• The ASX grinds to a -0.68% close after another rough night on Wall Street.
  • A late surge from the Real Estate sector saw it land on +1.11% for the day.
  • Rock chip results dominated the Small Caps winners list – yep, it was that kinda day.


The winds and whims of the market have not been particularly kind today, after a woeful opening set from Wall Street (and lingering concerns over China’s glacial economy) put a fresh round of negative sentiment into the ASX.

By late afternoon, a rally from the Real Estate sector took some of the sting out of proceedings, but the lift from that sector (and smaller lifts from Energy and Utilities) weren’t enough to stem the bleeding in any meaningful way.

The early morning drop was arrested briefly when the national jobless data arrived (which I’ll dig into shortly, I promise…) and since then the day has turned into a slow, lazy grind because it’s abundantly clear that we’re not going to win, so we may as well save up some energy for tomorrow.



The big economic news for the day arrived with something of a surprise – the Aussie jobless rate has climbed to 3.7%, well beyond what was expected.

It’s both good news and bad news, because the science of economics is fundamentally dumb like that, with those people who’ve been dropped onto the dole queue most likely fairly upset to find out that it’s very, very hard to exist on $40-ish a day.

But on the flip side of that, it’s a very good sign that the past 15 months of the RBA’s yanking on the economy’s handbrake appears to have started to do something, as the rising unemployment figures point to a much-needed slowdown for the nation’s spiralling inflation rate.

And that, in turn, significantly reduces the risk of more rate hikes in the short- to mid-term future… barring any unforeseen issues, of course.

The news knocked the wind out of an already battered Aussie dollar, sending it to a low of 63.65 US cents (-0.9%), and drew cautious optimism from Federal Treasurer Superintendent Chalmers.

“We’ve anticipated for some time that the unemployment rate would tick up a bit and unfortunately that’s what we’ve seen in these numbers today,” Chalmers intoned moodily.

“It’s still pretty remarkable given everything that’s coming at us from around the world that we’ve got an unemployment rate with a 3 in front of it,” he then added, with a smirk and a wink and a twinkle in his eye.

Liberal senator Michaelia Cash, naturally, took umbrage at the data, saying: “It’s incredibly concerning that the economy has actually shed jobs.”

It’s only been a couple of months since Senator Cash was unhappy that “inflation is still running rampant [and] interest rates continue to rise”, and it remains unclear whether she missed the memo from former RBA chief Phillip Lowe that explained (quite patiently) that an unemployment uptick was basically a necessary evil to put a stop to his campaign of interest rate terror.

And briefly, a company results announcement I meant to include at lunch time (but didn’t) came from Inghams (ASX:ING) this morning, which saw the company jump 14.75% today on news of a 72% profit bump to $60.4 million.

[Kindly write your own joke about “tendies” in here].



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks:

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It’s been a bit of a weird one for Small Caps today, leading to a reshuffle at the top of the Small Caps leaderboard between lunchtime and the end of the session.

Cosmos Exploration (ASX:C1X) has found itself in first place this afternoon, rising more than 31% despite no news since Tuesday when it announced that rock chip sampling at its Leatherback prospect at Byro East in WA showed “significant rare earths potential”, boasting one sample at 1.1% TREYO and 21% NdP.

Similarly, today’s second-place getter Caprice Resources (ASX:CRS) is up thanks to rock chip news, when sampling at the company’s new Colosseum prospect at Mukinbudin delineated a +500m target with a peak 5,068ppm (0.5%) TREO (21.3% HREO) value.

That news was delivered this morning, pushing Caprice up 24%.

And in third place, it’s Oceana Lithium (ASX:OCN), which has capitalised on the market’s obsession with all things James Bay by climbing more than 20% on news that fieldwork is now underway at the company’s Monaro project, thanks to local officials easing bushfire restrictions over the region.

One of this morning’s standouts, Australian Silica Quartz (ASX:ASQ) has held on to end the day 20.3% higher, and yesterday’s winner Loyal Lithium (ASX:LLI) has stacked on another 17% today as well.



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks:

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Silex Systems (ASX:SLX) has announced that the company has been awarded a hefty $5.1 million grant through the Defence Trailblazer for Concept to Sovereign Capability Program, a strategic partnership between The University of Adelaide and UNSW Sydney (UNSW), supported by the Australian Government Department of Education.

The money is set to go towards the construction of a Quantum Silicon Production Plant, which aims to deliver an end-to-end manufacturing facility at the company’s Lucas Heights technology centre.

SLX anticipates that the first production module will produce between 5kg to 10kg annually of ZS-Si (in the form of halo-silane), which will then be converted to multiple Q-Si product forms for potential customers in the global silicon-based quantum computing industry.

Meanwhile, WIA Gold (ASX:WIA) says that it has successfully completed the non-renounceable pro rata entitlement offer that was announced to the market in July of this year.

The offer – undertaken on the basis of 3 new shares for every 5 existing shares held on the record date of 5.00pm on 27 July 2023 at an issue price of $0.032 per new share – ended up being oversubscribed by existing shareholders through entitlement take-up and top-up applications, raising $11,048,222 for WIA.

“We are extremely pleased with the outcomes of this entitlement offer,” a clearly well-chuffed WIA chairman Andrew Pardey said. “To have secured the maximum funds sought, and solely from our existing shareholder base, is a stunning success.”



Resonance Health (ASX:RHT) – Execution of a material contract for the provision of services in connection with a clinical trial to be conducted by a major pharmaceutical company.

Western Gold Resources (ASX:WGR) – Material acquisition and capital raising.

Noble Helium (ASX:NHE) – Capital raising.

Cygnus Metals (ASX:CY5) – Capital raising.

Native Mineral Resources (ASX:NMR) – Capital raising.

Global Oil & Gas (ASX:GLV) – Finalisation of a contract with Perupetro.