000||$9,984,178|
|MCE||Matrix C & E Ltd||0.34||15%||1,866,143||$43,091,072|
|TSN||The Sust Nutri Grp||0.023||15%||26,269||$2,412,128|
|AYT||Austin Metals Ltd||0.008||14%||1,212,500||$7,111,123|
There’s been a changing of the guard at the top of the Small Caps winners list this afternoon, with Spacetalk (ASX:SPA) catapulting back into the number one slot, up another 49.1% on no fresh news. The climb takes SPA to a one-week climb of more than 242%.
Today’s run for Spacetalk came to an end an hour before market close, however, when someone somewhere hit the pause button on trading – if the reason for that is anything substantial, we’ll cover it in detail on the morrow.
Easing somewhat since lunchtime was this morning’s leader, Fiji Kava (ASX:FIJ), which has put the lime in the coconut to the tune of +44.44% this morning on news that its wholly owned subsidiary, South Pacific Elixirs has inked an exclusive distribution agreement with the largest FMCG distribution company in the South Pacific, CJ Patel.
The agreement is targeting minimum sales of $11 million to retain exclusive distribution rights for Fiji Kava’s Taki Mai product throughout the region, including Australia and NZ, as well as Canada, the USA and a bunch of other tiny islands around the place.
Taki Mai is a bottled product containing what the company says is a significant quantity of kavalactones, the active ingredient in the traditional Fijiian kava drink that, in sufficient quantities, has been known to put an angry All Blacks tighthead prop to sleep in under 20 minutes.
The copper bug has bitten the market again today, with Tennant Minerals (ASX:TMS) back in the winners circle, this time on news of a “spectacular drill hit” at its Bluebird gold-copper project.
The company has reported that diamond drillhole BBDD0018 has produced a “spectacular, true-width, intersection of high-grade copper and gold” at Bluebird, 40km east of Tennant Creek in the NT:
“Drilling is already planned to extend this remarkable new discovery, which lies under shallow cover to the east of the Tennant Creek Mineral Field and continues to grow – in all directions,” Tennant Minerals chairman Matthew Driscoll said.
“The results are another key step in our strategy to identify multiple, multi-million tonne, high-grade copper- gold deposits within the Barkly Tenements, where we aim to establish a stand-alone copper-gold project.”
And another copper explorer, Carnaby Resources (ASX:CNB) has pocketed a 20% gain today, despite no fresh news since it released information about solid intercepts from its Mount Hope and Burke and Wills projects early last week.
CNB had already seen its price surge ~14% in early trade on 02 December when it announced the exceptional 39m at 5.2% copper, 0.5g/t gold hit at the Mount Hope prospect, which it calls “a significant new high grade copper gold discovery”.
Here are the least best performing ASX small cap stocks:
Swipe or scroll to reveal full table. Click headings to sort:
|ZEU||Zeus Resources Ltd||0.026||-47%||27,177,190||$21,696,639|
|AXP||AXP Energy Ltd||0.0025||-38%||29,168,962||$23,298,723|
|CCE||Carnegie Cln Energy||0.0015||-25%||519,392||$31,285,147|
|GLV||Global Oil & Gas||0.0015||-25%||2,439,370||$6,857,606|
|ANR||Anatara Ls Ltd||0.03||-23%||31,500||$4,334,067|
|PLG||Pearl Gull Iron||0.042||-19%||428,700||$4,523,661|
|TRM||Truscott Mining Corp||0.115||-18%||99,257||$23,401,988|
|BMG||BMG Resources Ltd||0.014||-18%||1,610,790||$6,561,858|
|DCG||Decmil Group Limited||0.22||-17%||189,475||$41,221,337|
|NME||Nex Metals Explorat||0.02||-17%||19,615||$6,691,656|
|BKY||Berkeley Energia Ltd||0.38||-16%||1,012,926||$200,608,522|
|LSA||Lachlan Star Ltd||0.013||-13%||195,850||$19,785,191|
|EVR||Ev Resources Ltd||0.02||-13%||11,434,893||$21,366,634|
|MRQ||Mrg Metals Limited||0.0035||-13%||3,500,000||$7,943,675|
There are a few bits and bobs from the markets that we haven’t covered off elsewhere today, including news from Australian clinical-stage drug development company, Filamon about the appointment of Lisa Prasad as a Non-Executive Director.
The company says Lisa currently holds the position of Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer at Henry Ford Health (HFH), a premier academic medical centre based in Detroit, Michigan, focussed on ensuring that HFH can “adapt to the rapidly changing world of technology and consumer-impacted health care”.
“Lisa’s appointment is a significant development for the company, bringing some important skills, experience and networks to the Filamon board – in particular, her experience in identifying and helping commercialise innovative drugs, along with her international standing and contacts,” Filamon executive chairman and CEO, Dr Graham Kelly, said.
“Lisa rounds off a well-balanced board that I am confident has the competencies to bring Filamon’s innovative technology platforms onto the world stage.”
Meanwhile, Elders (ASX:ELD) has been asked to explain the sudden sell-off of its shares today, which saw a surge in volume and a price plunge from $9.38 to a low of $8.69.
Elders has replied that there’s not been any leaking of sensitive information that its aware of – however the company did note two investor briefings had taken place with institutional investors, but nothing considered price sensitive was discussed, other than information that was already in the public domain prior to the briefings.
As the day was drawing to a close, ELD remained down 5.1% at $8.895.
And last one for today – Valor Resources (ASX:VAL) has announced that four priority targets have been identified at the Cluff Lake Uranium Project in Canada’s Athabasca Basin, following a comprehensive review of all available exploration data, including data obtained from the extensive airborne gravity survey completed last year.
Valor says that two targets in particular from the Moose Lake prospect have been prioritised for drill testing, following “Exceptionally high-grade rare earth element (REE) assays of up to 9.15% TREO from on-ground field checking of targets and surface sampling of historic trenches” in that area.
West Wits Mining (ASX:WWI) – Capital raising.
Silver Mines (ASX:SVL) – Capital raising.
Mad Paws (ASX: MPA) – Capital raising.
Hammer Metals (ASX: HMX) – Trading halt called late in the day to prepare a response to an article in The Australian.