• Local markets end bad week lower 
  • Material sector losses dominate
  • Small Caps led by Pentanet


Local markets have ended about half a per cent lower on Friday after some fairly broad based selling.

The S&P/ASX200 closed lower on Friday, March 15, down 43.30 points or 0.56% to 7,670.3



The XJO index has lost 2.25% over the week and sits 2.33% below its 52-week high

Markets in Sydney – and further afield – took their cues from a wobbly and worried-looking Wall Street overnight, stunned perhaps by some extremely sticky US (PPI) producer prices.

The key inflation report certainly came in hotter-than-hoped-for. It sent US traders back to their books and crystal balls for any insights on when chair J.Powell and buds from the US Federal Reserve might start cutting interest rates.

They won’t find any. The read was nothing but confusion.

Headline prices were high. Core prices seem to have dropped. I’m no economist, but I know madness when I check its prostate.

At home, the losing came bouncing out the gate from the open. By 10.15am local stocks had shed more than 1% and in Stockhead Central the gnashing of teeth forced me to open a window and throw Robert Badman down the stairs.

By lunchtime the ASX200 had shed 1.5%, with the banks being a real drag, even after Thursday’s reprehensible display (admittedly they were overbought).

On Friday, some long-term UBS predictions of a bank share price surrender were vindicated. Not least because that was when UBS analysts put out a note rectracing their worst fears and rerated all of them – sans ANZ – as a sell.

But there was broad based selling today. Pick a corner outside Energy.

China’s a great big proble on Friday.

The iron ore heavies are notably lower, as the spot heads for comfort somewhere under $US100 a tonne.

The Materials sector was worst on field. Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO), BHP (ASX:BHP) and Fortescue (ASX:FMG). All bad.

Lithium prices fell in China and that ended much of the optimism which coalesced around local producers earlier this week.

Core Lithium is still terrible.


We need to talk about China-Kevin

What’s fallen into sharper relief today is the economic mismanagement out of Beijing.

Both China’s major indices have tracked Wall Street lower so far on Friday.

That’s no surprise with the Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Component making it four in a row on the back of New York’s response to the uncomfortable US (PPI) producer inflation read.

If only the muddled global outlook on inflation and the US Federal Reserve’s dot-plot for cutting interest rates were the sole algorithm facing Chinese markets.

Alas, no way.

On Friday two sets of data dropped in China, bringing the current mess into stark relief.

First, February’s new home prices show a property market in total freefall (by Chinese standards).

Prices fell the most in more than a year of near consecutive falls, double the pace of the previous read.

A good time to perhaps make life easier for lenders? Perhaps a leg up or a little stimmy??

A good time to lean on the (PBoC) People’s Bank of China??

Forget it. The housing data dropped and an hour later the PBoC left its one-year medium-term lending facility rate unchanged at 2.5%. Total disconnect.

In the news on Friday – Iress (ASX:IRE) announced a $164 million deal to sell its pommy mortgage business to private equity giant Bain.

Tabcorp Holdings (ASX:TAH) boss Adam Rytenskild quit after being pinged for bad behaviour.

Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) said it accepted a pre-auction offer for spodumene concentrate – a partly processed form of lithium – with the buyer paying the equivalent of $US1200 a tonne.

Encouragingly for PLS, Emerald and Liontown were the benchmark’s worst of the worst, down 10.06% and 8.06% respectively.

EML Payments (ASX:EML) says it’s agreed to sell its Sentenial payments business for  about $54mn.



These local stocks went ex-divvy today:

Ariadne Australia (ASX:ARA) is paying 0.25 cents fully franked
CAR Group Limited (ASX:CAR) is paying 34.5 cents 50 per cent franked
Duratec (ASX:DUR) is paying 1.5 cents fully franked
Kaizen Global Inv (ASX:KGI) is paying 5 cents fully franked



ASX Sectors at 4pm on Friday 


Of the 11 ASX sectors On Friday, three were higher, eight were lower.



We’re watching oil…

Oil’s having a great week and possibly hopes the world can keep burning in a heap for a few more months.

Earlier this week it only took a wee Ukrainian drone strike to reach Russian refineries to remind all the world’s gone to hell in a hand basket and that toys can upend global energy markets.

Both Brent and WTI look like logging about 4-5% of gains since this time last week.

There’s lots of war.

A few issues need ironing out there in the Middle East. OPEC+ has committed to extend supply cuts and the Houthis are still lobbing rockets here and there.

Chinese and US demand is punchy again, while the International Energy Agency (EIA) suddenly feels more bullish on global demand for 2024.

The latest EIA read has US crude inventories down by 1.536 million barrels last week, almost diametrically opposed to the expectations of a 1.338 million barrel surplus.

That means one of two tings:

  1. There’s a potential supply glut out of the States ready to hit the market at any time.
  2. The International Energy Agency cannot forecast for sh*t.


Around the ‘hood…

Asian-Pacific stock markets mostly fell on Friday.

Asian equity markets fell on Friday,

Investors also awaited updates from Japan’s spring wage negotiations ahead of the Bank of Japan’s policy decision next week. In China, February’s new home prices fell the most in 13 months, while the People’s Bank of China left its one-year medium-term lending facility rate unchanged at 2.5%. Shares in Australia, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and China all declined.

Eek. It’s now eight straight months of significant declines in China’s new home prices. They fell by 1.4% year-on-year in February 2024, double the 0.7% (hoho) they fell in January. That’s bad.

Some stimmy would be nice.

But so far the drip feed which passes for stimmy out of Beijing hasn’t done a thing, except prolong uncertainty and exacerbate China’s real estate crisis and half-arsed economic recovery.


US stock futures rose on Friday in Sydney:

Via Getty



Today’s best performing small cap stocks:

Swipe or scroll to reveal full table. Click headings to sort:

Code Company Price % Volume Market Cap
5GG Pentanet 0.086 72% 110,962,595 $18,686,361
MRD Mount Ridley Mines 0.002 33% 869,755 $11,677,324
SFG Seafarms Group Ltd 0.004 33% 1,103,824 $14,509,798
ASP Aspermont Limited 0.012 33% 1,970,189 $22,100,712
TSL Titanium Sands Ltd 0.009 29% 580,690 $13,956,112
KAL Kalgoorlie Gold Mining 0.025 25% 10,750,845 $3,170,014
LVE Love Group Global 0.125 25% 80,000 $4,053,417
ASR Asra Minerals Ltd 0.005 25% 305,201 $6,655,983
CTO Citigold Corp Ltd 0.005 25% 3,039,074 $12,000,000
ECT Env Clean Tech Ltd 0.005 25% 215,130 $11,457,242
PRX Prodigy Gold NL 0.005 25% 119,115 $7,004,431
TMK TMK Energy Limited 0.005 25% 120,162 $24,490,317
NME Nex Metals Exploration 0.021 24% 1,563 $5,993,053
IMI Infinity Mining 0.075 23% 50,550 $7,243,957
TTT Titomic Limited 0.04 21% 2,351,472 $30,120,476
XAM Xanadu Mines Ltd 0.052 21% 9,625,847 $73,788,258
KAM K2 Asset Mgmt Hldgs 0.06 20% 2,416 $12,054,260
MHC Manhattan Corp Ltd 0.003 20% 820,000 $7,342,449
MSG MCS Services Limited 0.006 20% 735,250 $990,498
NRX Noronex Limited 0.012 20% 5,170,511 $3,783,018
TLM Talisman Mining 0.215 19% 309,004 $33,897,663
FNX Finexia Financial Group 0.225 18% 7,674 $9,358,013
ASV Asset Vision Company 0.013 18% 223,707 $7,984,202
LYN Lycaon Resources 0.17 17% 17,198 $6,388,156
NRZ Neurizer Ltd 0.0035 17% 1,239,175 $4,504,232
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Pentanet (ASX:5GG) says its will extend the GeForce NOW Alliance Partner Agreement with US AI darling Nvidia to include New Zealand, with more territories to come.

“Pentanet has fostered a deeply engaged cloud gaming community in Australia with GeForce NOW Powered by CloudGG. Its commitment to delivering GeForce RTX 3080-level performance that elevates experiences for gamers nationwide and underscores the company’s dedication to pushes the boundaries of gaming and internet connectivity,” NVIDIA GeForce NOW vice president Phil Eisler says.

Shares in Kalgoorlie Gold Mining (ASX:KAL) posted solid gains on Friday, thanks to thick and shallow gold intercepts at the Kirgella Gift and Providence prospects within the Pinjin project, around 140 km east of Kalgoorlie-Boulder.

Intercepts include: 32 m at 1.29 g/t Au from 3 m depth (containing 4 m at 3.29 g/t Au from 16 m); 35 m at 1.15 g/t Au from 11 m depth (containing 4 m at 2.91 g/t Au from 16 m); and 45 m at 2.36 g/t Au from 51 m depth (containing 33 m at 3.10 g/t Au from 51 m).

The gold hits are being compared with mineralisation hosted within larger, broader zones of anomalism at the Rebecca gold project 21 km to the south (of the KAL prospects), which is owned by Ramelius Resources (ASX:RMS).

This all comes amid a comprehensive appraisal of gold mineralisation completed at Kirgella Gift and Providence following successful drilling late 2023.


Black Rock Mining (ASX:BKT) has secured a $53.4 million loan approval from The Industrial Development Corporation. BKT says it will proceed to finalise full form facility agreements and determine the ultimate structure of the Mahenge project’s debt package.



Today’s worst performing small cap stocks:

Swipe or scroll to reveal full table. Click headings to sort:

Code Company Price % Volume Market Cap
AXP AXP Energy Ltd 0.001 -50% 989,006 $11,649,361
TKL Traka Resources 0.001 -50% 200,000 $3,501,317
MOM Moab Minerals Ltd 0.005 -29% 61,875 $4,983,744
1MC Morella Corporation 0.003 -25% 146,527 $24,715,198
PPY Papyrus Australia 0.015 -25% 210,000 $9,853,852
OPL Opyl Limited 0.022 -21% 3,898 $4,735,610
AVE Avecho Biotech Ltd 0.004 -20% 17,655,905 $15,846,485
CZN Corazon Ltd 0.008 -20% 118,707 $6,155,979
ROG Red Sky Energy 0.004 -20% 1,601,205 $27,111,136
SYR Syrah Resources 0.55 -20% 15,723,666 $466,041,723
AS1 Asara Resources Ltd 0.009 -18% 918,339 $8,720,040
TEM Tempest Minerals 0.009 -18% 1,561,337 $5,710,369
AXN Alliance Nickel Ltd 0.033 -18% 190,198 $29,033,585
CLU Cluey Ltd 0.066 -18% 24,820 $16,129,085
ADD Adavale Resource Ltd 0.005 -17% 2,911,880 $6,067,033
FTC Fintech Chain Ltd 0.02 -17% 38,363 $15,618,470
IXU Ixup Limited 0.02 -17% 871,900 $26,100,854
BMG BMG Resources Ltd 0.011 -15% 6,670,096 $8,239,363
SHP South Harz Potash 0.022 -15% 430,739 $20,945,079
BC8 Black Cat Syndicate 0.2 -15% 1,689,310 $72,257,018
MRL Mayur Resources Ltd 0.2 -15% 418,306 $78,983,781
WIN Widgie Nickel 0.052 -15% 552,704 $18,174,648
EPM Eclipse Metals 0.006 -14% 18,000 $14,525,380
NTM NT Minerals Limited 0.006 -14% 6,917,425 $6,019,320
TSO Tesoro Gold Ltd 0.03 -14% 596,034 $43,035,325
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ICYMI – PM Edition

Aspiring gold miner Magnetic Resources (ASX:MAU) has raised $12 million via an oversubscribed placement to take its Lady Julie project to the next phase of development, with deeper drilling and ongoing feasibility work on the company’s near-term agenda.

Venture Minerals (ASX:VMS) has committed to an extensive 300-hole Stage 2 drilling program at its impressive Jupiter REE prospect which could culminate in delivery of a maiden resource estimate.

Northern Territory-focused explorer Litchfield Minerals (ASX:LMS) listed on the ASX earlier today following an oversubscribed $5 million IPO.

And Felix Gold (ASX:FXG) remains on the hunt for near-surface gold and antimony mineralisation at its flagship Treasure Creek tenure in Alaska’s prolific Fairbanks mining district.


At Stockhead, we tell it like it is. While Felix Gold, Litchfield Minerals, Magnetic Resources and Venture Minerals are Stockhead advertisers, they did not sponsor this article.