The S&P/ASX Emerging Companies (XEC) Index is racking about 0.3% higher on Tuesday, while the benchmark ASX 200 (XJO) rose 0.7%, buoyed by a resurgent tech sector and a strong performance from consumer discretionary companies ahead of tonight’s so called ‘cost of living’ Federal Budget.

The All Ords climbed to near-10 week highs.

Overnight, Brent and West Texas crude crashed somewhere around 7%, a little on volatility and a lot on talk of China locking down Shanghai and the wider energy hungry province of Jiangsu.

The ANZ weekly consumer confidence read was a hit to consumer confidence – stalling at last week’s numbers, while adding to concerns on inflation after saying concerns on inflation are at decade highs.

And yet, the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ read on retail spend for February was a stunner.

As the sector climbs late into the session, some analysts (just me probably) are asking: could be the time for consumer stocks to shine ?

And let us not forget people – investors still have a mighty $36bn record dividend landing in their bank accounts and digital wallets as we head into April.

 

TODAY’S BIGGEST SMALL CAP WINNERS

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

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It’s been a historic start to the week for small cap copper explorers, with two major hits flagged in WA that sent their share prices of their respective announcers in a parabolic upward trajectory.

Today it was Recharge Metals’ (ASX:REC) turn, as the company’s drill program uncovered about 300m of copper mineralisation that remains open at end-of hole at its ‘Brandy Hill South’ project in WA.

Today’s ~240% surge followed a similar move yesterday for Tempest Minerals (ASX:TEM), which announced a major copper strike of its own on Monday.

Orbital Corp (ASX:OEC) shares went off like a rocket. This, after news emerged it played host to Australia’s Minister for Defence, Peter Dutton, at its Perth headquarters last week.

The purpose of the visit was to give Dutton a feel for Orbital’s Balcatta facility, where it will manufacture the propulsion systems “responsible for powering the Australian Army’s next generation of Tactical Uncrewed Aerial Systems (‘UAS’)”, Orbital said.

For Orbital chairman John Welborn, it represented an opportunity “to showcase the advanced technology and aerospace manufacturing expertise that will support the delivery of a critical capability to the Australian Army”.

It wasn’t a near thing for Nearmap (ASX:NEA) on Tuesday – shares in the aerial imagery firm jumped over up 15%, following a trading update reaffirming FY22 upper end of the $150m-$160m guidance range.

The news follows Nearmap’s annual contract value (ACV) topping $150m for the first time.

And shares in Telix Pharmaceuticals (ASX:TLX) rose more than 7% today to $4.46 after the company announced the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had granted Orphan Drug Designation (ODD) for its TLX66 for conditioning treatment before hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT).

Telix said the granting of ODD for TLX66 qualifies the company for various drug development incentives, including FDA administered market exclusivity for seven years, waived FDA prescription drug user fees and tax credits for R&D.

 

TODAY’S BIGGEST SMALL CAP LOSERS

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

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Tietto Minerals (ASX:TIE) is doing it rough after receiving binding commitments for a two-tranche $130m placement. Shares in the West African gold explorer and developer were about 13% lower near 3.30pm.

With a $370mn market cap, Tietto will deploy the $130mn to accelerate its Abujar Gold Project in Côte d’Ivoire.

Tietto says it will issue some 260 million fully paid ordinary shares at $0.50 a pop.

Carnarvon Energy (ASX:CVN) says it’s nailed the $70 million fully underwritten institutional placement, securing 234 million new shares at an offer price of 30¢ per share. The new shares are expected to settle on April 4.

CEO Adrian Cook is chuffed:

“The proceeds will be used to bring the Dorado liquids development to a final investment decision in 2022 and to test the tie-in potential close to the Dorado development, which includes the upcoming Apus-1 well and recent Pavo-1 oil discovery.”

The share price has suffered a bit, drifting about 5% lower.

ANNOUNCEMENTS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED

Antilles Gold (ASX:AAU), (OTCQB:ANTMF) has announced a $3.25 million capital raise to fund its La Demajagua gold mine development in Cuba. The company will issue 50 million new fully paid shares at 6.5 cents each with one free new option attached to each new share issued.

Antilles said funds raised will go towards maintaining momentum of the definitive feasibility study for its joint venture, the proposed La Demajagua open pit gold-silver mine in Cuba.

EML Payments (ASX:EML) has announced its open banking business Nuapay has partnered with Praxis to power the delivery of open banking and account-2-account payments to Praxis’ clients across Europe.

Praxis is a payment gateway in Europe integrated with more than 450 payment service providers. One of its key segments is the trading market which has grown rapidly with the number of users actively trading up 30% per annum.

Provider of exchange-traded funds Global X ETFs has announced the appointment of former BlackRock NSW state manager Blair Hannon as Head of Investment Strategy, Australia to support the development of the firm’s local ETF business.

With over US$41 billion in assets under management (AUM), Global X said Hannon’s appointment marks a major step in building the company’s presence in Australia, ahead of the firm’s formal launch of its Australian ETF product lineup – expected later this year.

TRADING HALTS

 

Bill Identity Limited (ASX: BID) –  trading halt, pending capital raising

 

New Zealand Coastal Seafoods Limited (ASX:NZS) –   trading halt, pending capital raising

 

PolarX Limited (ASX:PXX) –   trading halt, pending  a proposed capital raising

 

Great Boulder Resources Limited (ASX:GBR) –   trading halt, pending capital raising

 

MacArthur Minerals Limited (ASX:MIO) –  trading halt, pending capital raising

 

Jatcorp Limited (ASX: JAT) –  trading halt, pending proposed capital raising

 

Chesser Resources Limited (ASX: CHZ) –  trading halt, pending capital raising