Surprisingly it’s not all about COVID-19 this week, guess our readers needed a little relief from the mass hysteria.

Here’s something to brighten your spirits (or maybe not if you think about the irony of it):

Quarantined celebrities sing about a world with no possessions from their multimillion dollar mansions. from facepalm

Now, here’s what you might have missed on Stockhead this week, but everyone else didn’t, and liked the most.


1. Zero to Hero: How Avita Medical rose over 500 per cent in 2 years

You’d be one happy shareholder if you bought into Avita Medical (ASX:AVH) a few years ago – a 500 per cent gain in two years, that’s pretty impressive.

But it wasn’t always smooth sailing for this once struggling biotech. The company, which was founded by renowned burns specialist Professor Fiona Woods, was known as Clinical Cell Cultures until 2008.

And for around 15 years it did not appear to be going anywhere, but the wheels finally began to turn in 2017.

Read all about the groundbreaking burns tech that helped many of the 2002 Bali bombings victims and transformed this once struggling minnow into a global biotech that cracked the world’s largest burns market.


2. Iron ore, lithium? The Pilbara’s also a top gold exploration address for these small caps

Better known for its giant iron ore mines and more recent lithium production, the Pilbara is gradually emerging as one of Australia’s most active gold provinces.

While there were historic gold rushes in the 1880s, it was really only when the conglomerate gold story started making its rounds in late 2017 that interest in the Pilbara as a gold exploration region really started.

And there’s a bunch of junior explorers making some very interesting finds in the region. This is making investors sit up and take notice. Find out who is having luck in the Pilbara.


3. Gold Digger: Have gold prices bottomed?

Of course, gold is still front and centre. A bit of a ‘cheeky’ pic, butt (get it?) that’s how we roll here at Stockhead.

What? The major gold miners were obliterated alongside everyone else last week… Just two of the 141 gold facing stocks on our list made a small gain over the last week. Ouch.

Well the markets may be getting smashed, but the gold price is holding strong – even more so now in Aussie dollar terms if you factor in the record low Aussie dollar against the Greenback.

Dig in if you missed our weekly gold update.


4. The tech stocks analysts reckon will do well in the coronavirus crisis

Four stories in and we finally have a COVID-19 hit!

It really is like a scenario out of Zombieland Double Tap – deserted streets, empty supermarket shelves, social distancing… but minus the zombies.

The arrival of COVID-19 in Australia has led to government restrictions on travel and large social gatherings, leading people to spend more time at home for business, study, work and leisure.

Tech stock analysts said it was reasonable to assume the coronavirus crisis could speed up the adoption of remote, internet-based activity across Australian society.

So, you guessed it, tech companies are pouncing on this new opportunity. See which stocks analysts reckon will do well out of this global mayhem.


5. The COVID-19 pandemic could be the catalyst for ‘wholesale changes’ in edtech

Among the many sectors facing severe disruption from COVID-19, education has been directly in the firing line.

Schools across the country are weighing up semi-permanent closures, with a number of students testing positive.

And major universities are moving towards online teaching solutions to ensure curriculums can be completed off-campus as large gatherings are disbanded.

Bad news for parents and uni students, but great news for edtech stocks.


6. Barry FitzGerald: Iron ore bucks coronavirus drag, set to remain strong for the rest of 2020

Finally, amid the doom and gloom there is a light for certain parts of the Australian economy – this time iron ore could be a winner.

The $85bn in annual iron ore exports from the vast and rusty red stretches of the Pilbara is giving Australia an advantage in dealing with the global economic fallout from the spread of the coronavirus.

Among the key mineral exports, it is only iron ore that has avoided demand and price destruction – to date at any rate. Taxes and royalties continue to roll into government coffers, and company profits from the commodity remain at elevated levels.

B Fitz has all the deets in case you missed it.


7. Chinese metals sector rapidly recovering from COVID-19 disruption, Roskill says

Our readers are looking for every little glimmer of hope.

And according to Roskill, Chinese metals production is resuming at a rapid rate as new COVID-19 case numbers stabilise.

While global virus numbers are just beginning to threaten some of the world’s other major economies, China — where the outbreak began — is getting back to business already.

A full recovery for the massive (but notoriously opaque) economy could be on the cards for May or June, says Roskill’s Neal Brewster.

Here’s hoping that if China can make such a swift recovery, Australia can too.


8. Going viral: ASIC steps in to keep markets calm

You know sh*# is getting real when ASIC wakes up and takes charge.

Australian markets saw record trading levels over the past couple of weeks and now the market regulator has stepped in to keep things calm.

Following trading volumes that hit such high levels last Friday, exchanges and brokers had to work through the weekend. And nobody likes that.

This prompted ASIC to start limiting the number of trades large market players can make each day.

Read all about it.


9. Is coal the safe haven right now? It’s outshone gold in 2020

We all know gold is the safe haven metal right? But at one point, while gold started to head south, coal — particularly coking coal — held firm. Interesting.

It looks as if those pesky supply chain interruptions have given coal a leg up.

Thomson Reuters economist Clyde Russell has some interesting insights on the trend.


10. Explainer: How does gold hedging impact shareholder returns?

With the recent run up in the gold price, which is currently trading at over $2,500 Aussie, now is probably a really good time for producers not to be hedged.

Hedging involves a gold producer forward selling future gold production at a fixed price to lock in guaranteed revenue, rather than taking its chances with the spot price if it falls.

But it can result in gold producers missing out on a lot of money, like billions!

So we provided some handy info on which small cap juniors are not hedged (hint: there’s not many). You’re welcome.

Try not to panic (buy), and have a great weekend!