Make it three on the trot for the ASX microcap Emerging Companies index, which rose by more than 1% for the third straight session on Friday.

The gains follow a broader turnaround in global risk sentiment this week, following the initial shock of the Russia-Ukraine conflict and ongoing fears about rising interest rates.

In fact, the US Fed meeting this week acted as something of a straight shot of (let’s go with…Polish) vodka for jittery markets, as US interest rates actually did rise for the first time since 2018 and stocks promptly rose higher.

Still, the broader commodity fallout from the increasingly complex battle in eastern Europe continues to reverberate across markets.

Oil prices remain elevated, which has served as a significant tailwind for any ASX oil & gas juniors with news (more on that in a second).

Reflecting the calmish mood across markets on Friday, most of the major ASX sectors were higher.

The Aussie dollar has held its gains near US74c, after yesterday’s strong prints brought the prospect of 2022 rate hikes from the RBA back into focus.

Heading into the Friday session on Wall Street, the mood isn’t quite so bright with Nasdaq futures trading almost 1% lower 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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Leading the market in Friday trade was another junior oil player, Metgasco (ASX:MEL), as investors position for a possible strike with the company now assembling its Ensign 970 oil rig at the Cervantes-1 location.

“As announced by Metgasco on 10 September 2019, Cervantes is assessed to contain Gross recoverable Prospective Resources (P50) of 15.3 million barrels of oil,” the company said, adding that it’s also “fully funded to meet its share of expected costs for the Cervantes-1 well through the recent successful placement”.

A couple of other oil & gas juniors — KEY Petroleum (ASX:KEY) and Prominence Energy (ASX:PRM) — also popped up on the winner’s list on no news.

That trend follows on from some monster gains for Cuba-based Melbana Energy (ASX:MAY) in recent weeks, as oil prices climbed back above US$100/barrel overnight.

 

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

Uranium stock Laramide Resources (ASX:LAM) has appointed David Thomas in the new role of General Manager of US Operations. Thomas, whose impressive CV covers experience in permitting, engineering, mining operations and construction of major projects worldwide will be responsible for Laramide’s US-based uranium projects.

Laramide also announced that 100% of the outstanding 40 cent purchase warrants that expired last month were exercised, resulting in total proceeds of $1.35 million. More than 3.3 million shares were exercised with the company saying it now has more than $10 million in cash and securities on hand and is fully funded through 2022.

Appliances retailer Shriro (ASX:SHM) has appointed current non-executive director Abigail Cheadle as chair after current chair Cornelia Meyer stepped down. Meyer will continue on the board. The Shriro share price has been holding steady this year and is up ~12% over a one year period to 96 cents.

New Zealand Oil & Gas (ASX:NZO) subsidiary Cue Energy (ASX:CUE) has announced that its oil production well PB-09 in Mahato Indonesia has been successfully drilled and completed, producing ~500 barrels of oil daily.

The well is the ninth in the PB field and completed as an oil producer in the Bekasap C sand. Wells in the field currently produce from the Bekasap A.B and C sands. Total production from the PB fields is now ~5000 barrels daily.

 

TRADING HALTS

Frontier Resources Limited (ASX:FNT) – Assay results from the Gascoyne Rare Earth Elements project