For now, all roads for ASX shares still lead back to the Russia-Ukraine war.

And today investors hit the risk-off button as the conflict still looks to be well and truly in the escalation phase.

The five-day winning streak for ASX microcaps came to an end, as the Emerging Companies index fell by 2.56%.

Local stocks got a serious fright shortly before midday, as reports emerged that a nuclear plant in Ukraine was on fire.

Global stocks took the reports seriously, as evidenced by a quick move into safe haven assets such as the US dollar and another surge in oil prices.

Equities sold off, but had recouped some of their losses by the close of trade.

The big loser on the day was the ASX uranium sector (except for one stock — more on that later).

Most uranium small caps also climbed off their intra-day lows, but still finished deep in the red.

Looking ahead, Nasdaq futures are pointing more than 1% lower amid the ongoing geopolitical crisis, as US investors brace for all-employment February employment data due out later tonight.

TODAY’S BIGGEST SMALL CAP WINNERS

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

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Despite the broader yellowcake selloff, one uranium stock actually led the market on Friday as money moved into Canada-based developer Laramide Resources (ASX:LAM).

The dual-listed company (Toronto and Australia) had no news of note, but still rocketed back above 80c — still shy of its 12-month highs near $1.20 during last September 2021 uranium boom.

Also rising strongly was Nigeria-based iron ore player Kogi Iron (ASX:KFE), which has benefitted from the latest strong rally in iron ore prices.

The company has ambitious plans to develop its ‘Agbaja’ project into a production site for steel billet (crude steel) in the Nigerian domestic market.

After falling below 1c in February, today’s 30% rally saw the stock close at 1.3c.

Another iron ore player, WA-based Juno Minerals (ASX:JNO) also posted strong gains, one day after flagging that the Tiger Hill Global Fund had increased its stake in the business to 12.14%.

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

As uranium stocks on the ASX today fell after unconfirmed reports a nuclear power plant in Ukraine is on fire after Russian shelling, Copper-silver miner Kopore (ASX:KMT) announced its shareholders have approved the 100% acquisition of EF Niger Exploration SARL, owner of the Agadez uranium project.

Extensive fieldwork and a ground mapping program is planned with Kopore’s Managing Director Caroline Keats saying she was pleased it got shareholder support. “This validates our belief that the transaction is a positive step towards the company’s diversification into clean-energy focused assets,” she said.

Clinical stage cell therapy company Chimeric Therapeutics (ASX:CHM) has announced its entered a strategic partnership with Be the Match Bio Therapies, an organisation offering supply chain solutions for companies developing and commercialising cell and gene therapies.

Be The Match provides end-to-end services that ensure expedited collection, transport and delivery of cellular starting material and clinical drug product, which will support Chimeric’s expanded clinical development of CHM 1101 (CLTX CAR T), which is in a Phase 1 clinical trial to treat current or progressive glioblastoma.

Cashed up coal miner Terracom (ASX:TER) has announced it paid a further US$20.8 million to reduce its Euroclear Bond facility in February, reducing the principal to US$102 million.

The company said the accelerated payment of US$60 million in April 2022, along with planned monthly payment amounts will result in the Euroclear Bond being full repaid on or before June 30, 2022.

TRADING HALTS

Structural Monitoring Systems (ASX:SMN) — US Federal Aviation Authority certification
Intra Energy Corp (ASX:IEC) — Cleansing prospectus
Vimy Resources (ASX:VMY) — Capital raising
Lucapa Diamond Company (ASX:LOM) — Capital raising