• The ASX has weathered a very ugly week to finish 1.1% lower.
  • Once again, it’s the goldies emerging as the pick of the litter, up 2.6% because things got a bit scary.
  • Greentech Metals has topped the Small Caps winner’s list with a 120% gain, so well done those guys.


I’m pretty sure that the week we just had wasn’t the one that most people were hoping for, dominated as it was by interest rate hikes, (even more) US bank collapse fears and a local benchmark that looked aimless at best, and spitefully venomous when it was lucid.

In the end, though, the market finished lower by around 1.1%, and all of the economic rumblings here and in the US provided the perfect stage for gold to sit up and shine.

Here’s how it all went down.



It kicked off on Monday (as a lot of working weeks tend to do), which was remarkably unremarkable – a modest 0.4% climb off the back of a pretty good session the previous Friday on Wall Street, where the dreaded Bank Collapse Boogeyman appeared to have been sent to his room by Big Brave JPMorgan.

JPM had to step in to try to quieten the squirrels tormenting US markets, when it really started to look like First Republic was all set to join the growing pile of lenders in the Great Big Bank Vault in the Sky.

After a weekend of frenzied phone-arounds to find a fix, JPMorgan apparently – as we were told at the time – drew the short straw and got provisionally tapped to stage some kind of rescue, lest US investors hit the panic button again and scuttled the global economy.

That wouldn’t have been their fault (not 100%, at least) – responsibility for it would have been a shared burden between compulsive investors and the idiots helming smaller US banks who clearly either don’t know what they’re doing, or simply don’t care.

It was a strange day for Small Caps – most of the noteworthy gains appeared almost out of thin air. Winning the day were Lincoln Minerals (ASX:LML) and Optima Technology (ASX:OPA), with both climbed nicely on no news at all.



And here’s where things started going bad, as the ASX kicked things off by dumping all of Monday’s gains like an ill-timed tin of second-hand cat food on the freshly made bed of the bourse.

Then, at a meeting of the RBA Board that I am now okay with admitting I had completely forgotten about, Uncle Phil and his mates hit the nation on the back of a head with a solid silver shovel, picked the market’s pockets and fled cheering into the night.

A 25 basis point rate rise (from 3.6% to 3.85%) that looked like it even managed to shock The Guvner hit the market like a Russian torpedo, sparking a furious sell-off that cost the ASX 0.7% in under 10 minutes, taking an otherwise average loss-filled day and turning it into a miserable, sobbing -0.92% mess.

Against the backdrop of that, the day’s Small Caps winner Pinnacle Minerals (ASX:PIM) got the rough end of the pineapple, looking for all the world like it would go supersonic until the ASX slammed on the brakes about 90 minutes into the session when PIM was around +80%, on news it’s al set to drag the drills back to its Disruptor prospect on 15 May.

By the time PIM managed to convince the ASX that nothing nefarious was going on, the juice had run out and investors had lost a lot of interest. PIM retreated to “normal” levels of gains, just in time for Big Buddy Lowe to rock in with the interest rate bump, and by that time investors had one foot out the door entirely.



Between opening lower at the start of the day and 2:30pm, the market managed to slide to as low as -1.5%, before staging a weak rally that saw things end up at -1.1%.

But it wasn’t a complete catastrophe, with the market-leader Greentech Metals (ASX:GRE) the right place at the right time is definitely the place to be, by releasing assay results from its Austin prospect, part of the greater Whundo Cu-Zn project in WA.

The company had bored into a copper dominant mineralised horizon with significantly increased thickness and grades up to 5.4% Cu., with one set of numbers that looks like this:

  • 19m @ 0.81% Cu and 0.15% Zn from 225m, including:
    • 15m@ 1% Cu from 226m, including
    • 6m @ 2% Cu from 226m, including
    • 1m @ 5.4% Cu from 226m

Bloody Marvellous, the market said, desperately looking for even a shred of good news, putting GRE up by around 200% for the day.

While the overall result wasn’t fantastic, the market left work on Wednesday with a faint, barely-perceptible buzz of optimism wafting lazily on the air, like someone was playing the dulcet tones of That Delightful Harry Styles at a distance sufficient to ensure that it didn’t send anyone into a violent, murderous rage.

(300-400km oughta be enough).



What did send Rage-o-Meters spiking deeeeeep into danger zones, however, was International Hyper-Bozo Jerome “Not Colin, the other one” Powell copying from the RBA’s answer sheet by doing his outright best to bring Wall Street to its knees.

It wasn’t the 25 basis points rate hike that the market 100% knew was coming, and had happily priced in, that did the damage.

It was – as per bloody usual – Powell himself doling out the uppercuts through the simple expedience of bollocking up the explanation, while he smoked the now-standard post-hike cigarette in front of the US media.

“We, on the committee, have a view that inflation is going to come down not so quickly, and that it would take some time. And in that world, if that forecast is broadly right, we would not cut rates, and we won’t cut rates,” Powell said at the time.

It’s been about 1.5 days since he said it, and I am still amazed that someone who clearly don’t spek so gud has been left in charge of America’s money.

Wall Street was absolutely fine with the rate rise, lifting a little immediately after it was announced – but the minute that incomprehensible garbage fell out of Ol’ Mush Mouth, Wall Street threw a tantrum.

That put the ASX on a sour footing from the get-go, down -0.5% at open and it was only a rockstar performance from Everyone Except the Banks to get local markets within a whisker of breaking even.

The upheaval left room for Greenwing Resources (ASX:GW1) to climb 25.6% on news that CEO Craig Lennon had resigned, and will be leaving the company at the end of June this year, while the company confirmed that the drills have started spinning at its San Jorge lithium project located in Catamarca Province, Argentina.

And that brings us to now – which I will leave the highly capable Nadine McGrath to dig into for you in Closing Bell.


Where did we land?

With all today’s shouting over and done with, the ASX 200 benchmark has finished 1.09% lower for the week, which isn’t surprising considering the knocks it’s been taking since Monday.

Looking at the Official Sector list, the best performer was Real Estate, which climbed 2.57% followed by Utilities on +1.37%.

And that’s the end of the good sector news, I’m afraid. The banking woes in the US really too their toll on local Financials stocks, which closed out the week down 2.81% – and given how bloated and corpulent that sector is, it’s a huge burden for the rest of the market to try to carry.

Energy fell by 1.72%, Health Care by 1.27%, Staples by 1.11% and that’s where I’m going to cap that list because at this point it’s like gawping mindlessly at a road accident.

The viciously volatile proceedings this week, however, did produce another stellar performance by local gold stocks, with the XGD All Ords Gold index climbing 3.24%, thanks to the abject cowardice of most investors and the precious metal booming into an all-time high above AUD$3,000 an ounce this week as well.



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks from 1-5 May:

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

Wordpress Table Plugin


The week’s Small Cap Champions trophy (huge big thing, made of a Spodumene-Hopium Alloy) is on its way to Greentech Metals (ASX:GRE) HQ, with the company posting a very solid +120% for the week.

Second place (Smaller trophy and a signed Certificate of Appreciation from the St Joseph’s School for Overprivileged Orphans 2nd XI cricket squad) belongs to Riversgold (ASX:RGL), for its stunning portrayal of success in The Little Goldie That Did.

And for third place, WA1 Resources (ASX:WA1) gets a tiny silver shovel lapel pin, and a fistful of expired Hungry Jacks coupons for its +52% effort.



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks from 1-5 May:

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

Wordpress Table Plugin


Were there any local IPOs this week?


You are welcome to request more information emailing me a stamped, self-addressed envelope, which I 100% promise to ignore until (at least) Monday.