• ASX posts 0.5% gain on Thursday
  • Small caps retreat as commodities tread water
  • US stocks futures pointing ~0.9% higher

The resources heavy ASX Emerging Companies (XEC) index is down about 0.5% on Thursday, with both oil and the major commodities like iron ore trading relatively sideways.

It evoked an eerie calmness which now seems almost as unsettling as the constant volatility of the last eight weeks since war took the world, (though not apparently Ukraine) by surprise.

Hard to believe, but the ASX200 (XJO) is nibbling its dainty way back towards a record high. The benchmark is up 0.5%.

In the US, futures markets are pointing higher, up 0.9% after closing out the last session mixed with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.7 %.

The S&P500 traded flat and the the sell-off in Netflix weighed down the Nasdaq by more than 1%.

Across the region, Chinese shares in Shanghai, Shenzhen and in Hong Kong are all down around 2%. Japan’s Nikkei is ahead 1.3% after lunch.

At home, following a morning trading halt, shares in BetMakers started paying out – jumping some 21% after announcing a big wagering venture due to go live sometime in the second half, that it says could net total revenues of +$300m.

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.

So much is in a name, and –  Zinc of Ireland (ASX:ZMI)tells a story involving both Ireland and zinc… and while zinc isn’t quite as sexy as lithium, prices certainly have been running hot.

ZMI is rocketing ahead on no discernable news today other than what it says is “arguably one of the most prospective exploration land packages for high-grade, large tonnage, zinc-lead deposits in the world”.

Still in the digging for stuff space, Iceni Gold (ASX:ICL) has hit solid gold at Everleigh inside its 14 Mile Well project at Laverton in WA, telling the market of a broad zone of structural disruption with gold observed at a depth of 224.6 metres

Assay results are due at the end of the second quarter, with shares up well over 21% in late arvo trade.

Hard working Ozarium Resources (ASX:OZM)has told the ASX in one of the better, less ambivelant ASX announcements of 2022 – “Gold discovery!”

And a good one – 1.31g/t over 56m (including 18m @ 2.07g/t) at the ‘Mulgabbie North’ project, next door to Northern Star’s (ASX:NST) tier 1 Carosue Dam operations in WA.

The results, which include significant hits from three holes spaced 100m apart, come from a recently launched 7,500m reverse circulation (RC) drilling campaign. It’s early days, but this virgin discovery at the so-called ‘Demag Zone’ remains ‘open’ all over the joint, OZM says.

And over on the farm, there’s some cracking news out of innovative ag-tech Terragen Holdings (ASX:TGH).

These guys say test results for the Mylo feed supplement – yummy cow food which aims to cut down the farty-methane dairy cows expel daily – is an absolute world saver.

The company told investors the research indicates that “Mylo can reduce methane emissions by the equivalent of 100 tonnes of CO2 per 350-cow dairy farm per year”.

The study found cows not on Mylo “emitted” 7.5% more methane per litre of milk. Cows that guzzled  Mylo also gained 21% more weight than the control cows during the study.

“More research at Ellinbank SmartFarm is planned to determine if higher doses of Mylo will reduce methane emissions further,” TGH said.

Scientists from the SmartFarm will present their findings at June’s International Greenhouse Gas & Animal Agriculture Conference in Florida.

 

TODAY’S BIGGEST SMALL CAP LOSERS

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

Scroll or swipe to reveal table. Click headings to sort.

ANNOUNCEMENTS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED

Health imaging company Volpara (ASX:VHT) saw its share price drop ~3.37% to 86 cents today after the company announced its founder Ralph Highnam was stepping back as CEO and moved to a chief scientific and innovation officer (CSO) position.

Current VP strategic development Teri Thomas has been elevated to the CEO role of Volpara, which specialises in the early detection of breast cancer.

As CSO Highnam aims to focus on leveraging the extensive data set of ~60 million images from ~5.5 million women as the company moves closer to the goal of personalised breast care for women.

And Helios Energy (ASX:HE8) has announced its entering into a second helium extraction joint venture in China.

Through its wholly-owned subsidiary Helios Energy China, the company has entered into a boil-off gas helium extraction joint venture with Chinese domestic liquefied natural gas company Shanxi Wanshengyuan Natural Gas Co.

Under the agreement Shanxi Wanshengyuan Natural Gas Co will provide all the land, all BOG feed gas and all associated utilities for the helium extraction joint venture. Helios will construct at a cost of ~US$9.5m new helium gas extraction modules immediately next to the Chinese giant’s LNG plants in Shanxi Province.

TRADING HALTS

Zinc of Ireland (ASX:ZNI) — Response to price query
Labyrinth Resources (ASX:LRL) — Assay results
OAR Resources (ASX:OAR) — Graphite project announcement
Woomera Resources (ASX:WML) — Mt Venn drilling announcement
Essential Metals (ASX:ESS) — Potential control transaction for the company
Sacgasco (ASX:SGC) — Capital raising
Elmore Ltd (ASX:ELE) — Capital raising
Renascor Resources (ASX:RNU) — Capital raising