Kick Back: The 10 biggest stories you might have missed on Stockhead this week
It’s a week of splits. The UK is going ahead with its exit from the EU and now Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are distancing themselves from the “Crown”.
Not sure if anyone has labelled UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson a “spoiled brat” yet, but royal watchers have certainly bestowed that title on Harry and Meghan.
Over our way, it’s a little less royal focused and a lot more gold and oil focused.
Here’s what you might have missed on Stockhead this week, but everyone else didn’t, and liked the most.
Clearly everyone wants to keep up with the latest tech trends. And while flying cars are yet to become mainstream as some fictitious TV shows may have suggested, the tech scene is very much flourishing.
Australian tech executives that Stockhead spoke to believe the tech scene in 2020 will be similar to last year, with technologies such as quantum computing and blockchain dominating the news.
No prizes for guessing which sector is running hot right now.
The gold sector is an obvious answer, says Noel Ong — founder of Perth-based consultancy Samso, who believes the already booming gold price will keep rising.
“I think it could do as much as another 30 per cent rise in the next 12-24 months,” he says.
And we have Donald Trump to thank for that.
Our Aussie gold producers are the best placed to take advantage of that, according to Ong, because of the weaker Australian dollar.
Few people are at their desks in the week between Christmas and new year, which means it’s a prime dumping period for companies wanting to hide bad news.
So we thought we would do you all a favour and keep an eye out for the doozeys that were slipped out over the break. You’re welcome.
Readers seemed very interested, with it taking out third spot in our top 10 this week.
It’s like the Days of Our Lives of the ASX small cap world. There’s bankruptcy, contract terminations, legal disputes, suspensions, fire disasters and regulatory rejection.
We’re not sure if our readers are Batman fans or whether they just really wanted to know just who the “dynamic duo” behind the new Kaiser Reef gold IPO are.
Whichever it was, this little ditty proved a hit.
The pair, who have more than two decades of experience, have listed six companies as well as seen four mines built and one currently in construction.
Not a bad track record.
And now they’ve picked up gold ground between Newcrest’s successful low-cost Cadia mine and Alkane’s ripper new (possibly really big) porphyry discovery in NSW’s Lachlan Fold.
Our readers welcomed our new weekly gold wrap with open arms – hardly surprising the gold price hit new heights this week.
Again, thanks Donald Trump!
This new addition is a weekly wrap up of all things gold. 2019 was a superb year for many gold investors as prices rose +17 per cent on the back of some trade war-induced global economic uncertainty.
Add to that the latest US-Iran dispute and you have the perfect recipe for investors to keep flocking back to gold and a continued bull run.
Where one commodity is doing well, you will always find another that isn’t. And it seems nickel is that commodity.
Before December, all the signs were positive. London Metals Exchange (LME) nickel prices had hit a five-year high of $US18,850 ($27,200) per tonne after Indonesia confirmed the early ore export ban, while inventories fell to their lowest level since 2012.
But, while nickel bulls believe the real growth will come from nickel’s use in rechargeable batteries for electric vehicles, it is still uncertain when this growth will kick in.
2019 was a very good year for investors in the right life sciences, health or biotech companies.
Biotech Daily’s top-40 index, the BDI-40, closed the year up 117.8 per cent, compared to the ASX200 which moved a still respectable 18.4 per cent.
And experts reckon 2020 could be in for more of the same.
Our Private-i column continues to draw in the readers. In the most recent instalment, Sam Jacobs delivered some insight into what was in store for fintech unicorn Airwallex in 2020.
The company had another busy year in 2019, after announcing a marquee $US140m ($201m) capital raise back in March which gave it an implied valuation above $1 billion.
Since then, the company has increased global staff numbers by around 200 and doubled the size of its Australian office, as it works on product development and a push into western markets from its base in Asia.
Airwallex head of engineering Craig Rees told Stockhead he was looking forward to seeing the “culmination” of those efforts as Airwallex pushed into new markets in 2020.
A new year brings a new raft of developments from Australia’s small cap oil and gas companies, which have operations not only locally but also in other parts of the world.
It can be a little overwhelming given the sheer number of wells, tie-ins, workovers and other activities that are in the works.
But Bevis Yeo provided readers with this handy little wrap up of what Australian small cap oil and gas companies will be engaged in during the early part of 2020.
The headlines recently have been dominated by gold and oil, so again we aren’t surprised this one features in our top 10 this week.
While oil prices have started the new year out well, analysts believe gold could be the bigger beneficiary of the US-Iran tensions.
“The market’s initial reaction to the US airstrike killing of one of Iran’s most powerful generals should fade, but is another catalyst to a more enduring boost to gold than crude oil,” Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Mike McGlone said.
We hope you survived the first week back at work after the Christmas/New Year break.
Have a good weekend!