• ASX closed flattish on Wednesday after toying with a higher open
  • Perpetual’s shake-up saw shares drop 6pc as KKR snags business parts
  • Iceni Gold jumped over 300pc on discoveries at its Christmas Gift site


After opening higher, the ASX closed flattish on Wednesday, in line with Wall Street. 

Markets were rather subdued after RBA governor Michelle Bullock gave the lowdown in a press conference yesterday afternoon, revealing that RBA officials had in fact toyed with the idea of hiking interest rates at the May meeting before opting to hold.

According to the RBA’s crystal ball, inflation in Australia is expected go up, not down, as gas prices are on the rebound and the job market is tight. 

“If we really think that inflation is going to be persistent and significantly above our forecast, we will tighten again,”Bullock told journalists.

On the ASX today, Industrials and Real Estate led, while Discretionary and Mining lagged. 

Source: MarketIndex


Biggest news at the big end of town came from Perpetual Ltd (ASX:PPT), which reported the split up of its three businesses as the company’s shares fell -6%. 

Private equity whale KKR will be buying two of those businesses – the ones that handle wealth management and corporate trust, and will pay $2.175 billion in cash.

When that’s done, Perpetual will be left as a standalone ASX-listed company with just one single focus, asset management. 

Goodman Group (ASX:GMG) fell -0.6% despite bumping up its earnings per share (EPS) growth forecast to 13% for FY24.

And at the Macquarie Equities Conference, Flight Centre, Domain, Jumbo Interactive, and Aussie Broadband have reaffirmed their guidance for FY24.


What else happened today…

Most Asian stock markets took a dip today after a lacklustre day in the US.

In Japan, stocks didn’t do too well compared to the rest of the region. The Nikkei was dragged down by Nintendo’s outlook, which wasn’t too rosy, with investors now eagerly waiting for Toyota to report its earnings later today. 

Over in Hong Kong and China, the stock markets cooled off after a recent surge, especially with big tech companies getting ready to announce their earnings next week.

Morgan Stanley thinks that the recent big rise in Chinese stocks won’t last.  

Analysts at the bank are saying that it’s not a good idea to chase the recent gains at the index level. Instead, they recommend investors to look for specific Chinese stocks or trends that could still be good opportunities.



Today’s best performing small cap stocks:

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The winners table on Wednesday was dominated by the rally in Iceni Gold (ASX:ICL), following a closer look at its Christmas Gift prospect which has exposed… “multiple bonanza gold bearing quartz veinlets within a narrow, sheared basalt-interflow sediment contact”.

“Gold collected by prospectors from a crushed bulk sample of ore bearing rock, including the quartz veinlets from the sample trench, has produced a 9.5oz gold doré bar.”

The company’s MD Wade Johnson told the ASX that the structure has now been exposed over a 20m strike length that is open and has advanced the geological model to provide a priority drill target.

More on that here: Speccie veins = massive gains. Christmas comes early for Iceni Gold

Pure Foods Tasmania (ASX:PFT)  was also up nicely after launching a cap raise for circa $2.2m million (before costs and expenses). PFT says the main game is to fund working capital and new capital investments, in the wake of restructuring initiatives undertaken by the Company since late calendar 2023. Chair Malcolm McAully says the funds will also be used to repay short term borrowings and finance ongoing due diligence on several acquisition targets.

Prominence Energy (ASX:PRM) has announced better than expected sampling results at the Djideli processing site in  Kazakhstan undertaken by Umine LLP (Umine), which is 20% owned by PRM. The company says Umine has identified an opportunity to decontaminate and remediate the abandoned site and intends to collect, process and sell the uranium during the rehabilitation process.

Clean energy/critical metals explorer Trinex Minerals (ASX:TX3), formerly known as Todd River Resources, was also up more than 30% today. It’s just inked itself a deal with ALX Resources Corporation (TSX-V: AL) to acquire up to a 75% interest in the Gibbons Creek uranium project in Northern Saskatchewan, Canada, in the famed, minerals-rich Athabasca Basin.

Hartshead Resources (ASX:HHR) says it has been notified by the North Sea transition Authority, as the regulatory body for oil and gas exploration in the UK, that it has been successful in winning 10 blocks in the recent UK 33rd Licensing Round. HHR says the blocks all contain discovered hydrocarbons and present a range of re-development, development and appraisal opportunities.

Larvotto Resources (ASX:LRV) was up  after announcing some high-grade gold results from its diamond drilling at Bakers Creek within the newly acquired Hillgrove gold and antimony mine, near Armidale in NSW. The 2,036m diamond drilling program targeted the lower level of gold mineralisation at the Hillgrove Mine area and one hole revealed an impressive intercept of 31m at 65.8g/t Au from 244m, including 5.3m at 220g/t from 245m and 4.75m at 161g/t from 255.1m. Other holes saw interceptions of 3.5m at 9.55g/t Au from 161m, with 0.5m at 49.6g/t Au from 162.6m; and 13.1m at 3.61g/t Au from 346m, including 4m at 8.11g/t Au from 349m. The company noted that the results infill and extend to depth the current Bakers Creek mineralisation – none of which is included in the current Mineral Resource Estimate.

Inca Minerals (ASX:ICG) is on the hunt in Peru (hence its name), but also the NT and Queensland. It was up nicely earlier on news this week related to its activities at the Camel Creek and Kestrel prospects at its Jean Elson project in the central part of the Northern Territory. Jean Elson is highly prospective for what the company describes as “Tier-1 sized Olympic Dam-style” iron ore copper-gold (IOCG) mineralisation. Two exceptional IOCG targets had already been identified at the project with “compelling magnetic, gravity, and conductive features, Cu-Au-Ag-U-Fe mineralisation, and hydrothermal alteration”.

Polynovo (ASX:PNV) said it achieved its first ever $10m+ revenue month, after recording $10.1 million in revenue (unaudited) for the month of April. Sales in the United States were strong, reaching $6.9 million, which is about 75% more compared to the same time last year. Sales in other parts of the world, excluding the US, were $2.4 million, showing an increase of 68.2% compared to the same time last year.

Island Pharmaceuticals (ASX:ILA) has received funding of US$625k (about $962K) for its ISLA-101 Phase 2a human trial on dengue fever. These funds will directly support the trial, where it will test how well ISLA-101 works against dengue fever. As a background, in July 2023, Island announced that it had received US$1.3m (about $2m) from a US government grant for more lab tests and data analysis for a different study called PEACH. Even though this extra analysis was deemed scientifically useful, the company believes it was not essential enough to carry out at this point in time, and those funds were not being prioritised to Island’s direct clinical trial costs. So, Island has just agreed with the US Department of Defense (DoD) and the Research Foundation for the State University of New York (SUNY) to use part of that grant money, US$625k, to cover the costs of the current dengue fever trial.

Black Cat Syndicate (ASX:BC8) released its Paulsens Gold Operation May 2024 Restart Study report. The May Study (@ $3,500/oz) returns are substantially greater than those in the November 2023 Study (@ $2,900/oz). Results include: Operating Cashflow after all capital and before tax increased by 81% to ~$201m; and a reduction in plant refurbishment risk, timing and cost ($18.3m, down from $19.5m).

And…Elsight (ASX:ELS)  says that during a strategic collaboration exercise, Elsight’s Halo connectivity platform was rapidly integrated with Lockheed Martin Indago 4 UAS to complete BVLOS (beyond visual line-of-sight) flights with enhanced capabilities and expanded operational reach. Following this successful integration, Lockheed Martin is now able to offer this configuration, Indago 4 with Halo, as a solution to their customers, effective immediately.



Today’s best performing small cap stocks:

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Corella Resources (ASX:CR9) has successfully produced 5N (99.999% purity) high purity alumina from a 100kg composite sample obtained from across the Tampu deposit in WA’s Wheatbelt region.

De Grey Mining (ASX:DEG) is raising $600m through a fully underwritten equity raising to cover the equity stage of its giant +10Moz Hemi discovery. Proceeds will progress development activities and strategic objectives towards final project approval.

Many Peaks Minerals (ASX:MPK) has started diamond drilling at four recently acquired mineral permits in gold-rich Cote d’Ivoire where over US$4m in prior exploration has already been spent.

Sovereign Metals’ (ASX:SVM) test work of graphite sourced from its Kasiya project has successfully produced a high-grade concentrate averaging over 97% total graphitic carbon with flotation recoveries exceeding 90%.

Spartan Resources (ASX:SPR) has made its deepest ever intersection of high-grade gold mineralisation at the Never Never deposit as its closes in on a resource upgrade at the Dalgaranga project.

St George Mining (ASX:SGQ) has identified multiple new lithium targets at its Mt Alexander project in WA’s Yilgarn Craton following a project wide review of lithium prospectivity by external consulting firm ERM.

Scout drilling at Viridis Mining and Minerals’ (ASX:VMM) Colossus ionic adsorption clay-hosted rare earths project in Brazil has identified multiple new discoveries across eight new concessions.

Trinex Minerals (ASX:TX3) has executed the definitive agreement with ALX Resources Corporation for the acquisition of up to 75% in the Gibbons Creek uranium project in Canada’s uranium-rich Athabasca Basin. It has now secured the option to acquire an initial 51% interest in the 138km2 project with the potential to increase to a 75% stake. Maiden drilling at the project has returned promising initial observations with preliminary results suggest the presence of high grade mineralisation in the target area identified from historical drilling.

Anson Resources (ASX:ASN) has received approval from the State of Utah to produce lithium from brine sourced from its Green River project. This permits the non-consumptive use of brine at a rate of 0.54 cubic meters per second.





At Stockhead, we tell it like it is. While Trinex Minerals, Corella Resources, Anson Resources, De Grey Mining, Sovereign Metals, Spartan Resources and Viridis Mining and Minerals are Stockhead advertisers, they did not sponsor this article.