Small caps have rallied, outperforming their larger peers after US President Donald Trump signed a massive omnibus spending bill that includes a coronavirus relief package.

The Small Ordinaries index closed on the day’s highs, finishing up 1.28 per cent to 3,129.3 – their best level since early 2008.

The ASX200 was more subdued, gaining 0.53 per cent to 6,700.3, its best close in a week and a half.

Every sector was up except health care and utilities, both of which edged lower. Tech stocks were the biggest gainers, collectively rising more than two per cent as fintechs surged.

Afterpay (ASX:APT) gained 5.3 per cent to $122.09, closing above $120 for the first time ever; while Splitit (ASX:SPT) soared 9.6 per cent to $1.255 and Tyro Payments (ASX:TYR) advanced 6.5 per cent to $3.29.

One of the biggest losers on the ASX was CUE Energy Resources (ASX:CUE), which fell 58.7 per cent to a six-month low of 9.3c after its co-owned exploration well off the coast of Western Australia failed to hit hydrocarbons after reaching its target depth of 5,275m.

The Ironbark-1 exploration well – which Cue once said had “company changing” potential – will now be plugged and abandoned.

Cue has a 21.5 per cent stake in the exploration permit, which is also owned by  operator BP (LON:BP) (42.5 per cent); Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) (21 per cent); and New Zealand Oil and Gas (ASX:NZO, NZX:NZO) (15 per cent).

Beach shares were down 4.3 per cent to $1.785, while NZ Oil and Gas’ ASX-listed shares dropped 25 per cent to 52.5.

“Bugger…. a very disappointing result for us all,” NZ Oil and Gas chief executive Andrew Jefferies said in a company statement.

“Ironbark was a world scale prospect in a highly prospective address, and it needed drilling. We got an answer, but it was not the one we wanted.”

It will take some time to retrieve and analyse the data and understand the implications for the play, the company said.

Elsewhere on the ASX:


Revasum (ASX:RVS) was flat at 27.5c after the California-based semiconductor specialist announced outgoing chief executive and president Jerry Cutini is claiming he is still entitled to his $US200,000 salary, a $US550,000 cash bonus, reimbursement of health insurance costs for a year and the vesting of certain equity instruments.

Revasum says this is because Cutini claims he resigned for “good reason”, as defined in his employment contract.

The company says it is disputing this while it searches for a new CEO.

Revasum announced in August it was negotiating for Cutini’s exit, but didn’t say why.

The company listed on the ASX two years ago in a $30 million IPO priced at $2 a share, but RVS stock only traded that high for two days in December 2018. This year they are down 54 per cent.

Medibio (ASX:MEB) was flat at 0.9c after the health technology company announced that the US Food and Drug Administration will require more clinical data before approving its MEBsleep software algorithm, which uses artificial intelligence to identify the five sleep stages of a patient.

Cokal (ASX:CKA) gained 8.7 per cent to 7.5c after the coking coal producer announced it had appointed an exclusive sales agent for domestic Indonesian coal sales from its Burni Barito Mineral project, which it intends to put into production next year.

Adavale Resources (ASX:ADD) was flat at 5c after the junior explorer announced it had been granted four more nickel sulfide prospecting licenses in Tanzania.

BetMaker Technology Group (ASX:BET) gained 0.7 per cent to 72c after the sports betting company announced that Sportstech shareholders had approved its £30.9 million acquisition of Sportech’s racing and digital assets. BetsMakers considers the acquisition to be transformational for its prospects.

Redflex Holdings (ASX:RDF) rose 3.9 per cent to 40c after announcing  that it had won a $7 million contract to supply fixed digital road safety cameras to Victoria’s West Gate Tunnel project, scheduled to open in September 2022.

Trading halts


None – as Nuheara (ASX:NUH) exited today

Ultima United (ASX:ULL) – capital raising & development project
The Agency Group (ASX:AU1) – finance documentation
IODM (ASX:IOD) – capital raising