The ASX200 has come to a jerky halt, closing more than 50 points or 0.7% higher. The market is down 5.6% over the last 52 weeks.

The ASX Emerging Companies (XEC) index ended 0.6% better.

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are abroad on Monday, so it won’t come a shock that markets have been wild, volatile and a little stabby.

Conquest and War, Famine and Death have been joined by flood – doing it’s ugly work up around Brissy and Lismore. Hang in there guys.

War played havoc with US futures, iron ore and energy prices. Crude oil futures jumped around 7.4% to as the incremental isolation of Russia added further uncertainty to energy access. Here at home, commodities and energy names did okay.

Zip it

The smartest guys in the room, or in this case the only guys in the room – the top advisers over at Shaw and Partners — are running the books for Zip Co’s near $150 million equity raise.

Zip is raising some $148.7m at $1.90 a pop through Jarden and Bank of America after sharing a plan this morning to take rival Sezzle off rival Sezzle’s hands.

In addition Zip is offering a non-underwritten share purchase plan to eligible Zip shareholders in Australia and New Zealand to raise up to $50 million.

The word out of Shaw is their Zip-handlers are letting institutional investors, BNPL fans and fund managers alike know that there’s little supply and a lot of demand.

In fact, Shaw nixed the weekend and had a wall-crossing exercise with investors over the deal, saying there were, “indications of demand in excess of the deal size.”

Proceeds of the Placement will help Zip strengthen its balance sheet and set the firm up for, “sustainable growth by providing more capital runway to execute on potential synergies from the Acquisition of Sezzle.”

Both major BNPL names are in a trading halt.

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.

Monday’s Charlie Sheen winners:

Lakes Blue Energy (ASX:LKO)

CardieX (ASX:CDX)

Grange Resources (ASX:GRR)

Lodestar Minerals (ASX:LSR)

All higher on no news.

Brazil’s health regulatory agency, ANVISA, has granted market authorization for Lumos Diagnostics'(ASX:LDX) FebriDx –  rapid 10-minute point-of-care test to aid in detecting and differentiating bacterial from viral acute respiratory infections. The approval means that FebriDx is now available to healthcare providers in the UK, Europe, Canada, Australia, UAE and Brazil.

Another leader on Monday is the vitamins company Biome Australia (ASX:BIO) which reported record sales for the half.

Revenue all but doubled, to $1.8m on pcp, while the operating loss for the period was $1.98m, a 40% reduction compared to the pcp. Biome says its outlook is positive, with revenue growth expected to continue, and two new product launches planned in the second half. Shares have gained 6%.

TODAY’S BIGGEST SMALL CAP LOSERS

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

Scroll or swipe to reveal table. Click headings to sort.

Comparisons website iSelect (ASX:ISU) has acquired a 49% stake in rival CIMET for $26 million. The company announced the 2-stage put and call options with CIMET, an end-to-end digital comparison platform, which wants to take energy comparison overseas and get a BNPL comparison going.
ISU will additionally acquire a 49% share in Indian company VConnex, which provides technology and other services to CIMET.
Meanwhile, the company turned first half NPAT around, making a$500k profit, compared with -$3.6m last year, while underlying EBITDA of $6.6m for H1 FY22, down from $13.2m.

ANNOUNCEMENTS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED

Adelaide-based industry 4.0 industrial scale 3D printer company AML3D (ASX:AL3)  shares are up ~5% today after it reported its strongest quarter since listing on the ASX in April 2020.
The company reported customer receipts of $614k for Q2 FY22, principally driven by two initial deposits for the sale of two of its Arcemy units by the University of Queensland and Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.
Elsewhere, Javelin Minerals (ASX:JAV) has hit further encouraging gold and copper results from 1m sample assays collected from the fourth phase RC drilling program at its Coogee Project, near Kalgoorlie in Western Australia.
Very high-grade copper mineralisation was found in drill hole CROC141, including 3m @1.08 g/t Au and 5.85% Cu from 152m, including 2m @ 8.34% Cu). A drilling program comprising 4000m of aircore drilling is planned to start in late March in the Coogee West area and over Lake Lefroy.
And Perpetual Resources (ASX:PEC) has signed a joint collaboration agreement with Mid West Ports Authority (MWPA), the operator of Geraldton Port to further the Beharra high grade silica sand project.
MWPA and Perpetual have agreed to work together to investigate how 1.5 million tonnes per annum of silica sand product may be received, handled, loaded and shipped for export from Geraldton Port for the sand project.
Perpetual says the agreement does not guarantee the company access to port capacity but provides a framework for constructive discussions, which will take place over an initial 12-month period.

TRADING HALTS

Sezzle (ASX:SZL) – takeover offer from Zip Co

Blue Star Helium (ASX:BSH) – ahead of a drilling update

Roto Gro International (ASX:RGI ) – become aware of material uncertainty in financial position