It wasn’t exactly a strong “Santa rally,” but small caps have finished higher for their second day in a row to claw back nearly all of Monday and Tuesday’s losses.

The Small Ordinaries closed Thursday up 24.9 points, or 0.81 per cent, to 3,089.8, finishing the abbreviated Christmas week down just 0.8 points, or 0.02 per cent.

With just one more short week left in 2021, the Small Ords index of 100 small-cap companies is tracking to close December up 2.46 per cent and the year up 6.6 per cent.

Its big brother, the ASX200, meanwhile finished Thursday up 0.33 per cent, or 21.7 points, to 6,664.8 – down 0.16 per cent for the week.

For the month the ASX200 is up 2.26 per cent, and it’s still down 19.3 points, or 0.29 per cent, for the year.

The Emerging Companies index of micro-cap companies finished Thursday up 1.13 per cent. It’s up 1.14 per cent in December and has gained 23.7 per cent for the year.

Most sectors were up Thursday – all except health care and utilities, which were down around 0.3 to 0.4 per cent. Energy was the biggest gainer, gaining 1.1 per cent as crude prices rose following a drop in US stockpiles.

CFOAM (ASX:CFO) was the third biggest gainer on the market, rising 42.3 per cent to 3.7c after announcing that its 75 per cent-owned subsidiary, CFOAM Corp, had been awarded a $US2.4 million ($3.2 million) project by the US Department of Energy to work on new uses for US coal resources.

The West Perth company says its coal-based carbon foam products can be used for everything from aerospace tooling to fireproof wall material to exhaust systems.

Elsewhere on the ASX:


AnteoTech (ASX:ADO) gained five per cent to 10.5c after the Queensland-based surface chemisty company announced it was making progress on its COVID-19 antigen rapid test, with the technology being transferred to its Spanish manufacturing partner and clinical studies to validate the test underway in Victoria. The low-cost test will deliver results in 15 minutes based on nasal or saliva samples, the company says.

8Common (ASX:8CO) gained 30.4 per cent to 15c after the financial processing company announced it had signed a threec-year, $1.6 million contract with Life Without Barriers, a National Disability Insurance Scheme provider. 8Common’s CardHero+ solution will provide funds and expense management processing for the end-user.

Credit Corp Group (ASX:CCP) soared 19.7 per cent to $29.76 after the debt collector announced it had agreed to buy the debt ledger of Collection House (ASX:CLH) for $160 million. Shares in Collection House have been suspended since February and there were warnings that it might not be able to survive as a going concern. Going forward Collection House intends to form a long-term partnership with another party to allow it to participate in the purchased debt market, rather than buy debt itself. Credit Corp raised its guidance by $10 million

Catalyst Metals (ASX:CYL) dropped 10.4 per cent to $2.16 after shaking up its management team following its acquisition of the Henty gold mine in Tasmania. Former Mt Isa Mines executive Bruce Robertson will begin the role of CEO on January 4, at a salary of $300,000 a year plus stock options.

ECS Botanics (ASX:ECS) announced that MediPharm Labs Australia has agreed to purchase cannabis flower or crude resin extract from ECS for the next three years, starting in November. MediPharm has also agreed to transfer certain equipment to ECS to support its maiden cannabis harvest in Tasmania.

Creso Pharma (ASX:CPH) announced that its Canadian subsidiary, Mernova Medicinal, would move into the legal Canadian hashish market. Mernova expects to launch its hash products from its Nova Scotia facility in the first quarter of next year.

Trading halts


Anteris Technologies (ASX:AVR) – capital raising


Nuheara (ASX:NUH) – capital raising & supply agreement

At Stockhead we tell it like it is. While Creso Pharma and ECS Botanics are Stockhead advertisers, they did not sponsor this article.