Last Orders: What you may have missed on the ASX today
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It’s been another great day for small caps, with the Small Ordinaries index rising 1.3 per cent, or 36.4 points, to close at a two-week high of 2,878.2.
The index of 100 small cap companies outperformed the benchmark ASX200 index, which rose 0.8 per cent on Friday to close at 6,190.2 – back where it was on October 21.
Vote counting in the US was continuing with totals looking good for Joe Biden, but Democrats looked a longshot to win control of the Senate – an outcome that might be great for markets.
As it stands now a Biden presidency with a republican controlled senate is probably the best longer term result for the market. The US gets a more stable/rational leader who will improve China relations with little power to implement hard left policies. #ausbiz #ASX $XJO
— Heath Moss (@heathmoss83) November 5, 2020
Meanwhile, our neighbours across the Tasman have made it official – they won’t be legalising recreational cannabis anytime soon.
The final vote tally, released on Friday, showed voters rejected the cannabis legalisation referendum by a two-point margin, or less than 68,000 votes of more than 2.9 million ballots cast.
Percentage-wise, 50.7 per cent voted “no” and 48.4 per cent voted “yes” — a significant tightening of the vote over preliminary results released last week that showed the measure failing 53.1 per cent to 46.1 per cent. That tally excluded around 480,000 “special votes” such as those from overseas voters and those who cast ballots from an electorate they weren’t enrolled in.
Legalisation in New Zealand probably wouldn’t have had a big impact on ASX-listed cannabis companies, given that the draft legislation forbade cannabis imports in favour of setting up a domestic pot industry. But the move could have bolstered the case for giving the nod to legal weed in Australia eventually, industry analysts have said.
A reminder that legalising cannabis for adult recreational use across Australia with a 10 per cent licence fee and GST could raise about $1.44 billion in four years. https://t.co/yOsilIQayy
— David Shoebridge (@ShoebridgeMLC) November 4, 2020
Legalisation advocates can at least take heart with the results from Tuesday’s US election, in which drug reform measures passed across the board. Arizona, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota legalised recreational cannabis; Mississippi legalised medical cannabis; Oregon legalised psilocybin mushrooms for therapeutic purposes and decriminalised small amounts of hard drugs like heroin and cocaine; and Washington DC decriminalised a range of psychedelics.
But enough about drugs. Papyrus Australia (ASX:PPY) was the biggest gainer on the market today, closing 155 per cent higher at 5.1c after announcing it would refocus its operations in Egypt rather than Far North Queensland. The company has developed technology that can convert the waste trunks of banana palms into forest wood products.
Elsewhere on the market
– Buddy Technologies (ASX:BUD) fell 5.1 per cent to 5.6c after the smart light company announced that a default judgment had been issued against it in Western Australia District Court after the company failed to respond to a writ of summons it wasn’t aware of because of COVID-19 protocols. The lawsuit was filed by CST Capital, with which Buddy had entered into an equity financing agreement that was terminated before being drawn upon. Buddy says it will ask the court to set aside the judgment and denies it owes damages to CST.
– Pacific Smiles Group (ASX:PSQ) gained 3.4 per cent to $1.985 after the dental chain reported same-centre patient fee growth of 11.2 per cent for the financial year to date, except for Victoria where there’s been 19.5 per cent growth.
– Red Mountain Mining (ASX:RMX) announced that drilling at its Mt Maitland high-grade gold project has commended. The company plans to drill 18 holes for about 1.3km via reverse circulation drilling.
– Dubber Corporation (ASX:DUB) gained 7.3 per cent to $1.395 after the cloud-based call recording company announced it had been chosen as a choice for IBM’s cloud telecommunications platform.