Central Banks have their fingers on the fun button this week, and the markets are pricing in the big push. The Emerging Companies Index (XEC) has been sunk on day dot, down 2.3%.

The S&P/ASX 200 index was down 1.2% at 4.15pm, with this week’s looming interest rate hikes front of mind for investors from Wall Street to Woollahra.

Regional shares have tumbled, following Friday’s rolling of the Nasdaq and broader falls across Wall Street. The ASX200 is 1.3% the wrose for wear, tech stocks leading the rout. as investors fretted over the impact on regional economies from inflation, the war in Ukraine and COVID-19 lockdowns in China.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 fell 0.5% in morning trade, South Korea’s Kospi shed 0.6% and although Chinese markets were closed for Labor Day, the problem there is that everything else is closed anyway.

China’s latest PMI reads are not happy. The COVID-lockdowns have walloped factory activity – down to 47.4 in April, from 49.5 in March.

At home, ahead of the big RBA rate decision – CoreLogic says national home prices rose by 0.6% in April, but that’s the slowest monthly gain in 18 months. Sydney prices have fallen for three months in a row as the market sours on the threat of rising rates, lots of sellers and weaker demand.

CoreLogic says while national capital city home prices lifted 0.3% and the happy exodus to the country saw regional prices up 1.4%, the best of the best – that’s the the top 25% of houses by value – fell by 0.6% in Sydney and 0.4% in the other one, the cold city they play VFL in.

 

TODAY’S BIGGEST SMALL CAP WINNERS

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

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Seafood wrangler East 33 (ASX:E33)  has made the wreckage of last week but a distant memory, with the share price going off like a raw oyster in the sun, peaking at over 120% before settling to a more cheerful 82% gain at the close.

The secret sauce? The company says the ‘inclement weather’ – that’s the insane rain that’s been falling since like, forever just vindicated its geographic diversification strategy – meaning the lads got in a decent oyster harvest.

In fact, in April alone, the company reaped some 500K of oysters, generating AU$350K of the AU$1.6 million low-season revenue or about 21% of the entire outlook to the end of September 2022. Way ahead of what anyone expected last week when the news broke of the fresh water damage to major oyster beds.

I believe I said last week: the people must have their oysters.

Another little bunny of a stock AdRabbit (ASX:RAB) reduced quarterly spend on marketing and promos to focus on  getting its next-gen Software-as-a-Software (SaaS) platform kicking more advertising goals. The company designs and creates various templates for social media ads and marketing via their AI platform.

But, after finding a lack of local interest, adRabbit is being pulled by it’s progenetor AppsVillage in Israel and is being re-listed on the TSXV. After the company’s delisting set down for June 2, Australian-based shareholders who wish to sell up will need to make arrangements with a broker that’s registered with the TSXV. I don’t know one, but Google will.

The co’s March quarter revenue was AU$67,398. Shares are skyrocketing 150% at the close.

Antipa Minerals (ASX:AZY has massively boosted its resources at ‘Minyari Dome’ by 250% to 1.8Moz gold, 64,300t copper, 584,000oz silver and 11,100 cobalt.

Out at the Paterson Province, one of WA’s top exploration hotspots, the 2.3 million gold equivalent ounces is a big one – MAYBE big enough to get the heads of the miners next door turning.

“The strategic significance of this resource to Antipa is huge, providing us with the potential to deliver a standalone mining and processing operation located in the rapidly advancing tier-one Paterson Province, nestled between Newcrest’s (ASX:NCM) Telfer mine and Rio’s (ASX:RIO) Winu development project, and surrounded by our Paterson Farm-in Project with IGO (ASX:IGO),” AZY managing director Roger Mason says.

Mason says the majority of the 1Moz ‘indicated’ (higher confidence) resource is within 300m of the surface, which provided strong potential for cheaper open pit mining.

Ballymore Resources (ASX:BMR)is smashing it on Monday  and is now some 60% higher in two sessions.

BMR hit the bourse late last year with a portfolio of Queensland gold and base metals projects including ‘Dittmer’ (a historic high-grade goldfield), ‘Ruddygore’ (a large copper porphyry target) and ‘Ravenswood’ (a bunch of drill ready targets in a 17moz gold province).

Ruddygore’s first and the early signs are rosy.

 

TODAY’S BIGGEST SMALL CAP LOSERS

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

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Shares in Imugene (ASX:IMU) slid ~13% today to 19 cents after it announced it had terminated its supply agreement with MSD, a tradename of Merck & Co.

The clinical stage immuno-oncology company announced in March it was collaborating on a clinical trial assessing the safety and efficacy of Imugene’s HER-Vaxx, a B-cell activating immunotherapy in combination with MSD’s anti-PD1 therapy in patients with HER-2 positive gastric cancer.

Just after  lunchtime IMU put out an announcement saying termination of the supply agreement with MSD but went into no details as to why.

Despite the cancellation, the company said its clinical trial will stay the course.

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED

Nickel Mines (ASX:NIC) reckons a name change to Nickel Industries Limited is as good as a lick of paint, as the company looks to get a quick rebrand in ahead of the shareholders hoedown via a special resolution at the upcoming AGM on May 31.

NIC says the reboot is considered to ‘more accurately reflect the underlying nature of the firm’s current operations.’

MD Justin Werner told the ASX he wants to reshape ‘the paradigm through which the company is assessed and benchmarked against businesses of a similar nature.’

Great Northern Minerals (ASX:GNM)  says it’s been awarded a new exploration tenement which will add a firecracker to exploration at its Camel Creek gold-antimony project in northern Queensland.

The new permit covers areas of known historical mining activity such as Red Gold, Beatrice, Blue Gold and AP Gold along with multiple high-priority exploration targets along the highly prospective Golden Ant, Anabelle-Red Ant, Blue Gold and Angiang Trends.

Notably, it also consolidates GNM’s grasp of the highly prospective Amanda Bel Goldfield.

“The grant of EPM 26637 is a material step in enabling GNM to accelerate exploration activities at our highly prospective Camel Creek gold-antimony project,” managing director Cameron McLean said.

Medtech Osteopore (ASX:OSX) had a fruitful March quarter. The company says it has explored new markets and maintained profit margins – all part of a broader plan to dominate the global bone healing niche sector.

Revenue jumped 21% over the last quarter, and a 13.5% increase over the previous corresponding period (pcp).

The company also used the time to get growing into new distribution networks, with a bunch more links across major world markets – like in the Middle East, where the first shipment of its cranial regenerative implants were made to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). That agreement’s opened the door to potentially new regulatory access across other Middle East territories.

Just quickly too – the quarter also saw Osteopore exploring and leveraging new tech to “sharpen its saw” –  how’s that for an expression!

Anyway, in early March, the company and Singular Health Group (ASX: SHG) , started a study looking at the accuracy and workflow efficiency of Osteopore’s customised cranial implants with OSX saying it was keen to collaborate with a range of technologies to improve the efficacy of its regenerative implants. Tick that one off.

1414 Degrees (ASX:14D)has welcomed PM Scott Morrison’s pledge to help build South Australia into a new energy powerhouse, with plans to contribute some $218 million to low emissions technology projects.

On Friday Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the projects worth a total of $500 million — including private investment — would create thousands of jobs.

“The upper Eyre Peninsula and iron triangle region at the top of Spencer Gulf in South Australia has long been an industrial powerhouse, and now they are primed to seize more opportunities from Australia’s clean hydrogen industry,” Morrison said.

CEO Matthew Squire told Stockhead the announcement “further vindicates the company’s investment “in its Aurora Energy Project near Port Augusta.

“The funding of these projects in the Eyre Peninsula, upper Spencer Gulf and Moomba will continue to showcase the area as a world-class renewable energy region supporting a decarbonised industrial future,” he added.

Casino operator Donaco (ASX:DNA) has announced that its board has approved a shareholder loan facility from CEO and executive director Lee Bug Huy aka Techatut Sukcharoenkraisri for $5 million.

Donaco has previously announced it has been severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic which affected patronages to its casinos in Vietnam and Cambodia. The company expected DNA Star Vegas to reopen by now, but no indication has been formally received from the Cambodian Government when this will happen.

Cokal Limited (ASX:CKA) has started final preps for coal mining and production at its Bumi Barito Mineral (BBM) mining operation in Indonesia.

Mining is scheduled to start on July 28, initially hauling coal from Pit 3 to Krajan until the Bumban Haul road is completed. There will be some early earthworks required by mining contractor HPU for infrastructure before mining starts.

“This is the most significant development to date in Cokal’s journey to explore, develop and mine the BBM coking coal project in Central Kalimantan,” Cokal Chairman Domenic Martino said.