The ASX Emerging Companies (XEC) index is busting out after a three-session losing streak that felt like ten days. I should know, I spent a week in Canberra one afternoon when I was about 15.

Anyway, the index for sensational small caps is up around 2.2%.

The ASX200 also returned to the winners circle, posting a 1% gain as almost all sectors found their feet led by the financial, tech, energy and materials sectors. The major banks, overdue for a good showing rose sharply on the back of some decent bond yields.

Crude prices surged when the US pulled the ‘let’s ban Russian oil’ trigger.

“These measures of last resort, in the form of export and import embargoes on energy and other vital industrial and agricultural commodities, promise to inflict maximum pain not only on the opponent, but also at home,” Vanda Insights’ Founder and CEO Vandana Hari told Stockhead today.

Nickel prices smashed record highs for a good bit overnight before someone finally put a stop to the madness, trading suspended on the London Metal Exchange.

In similarly disconcerting nickel adventures here at home, Nickel Mines (ASX:NIC) looks to be responding well to late trading treatment (only down 4.5% at the close) after slipping into an induced coma this morning following the loss of near 40% of it’s value over the last two days of trade.

The afternoon sparks of life in NIC come on the back of reassurances from leading shareholder Tsingshan that no sell-off is en-route.

Nothing that they’d like to talk about anyway.

Then there’s gold. “Stagflation and gold are better bedfellows than anything you will read in 50 Shades of Grey,” opines OANDA senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley.

“Once gold comprehensively broke $2000.00 overnight, the rally accelerated sharply as expected.”

Gold rocketed 2.63% higher to $US2050.00 an ounce, edging slightly higher to $US2053.00 in Asia.

The stagflationary factors that are so supportive of gold are persisting and will remain so, Halley says.

“A series of all-time highs beckons for gold, although, as is its want, it will not be in a straight line.”



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

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It’s been a bit of a tempest today for Live Tiles (ASX:TLV), the digital workplace software maker swinging higher throughout Wednesday.

This morning Citi analysts said the firm’s ARR growth is expected to pick-up as churn events come to an end. Citi says LVT’s customer growth picked up in 2Q, its mobile app (Reach) is nicely driving growth, the cash burn (after three acquisitions) will reduce significantly and at current prices there’s a lot of ‘valuation appeal.’

Base and precious metals explorer Terramin Australia Limited (ASX:TZN), is back at its August 2021 highs after Tuesday’s near 46% leap and another 30% on Wednesday, thanks to a waiver from the ASX regarding security over its Terramin Exploration Pty Ltd assets in favour of the Asipac Group – a suspect set up which describes itself as, ‘a boutique Corporate Advisory, Finance, Properties and Wealth Management Corporation.’

K2fly Limited (ASX:K2F), is a wee mining software solutions company which fell about 14% on Tuesday, after revealing it had suspected a bit of a tax fraud thing at its South African subsidiary. Regardless, K2F shares recovered Thursday, gaining more than 28%.



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

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Investors weren’t entirely psyched to hear eSports and gaming tech company Emerge Gaming (ASX:EM1) was selling its Migster Platform for $5 million. The share price did not respawn after dropping ~20% to 2c.

The Migster online eSports and casual gaming tournament platform technology and lifestyle hub is being sold as part of a strategic review of Emerge’s assets to Nibiru e-gaming AB, which according to the company’s website is based in Stockholm.



Meanwhile, small cap miner Beacon Minerals (ASX:BCN) has announced forward sales of its gold at A$2700 per ounce, up from an average price of A$2560 so far this quarter. The company will generate A$24.3 million delivering 9000 ounces of gold in monthly installments from March to August 2022.

The forward sales will take 70% of Beacon’s production. With market volatility the price of gold is rising at ~US$2051 or $2820 an ounce.

Listed debt collector, Pioneer Credit (ASX:PNC) has completed of a $11.35 million capital raise to institutional and sophisticated investors, including $5 million cornerstone investment from existing substantial shareholder and Platinum Asset Management co-founder James Simpson.

The raise coincides with Pioneer agreeing to buy a debt portfolio of $85 million, consisting of  nearly 10,000 big four customers. The company will snap the lot up for ~$38.5 million, increasing its performing arrangements portfolio by 15% to $458 million.



Impact Minerals (ASX:IPT) – capital raising

Firebird Metals (ASX:FRB) – updated mineral resource estimate