I like Fridays. They remind me of a lot of Saturdays and heaps less of Mondays.

For the Emerging Companies (XEC) Index, down 5.5% until this morning, it’d been a week of Mondays. Even the ASX200 made something of Thursday – up 1.3% – and has continued climbing by about 1% today at the close.

The small cap index has gained 1.3% to end the week on a solid Friday note.

Global stock markets did their bit to lend a hand after some early-week selling. In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained almost 2%, the Nasdaq stole 3% and even European markets momentarily stopped whinging, the DAX up 1%. Around the traps at 3PM Sydenham time, Japan’s Nikkei is up more than 2%, so are Shanghai and Hong Kong.

The US economy contracted during the first three months of 2022, smaller by -0.4% on the previous quarter and -1.4% on an annualised rate.

Yes, it’s the weakest quarter since the pandemic, and while the word ‘flaccid’ does come to mind, the fact is they’re not falling a heap. Employment is strong, spending is hefty and there’s literally a squadron of central bankers armed with a host of tricks to sort things out and let the president get on with ignoring the pandemic and engaging in war by proxy.

 

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.

Hydrocarbon Dynamics (ASX:HCD) is bobbing about at multi-year highs, after it was awarded a meaty Santos (ASX:STO) contract for doing the lucrative chemical work on some 30 wells with an order in the post for more. It’s a terrific TBH, and comes off the back of what was obvs a successful trial done on three wells in the Cooper Basin last year.

In a release to the market, HCD says the deal is expected to generate some $140K, but that’s not taking into the kudos factor of supplanting one of the world’s really giant oilfield chemical cleaners which santos has ditched in favour of the local kid.

The share price is a total Friday winner, up about 60%.

The good news for one of the weeks mega-laggards, oyster farmer East 33 (ASX:E33) is that everyone is piling back on in – shares are up about 34%, but still with a way to go to make this a week that goes away.

A Tuesday quarterly trading update blamed inclement weather for adversely affecting the production of Sydney rock oysters. the stock followed up Wednesday’s 48.75% fall with another 46% crash on Thursday. People MUST have their oysters.

 

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

Shares in Red Hill Iron (ASX:RHI) surged ~8% to $3.70 today after announcing it would pay a special dividend of 20 cents per share fully franked.

Shareholders who own stock in RHI before May 16 will be eligible for the dividend. The record date for the dividend will be on May 17, before payment on May 30.

Red Hill said the decision reflects the board’s objective of delivering funds to shareholders that it deems are in excess of the need to maintain a reasonable level of financial strength. The company currently holds ~$83 million and has paid income tax instalments to date of $39 million.

Reedy Lagoon Corporation (ASX:RLC) has announced it has received the final report from the CSIRO study conducted on the Burracoppin magnetite deposit in WA.

RLC teamed up with the national science agency to develop a new method for quantifying the iron content of deposits of magnetite, referred to as the MagResource Method.

Results of the study have been used by RLC to determine an Exploration Target of 240 to 300 million tonnes at 20 to 25 Wt% iron at Burracoppin.

ABx Group (ASX:ABX) has advised that its 83%-owned subsidiary Alcore Ltd has been granted $7.5 million from the Australian Government’s Modern Manufacturing initiative to support its proposed $16.4 aluminium smelter bath recycling plant in Bell Bay, Tasmania.

The plant is understood to be the world’s first commercial plant to recycle aluminium smelter bath into valuable chemicals. It is proposed to transform 1600 tonnes per year of aluminium smelter bath into hydrogen fluoride and other chemicals.