As inflation sticks around and rate hikes come into play then volatility will pick up, the general consensus says.

But volatility doesn’t mean a one way ticket into the red sea – it also means stocks can go back up after they slump.

So it was the case today for ASX microcaps Emerging Companies index, which climbed off the mat with a 2.1% rally following a four-day rout that kicked off last Friday.

A number of resources and energy stocks made solid gains on market-moving announcements, but it was a new entrant which stole the show as Firebrick Pharma (ASX:FRE) almost tripled on debut.

Firebrick listed at 12:30 EST after raising $7m at 20c per share, before promptly surging to almost 60c on day-one.

The company joins the boards midway through an extensive clinical trial process for its patented nasal spray, Nasodine.

Further trials are scheduled for later this year which could see the product approved as a new treatment for the common cold.

Across global markets, things are also looking a little brighter on Wall Street to end the week, with US stock futures pointing higher in afternoon Asian trade.

TODAY’S BIGGEST SMALL CAP WINNERS

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

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After Firebrick, small cap gains on Friday were led by Intra Energy Corp (ASX:IEC), as investors applauded its ongoing pivot away from coal with the acquisition of a nickel-copper-PGE project near Kalbarri, WA, called ‘Yalgarra’.

Also rising strongly was American Rare Earths (ASX:ARR), which released an investor letter highlighting its 2021 achievements and flagging plans to “significantly increase the 170 million tonne JORC Resource” at its La Paz rare earths project in Arizona.

And Pure Hydrogen (ASX:PH2) ripped higher in afternoon trade, after announcing its investee company, H2X Global Limited, has signed a binding agreement with Advik Hi-Tech Pvt Ltd to establish a joint venture where the parties “will manufacture, source and supply products and components for Hydrogen vehicles and Powered products for India and for other international markets”, PH2 said.

Advik is “a global leader in the automotive components core supplier of high technology components to almost all major Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) with over US$100 million in annual revenues”, the company added.

Among quarterly reporting season winner, ResApp Health (ASX:RAP) rose strongly, as the company announced its ResAppDx respiratory diagnostics product is now live on telehealth platforms in Europe, Australia and Indonesia.

The company booked operating cash outflows of $969,000, on cash receipts of $124,000 and finished the quarter with $3.37m in the bank.

TODAY’S BIGGEST SMALL CAP LOSERS

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

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ANNOUNCEMENTS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED

To end the week AusNet (ASX:AST) has announced its shareholders have voted overwhelming in favour of a $17.8 billion takeover by Australian Energy Holdings No 4 Pty Ltd, a company controlled by Canadian asset manager Brookfield Asset Management.

The scheme remains subject to court approval in order to be implemented but is one of several large mergers and acquisitions set for 2022. The acquisition of Sydney Airport by a consortium is due to be voted on by shareholders in February.

Pharmaceutical manufacturing company IDT Australia (ASX:IDT) has announced the appointment of Dr Jane Ryan as an independent non-executive director. Ryan has more than 30 years of international experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries in Australia, the US and UK.

The pharmaceutical manufacturer, which was founded back in 1975, has sought to help in Australia’s COVID-19 vaccine production effort by establish an onshore mRNA manufacturing capability (ATM).

However, In December IDT confirmed its ATM submission with the Federal Government had not been selected to progress to the next stage of the process.

And lastly, National real estate company The Agency Group (ASX:AU1) has announced the resignation of director Matt Lahood, following his recent appointment to the role of CEO – Real Estate within the company.

Lahood will focus on developing The Agency Group’s east coast’s markets with Managing Director and CEO Geoff Lucas filling the board vacancy.

TRADING HALTS

The following companies went into halts on Friday and are expected to resume trading in the coming days.

AssetOwl Ltd (ASX:AO1) — Capital raising
Carnavale Resources (ASX:CAV) — Exploration results
Enterprise Metals Ltd (ASX:ENT) — Capital raising
Torian Resources (ASX:TNR) — Rare earths uncovered at Mt Stirling Central