The S&P/ASX200 climbed into the close on Tuesday.

Most of the 35 or so point gain (0.5%)  comes off the back of some good, steady central banking, delivered – nay, telegraphed – at 2.30pm when the Reserve Bank (RBA) left the cash rate at its record low 0.10%.

The tech and utilities sectors climbed 2.5%, leading today’s gains.

And now, a message from your central bank:

The benchmark index has now extended its intraday ascent across a four-day high, before settling a bit thanks largely to the soothingly dovish message from governor Philip Lowe:

We’ll be keeping that cash rate target at 10 basis points for now.

“The Board is committed to maintaining highly supportive monetary conditions to achieve its objectives of a return to full employment in Australia and inflation consistent with the target.

“Ceasing purchases under the bond purchase program does not imply a near-term increase in interest rates.

“As the Board has stated previously, it will not increase the cash rate until actual inflation is sustainably within the 2 to 3% target range.

“While inflation has picked up, it is too early to conclude that it is sustainably within the target band.”

Out with bonds, forget wage growth, brace for August

The RBA says it will end its bond purchases, revised up its inflation forecasts and no longer signalled that wage growth needs to be “materially higher” to meet its inflation target on a sustained basis.

Marcel Thieliant, senior Australia & New Zealand economist at Capital Economics says he now expects the first rate hike in August.

So buy yourself something pretty. But not on lay-buy (That’s Buy Now, Pay Later).

The Board reiterated the line that the Omicron wave has not derailed the great Aussie economic recovery, though the Bank did revise down its forecast for GDP growth for Q4 from 5.5% to 4.25% and for Q4 2023 from 2.5% to 2.0%.

The bond market was trading heavily into the announcement, with 3yr futures down 5 ticks and 10yrs down 2 ticks, with the curve flatter.

“That turned around quickly on the Governor’s Statement, which provided a clearly dovish message,” Westpac’s Damien McColough, head of rates strategy said.

Meanwhile, in some timely consumer confidence news, sentiment has risen for a second straight week as Omicron interest (and cases) continue to recede.

The latest ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence reading increased 1.7 percentage points to 101.8 during the fourth week of January.

And I for one, feel less confident already.

 

TODAY’S BIGGEST SMALL CAP WINNERS

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

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The share price in Wooboard Tech (ASX:WOO) rose 100% to 0.002 cents today off the back of its September quarterly, where the company announced details of its new platform ‘Sixty’ targeting the corporate wellness and consumer wellness mobile app sectors.

Shares in miner Paterson Resources (ASX:PSL) were up ~21% today to 0.035 cents after the company reported positive Q2 FY22 results, including highest grade gold assays at its Grace Project, in Western Australia.

The highest grade assays were from a broad zone of brecciated silica-carbonate altered silstone returning a thick 20.8m @2.0g/t AU from 203.2m including 2m @3.6g/t and 3m @ 8.38g/t from 221m.

Power Generation technology company Volt Power (ASX:VPR) saw its share price rise 50% to 0.003 cents after releasing favourable Q4 FY21 results, including record revenue of $3.2 million, after a record Q4 cash from operating activities of $900k.

Volt also completed a Tier 1 formal price enquiry request for installation of its zero emission ATEN Waste Heat to Power technology at two power stations, with positive feedback received.

TODAY’S BIGGEST SMALL CAP LOSERS

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

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In the laggards, New Zealand Salmon (ASX:NZK) share price fell ~16% to 99 cents after announcing it is experiencing higher than expected sea farm mortality.

Particularly warm seawater temperatures have been blamed on the fish kill, with the situation continuing to unfold. The company said it was deploying best practice measures to counter the heat of summer and other contributing stressors.

ANNOUNCEMENTS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED

Could your cough be diagnosed via a smartphone? Brisbane-based ResApp Health (ASX:RAP) has announced that the China National Intellectual Property Administration has accepted for grant its patent application titled “A method and apparatus for processing patient sounds”.

ResApp is developing smartphone applications for diagnosis and management of respiratory disease. The patent is owned by the University of Queensland and is licensed to ResApp for the lifetime of the patent. The patent family has also been granted in Australia, Japan, Korea, the US and is pending in Australia.

Continuing with respiratory illnesses, newly listed Firebrick Pharma (ASX:FRE) has announced that its planned clinical trial of Nasodine Spray in COVID-19 patients in South Africa had received approval to proceed from the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority.

The trial is intended to demonstrate that frequent, repeated application of Nasodine Nasal Spray in COVID-19 patients who are RAT-positive leads to reduction or elimination of nasal shedding of the virus. Firebrick’s lead drug candidate, which has been in development for around a decade, is even being touted as a cure for the pesky common cold.

In the mining sector, New Peak Metals (ASX:NPM) has announced Boyd White has been appointed as CEO to replace David Mason who is retiring but staying on the board as a non-executive director. White worked in the mining and energy sectors for more than 30 years, holding executive roles internationally with US Haliburton Company and KBR Inc, along with Tarong Energy in Australia.

For his role, White will bank $25k a month. The interim appointment is expected to be for up to six months while New Peak Metals finds a permanent CEO.

Funds manager Fiducian (ASX:FID) has announced the completion of its acquisition of the financial planning business of Adelaide-headquartered People’s Choice Credit Union (PCCU).

Fiducian was the successful bidder to acquire PCCU’s financial planning arm, which provides advice to its ~400k membership base.

The acquisition is a continuation of its strategy to expand its financial planning network in South Australia and lift funds under advice in Fiducian Financial Services by $1.1 billion to $4.8 billion.

And finally, explorer Enegex (ASX:ENX) has announced completion of its Share Purchase Plan (SPP). The company raised $1.313 million with more than 16.4 million new fully paid ordinary shares scheduled to be issued on February 4.

The grant of more than 16.4 million unlisted options exercisable at 14 cents on or before June 30, 2024 will also be issued on February 4.