Closing Bell: Nervy day on ASX ahead of RBA decision; Ecofibre lights up while Silver Lake sinks
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It started well. Most of it, anyway. But then the ASX 200 decided to throw in the towel, before having another change of heart, diving for said towel and reclaiming it to sit down and dab its forehead, sweating like a beaten favourite.
The end result was a generally flat feeling and a 0.092% gain, which was better than nothing.
Taken as a whole, it was a bit confusing – and that’s because no one can seem to agree on what the RBA is going to lump us with tomorrow when it hands down its latest inflation decision.
Earlier, still basking in the glow of the 5,708th Wallabies drubbing at the hands of the All Blacks, Gregor “I Grew Up on Shortland Street” Stronach, mentioned that the ASX’s RBA Rate Indicator was showing “only an 8% likelihood that the board will be twisting the nation’s debt nipples again tomorrow”.
Meanwhile Reuters, which surveyed 36 economists in a poll taken between July 26-28, has reported that more than 55% of those experts believe the RBA will tomorrow raise its cash rate by 25 basis points to 4.35% – which would be the highest in nearly 12 years.
The other 45% is expecting no change.
In advanced technical analysis terminology, the ASX 200 formed a classic “Won a Toss At Last with Positivity Soon Drained After Deflating Mid-Game Performance, But Hang On, Maybe Stuart Broad’s Fairytale Farewell Will Be Ruined After All” formation on the charts.
As Stockhead’s global markets guru Eddy Sunarto reported earlier, Wall Street closed in decent nick on Friday evening, with the S&P 500 index up 1%, the Dow Jones +0.5%, and tech-heavy Nasdaq higher by almost 2%.
Over in Asia, at the time of writing, the Shanghai Comp was +0.44% to the good. Disappointing manufacturing data has surfaced from China amid renewed speculation of more money printing there to stimulate the economy. It’s a murky narrative, but in any case its market has been in the green today.
Over in Hong Kong, meanwhile, the Hang Seng was up 1.38% at time of writing, while in Japan, the Nikkei was 1.09%.
Zooming in a little tighter, locally, we have the sectors.
Health Care had a very good afternoon sesh, pulling into the lead, while Consumer Staples continued its daily plunge, with Utilities and IT not faring too much better.
Now for a couple of specific standouts in the larger end of Bourse City, before we take you to ASX Funky Town, further below…
• Lynas (ASX:LYC): +2.58% > As Stockhead‘s undisputed biggest (round) football fan Josh Chiat reported earlier today in Ground Breakers, “Australia’s undisputed leader” in the rare earths market “is stashing tonnes away for a sunnier day amid a conviction there will be an ‘inevitable uptick’ for the EV commodities.
Lynas is rattling along well amid record production, recording its highest ever quarterly production of neodymium and praseodymium at 1,864 tonnes. Mt Weld delivered record quarterly concentrate production, too, noted the company in its latest report.
• Not quite in the land of unicorns, but not far off, Silver Lake Resources (ASX:SLR) copped it to the tune of -18.88% today. It was a company forecast guidance narrative that deflated investors early doors, and that feeling didn’t really abate all day. As Reubs told us earlier:
“Gold miner Silver Lake Resources says production/sales are expected to fall in FY24.
Gold sales in FY24 are expected to be 210,000-230,000oz and 700- 1,000t copper at an AISC range of $1,850-$2,050/oz (from 261,604oz gold, 1,483t copper at AISC of $1,941/oz in FY23).”
Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks:
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Some winning small-caps standouts today:
• After bursting out of the gates this morning, TALi Digital (ASX:TD1) finished on a similarly high note to the tune of +50%. The medical device and digital therapeutic tech company, which is focused on cognitive training for 3-10 year-olds, posted a strong Q4-FY23 activities report with annualised costs reduced by $1.7 million.
• Earlier, we also mentioned the industrial hemp company Ecofibre (ASX:EOF), which lit up the ASX small caps this morning, quickly getting high and finishing on cloud 9 but probably hungry for more by the end of the arvo sesh (+24% at close). News? As reported in 10 at 10, and in more detail in Gregor’s Lunch Wrap:
“The company’s specialty manufacturing division, Hemp Black, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Under Armour.
“The three-year deal is expected to bring in $9 million per annum, per machine, with a second machine on order to meet demand, financed by Under Armour for $4.5 million. Commissioning of the machinery is expected to take place by Q1 2024.
“Additionally, Hemp Black has also announced an agreement with Cruz Foam to manufacture a sustainable, biodegradable packaging material for its customers, expected to provide $3 million in annual revenue.”
• Mithril Resources (ASX:MTH): +33% > The precious metals exploration company is another one boasting a good quarterly report, in which it highlighted, among other things, its Scheme Implementation Deed (SID) with Newrange Gold Corp.
Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks:
Swipe or scroll to reveal full table. Click headings to sort:
Archer shoots and hits
Archer Materials (ASX:AXE), a semiconductor company advancing the quantum computing and medical diagnostics industries, has revealed today that it’s developed a next generation biochip fabrication to better detect and control disease samples on a single graphene field effect transistor (gFET) design.
Per an ASX announcement, the company says it’s also improved its biochip system capabilities towards automated data analysis so end users can extract high quality data with greater efficiency.
“The advanced gFET design has been sent to an additional foundry partner for a whole wafer run for validation, with delivery of chips expected by the end of 2023, and represents a critical milestone in the commercialisation pathway for Archer’s biochip,” wrote the Aussie tech company.
Magnis makes a new signing
Magnis Energy Technologies (ASX:MNS), a vertically integrated Aussie lithium-ion battery company, has made a new appointment of some significance.
Fabrizio Perilli takes up the position of Non-Executive Director, effective immediately. Perilli has more than 25 years’ experience in director-level roles, having overseen projects valued at more than $6 billion. He’s also the co-founder and MD of the PERIFA, international property group, is president of the Property Council of Australia’s NSW division and is a non-executive director of Okapi Resources (ASX:OKR).
Linius Technologies (ASX:LNU) – Capital raising.
South Harz Potash (ASX:SHP) – Capital raising.
Rimfire Pacific Mining (ASX:RIM) – Capital raising.
American West Metals (ASX:AW1) – Pending the release of exploration results at the mining company’s Storm project.
Talon Energy (ASX:TPD) – The oil trading and gas exploration company’s shares are suspended pending an update on a “proposed material transaction”. Per The Australian: it comes after Strike Energy, Talon’s 55 per cent partner in the Walyering gas fields in the Perth Basin, withdrew a $125m takeover offer before it could be rejected.
At Stockhead we tell it like it is. While Magnis Energy Technologies is a Stockhead advertiser, it did not sponsor this article.