ASX Small Caps Lunch Wrap: Who else thinks space rocks make space rock?
The ASX has managed to squeak out a 0.3% gain before lunch, which is remarkable considering it opened with a dip and had the Woes of Wall Street hanging awkwardly round its neck – because everyone’s losing their minds over Apple not being able to deliver new iPhones, because the factories in China aren’t factorying very well, because all the workers are out throwing rocks at the cops, because the Chinese government keeps locking everyone in their homes, because of Covid-19.
So yeah – no phones in America = unhappy tech investors = Aussie markets trying to swim with the weight of the entire workforce of China tucked down the front of their Speedos.
But we do have some happier news this morning, thanks to space, gravity and some dedicated scienticians who enjoy looking at things and shouting “Eureka!”.
Around here, we talk quite a lot about digging up minerals – our clear love, as a nation, for digging big holes in the ground and selling what comes out of them is a core part of the Great Australian Identity.
We are, ton by ton, literally selling the land from beneath our feet to other countries, who in turn provide us with shiny goo-gaws and bleeping electronic gizmos, in much the same way that Dutch guy bought the whole of Manhattan for six brass buttons and a slew of new diseases.
(It was Peter Minuit, and he purchased the island for “traded goods” worth $24, earning his “World’s Best Real Estate Agent” coffee mug with arguably the single best land deal humans will ever achieve.)
Anyhoo – the fact that people in other parts of the world are super-keen to acquire the stuff we’re digging up means that, as a nation, we do love our minerals.
Which is why a news report that not one, but two brand new, never seen before minerals have been discovered.
The bad news is that these minerals are incredibly rare, because they came from outer space, hurtling through our atmosphere in a blaze of scorching heat, before landing with an almighty thud near the town of El Ali, in the Hiiraan region of Somalia, in eastern Africa.
They’ve been named elaliite and elkinstantonite – the former because of where they found it, and the latter because there’s a space nerd called Lindy Elkins-Tanton who the researchers reckon deserves a nod for doing space stuff, so… onya Lindy!
The meteorite that contains the new minerals is an absolute beast of a thing, measuring two metres wide, it was unearthed in 2020, however, the locals have reportedly known about it for ages.
They called it “Nightfall” – presumably because it fell out of the sky at night time – and they’ve been singing songs about it for generations, so you could say it’s already got quite a following.
The Canadian team that did the research were pretty cool about it, just taking a slice of the meteorite away to perform their mineral-finding voodoo stuff, and they were keen to grab another sample of it to explore the contents of it some more.
But… locals say the whole thing (minus the Canadians’ slice of it) has been hauled off to China… just like our coal, and iron ore, and lithium, and… you get the idea.
It’s hard to say what monetary value the rock might have (The Rock, however, is rumoured to have a net worth around the $800 million mark, which is an absolute outrage), but they are enormously valuable. For Science.
We’re extremely lucky that we have these delightfully interesting space rocks falling to Earth from time to time; they deserve to be admired and studied for their hugely valuable contents.
But it makes sense that they would trek through the void in an effort to have a sentient species tear them apart to study them…
Because in space, no one can hear you gleam.
And on that bright note, let’s take a look at local markets to see if anyone’s gone a rocket ride of their own today.
It’s been a dippy little Wednesday morning on Aussie markets today, with the ASX opening lower and hitting -0.4%, before staging yet another rally to be up by just a 0.1% smidge as we line up for lunch.
It’s Materials leading the way this morning, punching out a stellar 1.35% gain over the course of the morning, thanks in no small measure to a laundry list of lithium louts that are charging up the charts.
Real Estate and Industrials are also making their presence known, up 0.77% and 0.45% respectively.
Lagging behind at the back of the queue is Healthcare, busily giving back recent gains at the rate of -0.76% so far, egged on by both Consumer sectors that are hovering between -0.45% and -0.33%.
There are the usual suspects at the top end of town in the news today – Whitehaven (ASX:WHC) and Stanmore (ASX:SMR) are enjoying the fruits of an overnight coal price spike, and that’s about it from the big players.
Let’s go see if anything exciting is happening somewhere else for a while.
In the US, Wall Street closed down. Not completely… just lower.
The Dow finished the day just 0.01% ahead, but the S&P fell 0.16% and the Nasdaq slid further, down 0.59%.
And the reason? It’s the upcoming Rail Strike of the Century – four major railway workers unions are playing some serious brinkmanship games with rail companies, over the issue of paid sick leave.
The workers want it, the railway owners say they can’t afford it (despite eye-wateringly massive profits that measure in the billions of dollars…) and so it looks like December 9 will be the day about 40% of the US rail network will grind to a halt.
Early Eddy Sunarto was up before dawn to report that US President Joe Biden has put on his union-busting hat and humbly requested Congress do something about it and make it all go away – that’s going to take some time, though, and the deadline for negotiations is rapidly approaching.
On top of that, there is the utterly horrifying news of a global iPhone 14 shortage, because workers in China are busy throwing things at the police instead of making our gadgets. How inconsiderate of them.
There are reports floating around that Apple is some 6 million units behind schedule already at its iPhone factory – and that’s weighing heavily on everyone, except people who already have a new phone.
In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei has fallen again this morning, down 0.45% on news that veganism is on the rise across the country, as health conscious citizens deviate from their usual menu of protected species, animal faces and things that are still alive.
In China, all eyes – and mass-surveillance cameras – were on anti-government protesters overnight, with authorities moving quickly to round up anyone who had taken part in the demonstrations, presumably to make their lives utterly horrible for a while.
Despite all that, the Hang Seng is rising this morning, up 0.78% on the back of its savage 5.2% charge yesterday, and in Shanghai things are moving slower – more like a tank than a racecar – rising 0.12% in early trade.
In the world of crypto, there has been some significant movement at the station, and anyone holding Dogecoin and/or Apecoin should be smiling quietly to themselves this morning as they both continue to outperform the rest of the crypto s–tshow.
You can find out why – and marvel at the spectacle that is (probably) the beginning of yet another large exchange collapse, over at Rob “I am the Apeman. Coo-coo-ka-choo” Badman’s Mooners & Shakers.
Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for November 30 [intraday]:
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Back in the real world, and there’s a veritable panoply of Small Cappers performing marvellous magic tricks and making people wealthy this morning.
Topping the list is Metal Tiger (ASX:MTR), which has shot up 36% this morning on no news, other than yesterday’s announcement that MTR director Neville Bergin has called it quits to “focus on other professional commitments”.
It’s unlikely that was the reason for its price hurtling to the top of the ladder – but you’ve gotta admit, the timing of it all is just the wrong side of brutal for Bergin, as it really is going to look like investors don’t like him much at all.
Also on a value spike is GreenX Metals (ASX:GRX), up nearly as much as Metal Tiger with a 35.1% gain over the past few hours – but at least there’s a reason for this one.
GreenX had been in a bit of a quarrel with Poland – like, the whole country – after the Poles went to the polls and the Polish government changed hands – and promptly made life a living hell (allegedly) at both the Jan Karski and Debiensko coking coal projects, to the point where operations were forced to shut down.
The arbitration hearing took two weeks to complete in London, and the goings-on are all completely confidential, so we don’t know the details yet.
But what we do know is that arbitration of this type has been hugely successful in the past, and GreenX is poised to pick Poland’s pocket and nab a $1.3 billion payout, if the arbitration decision goes its way.
And rounding out our Top Three Mentionables this morning, Stavely Minerals (ASX:SVY) has risen 24.2% by uttering the magic words “large porphyry target” yesterday.
SVY dropped the news after it brought in Dr Steve Garwin to pore over the existing data and drill cores from an area immediately southeast of Stavely’s Cayley Lode deposit, and Dr Garwin no doubt earned his fee by spotting the new target.
Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for November 30 [intraday]:
Swipe or scroll to reveal full table. Click headings to sort: