• Small Caps, ASX 200 slide on commodities sell off
  • Energy, resources, materials all down circa 5% off setting gains for IT et al
  • BNPL names are back in the green

 

This is difficult, maudlin trade to watch. Two speed investing at its finest.

Sentiment has soured on both the benchmark ASX 200 and the Emerging Companies (XEC)  index as heavy selling swamps all corners of the commodities complex.

Both indices have been inert and unable to break the surface, despite a stonking day for the tech names and  some of the consumer stocks.

But those unexpectedly sharp gains couldn’t get near offsetting losses in the traditional mining, materials and energy spaces on the growing fears of recession and general calamity.

That’s what triggered a plunge in oil prices and the broader energy sector. Biggies Woodside Energy (ASX:WDS) is down well over 5%, Santos (ASX:STO) about 4%.

Metals led by cop out copper and gormless gold have wilted, despite some very strong updates turning heads as well.

 

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.

I like to ignore really bad news, so let’s talk about tech, baby.

The Kraken snoozing inside the IT sector rolled on to its side on Wednesday, finding about 3.5% on the back of good money for biggies Megaport  13.5% and Xero which is up about 6%.

But thanks largely to articulate and timely analysis from Eddy ‘Work Now Play Later’ Sunarto, the BNPL people have done pretty well out there.

Sezzle (ASX:SZL), is one tech stock on the grill, salted with a seasonally staggering 35% in the wake of an upgrade from UBS for the entire BNPL sector earlier this week.

And thus swimming up stream, so to speak, is Zip Co (ASX:ZIP) performing like a well-fed, highly motivated salmon with a bladder full of baby BNPLs –  up almost 16%, and hot on the heels of the other 85% it’s lost since the year started.

It’s also Zip‘s 9th birthday this week which means Australia (the up-stream birthplace of the whole BNPL thing) has had nearly a decade of living in a  BNPL world. We’re also the the one market where Zip is churning out a decent profit.

And IOUpay (ASX:IOU) has added to its recent gains by surging another 20% or so.

Irish friendly EML Payments Limited (ASX:EML) is up strongly as well. It’s partner and key European client, Correos – the Spanish national post office network – are all set to launch a collab in support of the issuing of the Bono Cultural Joven 2022 (Youth Cultural Bonus) tender for the government Espagnol.

The scheme will see approximately 500,000 virtual prepaid cards loaded with €400 each and handed out to eligible 18 year olds (in Spain), to support the cultural sector that was hit hard by COVID – a noble cause which, thank the lord, has absolutely nothing to do with the lead singer of U2, who is highly likely to turn up anyway because someone has no doubt said his name three times into a mirror somewhere.

Elsewhere, road toll tech guys Eroad (ASX:ERD) also put its foot down this morning, motoring along the highways of finance to grab an additional 17.4% worth of street-cred after its corporate governance roadshow last week mapped out ways for the company to shift gears, change lanes to find further avenues of success.

 

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.

Southern Cross Gold (ASX: SXG) really merits heading this list. The explorer has shed more than a quarter of its value after reporting some high-grade hits near-surface as well as some lateral extensions of the Apollo structure at Sunday Creek.

SXG told the market, the high-grade, vein-hosted hits really demonstrate the straight-shooting, horizontal continuity of what SXG reckons is a steeply-plunging shoot. Down 26%.

 

WHAT YOU MAY’VE MISSED AMID THE CARNAGE AND CONFUSION

It looks like the latest season of Who Wants to Own a Casino? is hotting up, after current owner of Canberra Casino Aquis Entertainment (ASX:AQS) fired off a couple of announcements during the day. Aquis has originally been set to sell the casino to Capital Leisure & Entertainment Pty Ltd, which is owned and controlled by interests associated with the Oscars Group, for $52 million.

Aquis then got a better offer from a third party that was “materially higher” than $52m, and went back to Oscars to see if it had a response, which it did – seeing that bid and upping the price to $58.2m with a $1 million break fee attached if Aquis went with another buyer. 

And then later this afternoon, Iris CC Holdings (Iris Capital) – our mystery third-party – shot back a $60m offer, with a similar break fee structured in. No word yet on which way Aquis is going to leap, but with its shares in voluntary suspension, there’s adequate time for both offers to be considered before it goes all-in.

Meanwhile, Mayur Resources Limited (ASX:MRL) has executed a binding offtake agreement (Agreement) with titanium pellet producer Qingdao Shinebest (Shinebest) for the sale of vanadium titano-magnetite (magnetite) product (Product) from the Orokolo Bay Iron and Industrial Sands Project (Orokolo Bay or the Project).

The agreement covers 300,000 tonnes per annum for a 3-year period, with an option to extend for a further year, at market linked pricing, replacing the existing agreement the two companies had in place.

Still among the diggers, Valor (ASX:VAL) unveiled a series of highly prospective targets to be followed up during the review, which was carried out to better understand the project’s multi-commodity potential.

Of particular note was drilling carried out on the Surprise Creek Fault uranium target, which was highlighted by an intercept of 2.1m at 4.37% uranium oxide from 57m, including 0.9m at 7.5% uranium oxide.

Other significant historical uranium drill results included 1.5m at 0.1% uranium oxide, 0.43m at 0.49% and 0.15m at 0.83%.

The company said drilling at Surprise Creek Fault – a target comprising a uranium geochemical anomaly in soils over 500m in strike length – only ever partially tested the area and remained open in several directions.

Rock chip samples from the area tested as high as 6.37% uranium oxide, associated with a north-northwest striking fault system.

 

TRADING HALTS

CFOAM Limited (ASX:CFO) – On hold because the company is busy being blown onto the beaches of Australia’s east coast. (Just kidding – there’s news about a corporate transaction and ASX price query).

Lumos Diagnostics Holdings Limited (ASX:LDX) – Announcement about a regulatory update pending.

Kyckr Limited (ASX:KYK) – Response to a general query about how to say the company name (“It’s Kicker. K-Y-C-K-R, Kicker”), plus there’s a corporate transaction looming.

Pancontinental Energy NL (ASX:PCL) – Capital raising.

Estrella Resources Limited (ASX:ESR) – Capital raising.