• Benchmark rises early, wobbles late, gains 0.4%
  • Small caps all over the shop today, up 0.9%
  • Metals Grove jumps over 50% 


Local markets have climbed the mountain of conflict today: (NB: explicit language).


The ASX 200 index was initially smashing it, rising in defiance of more ordinary overnight US leads to be up 0.6% at lunch, before rolling over in the arvo session, as is its wont, before shaking off stifling Wall Street futures (all lower) to come away with the lollies.

The small cap index flailed away all day, somehow closing 0.9% higher.

In the market’s defence it is as volatile out there as a French football captain in a World Cup final.

Zizou. Still angry.

The Mining, Materials, Resources and Energy Sectors are pretty much all around 2% the better, everyone else is a passenger, except the REITs which are a total drag (down circa -2%)

But hey, let’s grab a silver lining when we can: it seems Tribeca’s local legend Jun Bei Liu has been talking up Asian stock markets which she says could outperform in 2023, led by China.

Speaking to CNBC, Liu said China could be free of its zero-Covid policy by next year and “economic activity will recover, which bodes well for the stock market.”

Although Jun Bei did suggest the Americans et al might still be in big trouble without little China.

Risks of recession remains very high for developed markets in the West, Liu said, as entrenched inflationary pressures hurt consumption and economic activity.


Han on hacking

Earlier today, I asked Morningstar’s incredible telco and media analyst Brian Han about the impact of the Optus hack on listed firms, like elephant on the bourse, Telstra.

Minister for Home Affairs and Cybersecurity Clare O’Neil, is furious that the teleco giants like Optus were left out of recent critical infrastructure cyber laws.

“When it comes to cyber protections, the previous government put in place a very significant piece of legislation that I think was a very good start, but it didn’t bring telecommunications companies into that legislation and so what it’s meant is that I am more limited with telecommunications companies in terms of the powers that I have,” she said.

According to O’Neil, industry leaders convinced the government to leave them out of the law, claiming they were “really good at cybersecurity and could do it without being regulated.”

Optus certainly couldn’t hack it.

“In terms of ESG risks, we have long held that data privacy and security are the biggest issues facing telecommunications companies,” Mr Han told Stockhead.

“They handle a large volume of personally identifiable information in its day-to-day operations, especially in mobile and broadband. Privacy breaches and loss of data can entail liability lawsuits, increased public scrutiny, and loss of customers.

In Optus’ case, the data breach is unfortunate. But it could have happened to any company. The key for the company, and consumer confidence in the telecom sector as a whole, is how Optus manages the fallout and improves safeguards to reduce the chances of similar breaches in the future.”


Goodbye, we’ll be watching

In other news, it’s time to cough goodbye to ResApp, the punchy little ASX-listed Brissy-based developer of a simple and inexpensive smartphone tech which can (so believes global biopharmaceutical giant Pfizer) accurately identify respiratory diseases based on cough analysis.

Probably a steal at $179 million, it’ll be great to see what happens.

But for now:


There’s two ways investors will be looking at this one.

The first is just terrific:

Via Google Finance


The second is… less celebratory:

Via Google Finance

The lesson here is apparently, ‘don’t get in on the ground floor.’

Wait, there’s a third option:

Via Google Finance


Listing on the local bourse today is the “fast growing online financial and life admin services company” One Click Group (ASX:1CG) following an oversubscribed raise of $5.5m.

1CG says its tech platform offers a number of products to its users (such as tax, wills and insurance), and certain other new products to be launched in the near future.

The company has a strong Empired Limited (ASX:EPD) flavour, with ex-EPD MD Russell Baskerville assuming the role of the group’s chair, while  former EPD CFO and One Click founder Mark Waller taking on the group MD position.

1CG says FY22 revenue of $1.2m represents an almost 300% growth on FY21.

Also joining the party on the ASX on Monday, it’s a big hello to Atlantic Lithium (ASX:A11) which began its listed life about 7 years back on London’s AIM market and holds a “significant” lithium tenement in Ghana, West Africa. Based on the IPO – via some 23 million new shares at an issue price of 58 cents a pop – A11 carries a circa $340m market cap.

The share price is holding steady in a tough time to be putting yourself out there – managing to break fairly even so far – trading late on Tuesday at 57 cents.



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks:

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Cygnus Gold (ASX:CY5) is up about 25% on Tuesday, the goldie-cum-lithium play reckons it’s just quadrupled  the strike length out at its highly-prospective James Bay Lithium Province in Canada, to 40 kms.

CY5 says the rich new pickings have already returned samples grading 2.8% Li2O adjacent to Cygnus’ existing Pontax project.

There’s more lithium leaks on Tuesday, Ragusa Minerals (ASX:RAS) says it’s prepping to drill its NT lithium project for the first time next week with a set of fresh lithium targets already identified.

Also back in play is the troubled Argonaut Resources (ASX:ARE) which has filed an appeal against a South Australian Supreme Court judgment which set aside October’s green light for exploration works at the Murdie Project.

The Adelaide-based ARE got a bit of a shock last month when previous clearance under SA’s Aboriginal Heritage Act for a drilling campaign targeting copper (under the regional salt lake) was nixed.

Murdie comes with two exploration licences covering more than 1000sq km and is just 10km from OZ Minerals’ Carrapateena copper mine and BHP’s Oak Dam copper discovery.

Metals Grove Mining (ASX:MGA) has identified “significant lithium pegmatite potential” at the Upper Coondina project in the Pilbara.

“Given this project has never been systematically explored for lithium, we continue to be highly encouraged by these early works,” MD Sean Sivasamy said.

“Importantly, data obtained from the mapping program, and other pre-drilling works completed at site, will be used to develop priority drill targets ahead of planned maiden drill program in Q4. 

Elsewhere among the diggers, Brightstar Resources (ASX:BTR) has hit high-grade gold at its Alpha project in WA, including 2m at 11.3g/t from 88m including 1m at 21.4g/t from 88m. 



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks:

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On the nickel front, Nimy Resources (ASX:NIM) says fresh assays have confirmed substantial nickel sulphide mineralisation in the first two diamond holes at Godley, including nickel, copper and cobalt mineralisation with positive sulphur association confirmed within ultramafic (MgO>18%) rocks.

The Nimy exploration strategy is targeted at significant high-grade massive nickel sulphides and large low grade nickel deposits, however the depth of strike may have caused investors second thoughts, the stock down some 13% today.

“The results of the first diamond holes at the Godley prospect have provided a wealth of information taking the Mons project forward,” executive director Luke Hampson says.

“The Ni, Cu, S, MgO associations carried within the komatiite indicate a fertile setting for Nickel Sulphides.

Race Oncology (ASX:RAC) says the cancer drug specialist is teaming up with Monash University’s Monash Fragment Platform (MFP) to broaden and fast-track the discovery of life-saving novel drugs for the treatment of a huge variety of cancers.

Alongside the MFP team, Race will complete a fragment-based screening program to identify possible treatments that inhibit the troublesome, cancer-causing m6 A RNA demethylases FTO and ALKBH5.

“Race has contracted the Monash Fragment Platform to complete a fragment screening campaign using the latest techniques in nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR), Race Chief Executive Officer, Phil Lynch said.

The move brings into play the eminent medicinal chemist and Director of the MFP, Professor Martin Scanlon, who Lynch says will lead the ambitious project.

And on the commercial front, all intellectual property (IP) emerging from the project will be owned exclusively by Race.



Auric Mining (ASX:AWJ) – capital raise

Riedel Resources (ASX:RIE) – capital raise

Yandal Resources (ASX:YRL) – capital raise

Boston Minerals (ASX:BMO) – capital raise