Small caps have outperformed the broader market to close at their highest level since 2008 ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration.

The Small Ordinaries index finished on Wednesday up 0.8 per cent to 3,149.6, while the ASX200 gained 0.4 per cent to an 11-month high of 6,770.4.

The Emerging Companies nano-cap index gained even more, rising 1.9 per cent to 2,068.4.

The No. 2 cryptocurrency, Ethereum, soared to an all-time high of around $US1,370, having traded for around $US350 from August to October. On the Australian exchange the Independent Reserve, ETH was changing hands for $1,775.

Hammer Metals (ASX:HMX) was the biggest gainer, soaring 175 per cent to 9.1c after the company announced a new copper-gold discovery at its Trafalgar prospect in Queensland. Managing director Daniel Thomas called it a “fantastic result”.


Australian Primary Hemp (ASX:APH) soared 26.3 per cent to 48c after the plant-based health and wellness product manufacturer announced it had received commitments to raise $5.2 million in an institutional placement. The company recently secured distribution of its Mt Elephant brand of hemp products in Woolworths and 7-Eleven

Orthocell (ASX:OCC) dipped 1 per cent to 50.5c despite the regenerative medicine company announcing it had received a $2.3 million research and development tax refund.

Bionomics (ASX:BNO) dropped 9.1 per cent to 15c despite the biopharmaceutical company announcing a phase 2 clinical trial testing its vascular disrupting agent to treat colorectal cancer would be finished ahead of schedule. All patients have finished their dosing and the results should be available in the second quarter of this year, rather than the previous date of early 2023, the company said.

Novatti (ASX:NOV) dropped 2.0 per cent to 24.5c despite the payments company announcing it had been licensed to issue Visa cards in New Zealand.

Trading halts


Think Childcare (ASX:TNK) – counter-proposal to acquisition offer
Victory Mines (ASX:VIC) – capital raising
Chase Mining (ASX:CML) – capital raising
Los Cerros (ASX:LCL) – assay results


Emerge Gaming (ASX:EM1) – company update
Nelson Resources (ASX:NES) – capital raising
Red Emperor Resources (ASX:RMP) – acquisition
Jatcorp (ASX:JAT) – capital raising
Sunstone Metals (ASX:STM) – exploration update