ASX Small Caps Lunch Wrap: Who else is bracing for the mother of all impacts this week?
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Local markets opened higher this morning, jumping 0.4% thanks to (mostly) positive CPI data news out of the US overnight, which in turn boosted sentiment for investors on the wrong side of the Pacific Ocean.
However, none of that really matters because we’re all going to be wiped out by an asteroid sometime between now and Saturday. Possibly.
According to NASA’s top space scienticianists, who really do know quite an awful lot about what’s happening up there, the charmingly named Asteroid 2020 DB5 is hurtling towards our feeble little planet at an extraordinary rate of knots.
And it’s not a little thing, either – the asteroid measures in at 850 metres long, 380 metres wide and it’s on course to come alarmingly close to Earth.
To help you put those dimensions into some semblance of perspective, it’s roughly the same length as 10,625 fully-grown African Pygmy Mice, and about as wide as your mum’s butt.
And by the time it gets close to us here on Earth, it’s going to be moving at around 34,272km per hour – about 6-7 times the speed of a startled cat – which means it’s capable of travelling from Sydney to Melbourne in 1.54 minutes, or 1.81 minutes if it takes the more scenic coastal highway route.
The space wanderer was first spotted by the Spacewatch survey, from Kitt Peak Observatory, on 29 February 2020 – and, presumably after it started looking bigger each time the telescopic boffins checked up on it, it was decided that it was in fact coming right for us.
The good news is that it’s only considered to be something of a “close call” for Earth – missing us by around 4.3 million kilometres. That sounds like a lot, but in space metres, that’s “so close you can smell it” territory.
That’s a mere 11 times the distance between us and the moon, which doesn’t leave a whole of room for error, especially since we have absolutely zero idea how long this thing’s been blasting through space. But the safe bet is that it’s probably very tired and could see Earth as a great spot to pull over for a tinkle and a bit of a nap before heading off again.
NASA nerds reckon we should be fine though, pointing out that by the time you read this, there will have been two other asteroids speeding through our neck of the woods this week alone.
Using NASA’s Standardised Asteroid Measurement Units, the first was about the size of a bus, and the second was about the size of a house – but they barely rated a mention, because little things in space are (apparently) boring.
Anyway – I should get back to reporting on actual market stuff, just in case Asteroid 2020 DB5 disappoints me completely by failing to land on my mate Trev’s place as a reminder he still owes me $80.
It’s been more than a year, Trev. Cough up, ya bastard.
After opening the day 0.4% higher this morning, the Aussie benchmark arrived at lunchtime sporting a healthy 0.2% tan, complete with those intensely annoying goggle marks on its face, like it’s been out skiing with all the other rich folks this week.
That would have been a much tidier gain, if it weren’t for the fact that InfoTech has come off the boil and is down 1.24%, and Health Care stocks have absolutely bricked it this morning, falling 5.4%.
Leading the losses in that sector was Advanced Health Intelligence (ASX:AHI), which – truth be told – has been acting super-weird the past couple of days.
AHI is dual-listed, and its US stocks went completely bananas on Friday night (our time) for no apparent reason – and, because of the lag between then and the ASX opening after the King’s Birthday weekend, it wasn’t until yesterday that local shares also took off, jumping 370%.
The ASX hit the brakes, AHI went into a trading halt and then dropped an after-hours announcement that its plans to raise up to $10,000,000 under a convertible note facility had only reached a total of $1,976,000 – but a separate negotiation with Orca Capital, an offshore institutional investor, to bring in $5,000,000 had been successfully completed.
That second, previously unannounced capital raising saw Orca grab 20 million shares at $0.25 apiece – well below yesterday’s closing price of $0.40, which looked a little overcooked. But it seems investors have decided en masse to take their winnings and run and AHI is down 57% this morning, to $0.197 as a result, still a healthy pop on the 0.083 price before it all kicked off.
Also winning is the beleaguered Materials sector, which is up 2.37%, well above the rest of the market today.
Wall Street closed slightly higher last night, thanks to some encouraging CPI data that has added a fair bit of weight to the argument for the US Fed to keep rates on hold when it winds up its meeting later tonight.
As Stockhead’s resident sleep-deprived idiot reported this morning, US CPI climbed 4.0% for the year to May, the smallest year-on-year increase since March 2021, following a 4.9% rise in April.
That saw investors start to dip their toes back into the Ocean of Risk for the first time in a little while, leaving the Dow up 0.43%, the S&P up 0.69%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq outperforming once again on +0.83%.
In Japan, the Nikkei has climbed 0.99% on news that police have made an arrest following the theft of ¥1.15 million ($12,000) worth of Pokemon cards from a store in Tokyo’s Akihabara district.
According to local reports, the 35-year-old suspect claims to have broken into the shop to steal the cards on orders from someone on Twitter “in what appears to be a case of yami baito“, a term that loosely translates to “dark” or “shady” part-time jobs.
As a formerly regular user of Twitter, I reckon that fella got off very lightly, as most of the time other people on that platform have given me orders to do something, it usually involved something that was both biologically and physically impossible, and sounded rather painful.
In China, Shanghai markets are up just 0.21% despite China’s central bank cutting short-term loan rates to try to put an oversized government boot into the country’s lackadaisical economic arse, while in Hong Kong the Hang Seng is flatter than a puddle of custard, down just 0.06%.
In Crypto Canyon, where the sounds of lunatics losing their life savings echo hauntingly in the night, the big news is that Binance’s own BNB coin thingy is up 5%, after a US judge told SEC Chief Amphibian Gary Gensler there was “absolutely no need” to freeze the exchanges assets while the court sorts out whatever bats..t lawsuit the SEC has brought this time.
Rob “The Ruggedest Man in Crypto” Badman has all the details of that, and the rest of the crypto market, over at Mooners & Shakers.
Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for June 14 [intraday]:
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The morning’s big mover is all about nickel, thanks to Golden Mile Resources (ASX:G88) dropping news of “Spectacular Intersections” at its Quicksilver nickel-cobalt project in WA.
Golden Mile reports that its “best ever” intersections include drill hole 23QDD008, which returned 49m at 1.74% nickel (Ni), 0.071% cobalt (Co) from 30m, including:
Golden Mile’s freshly-minted managing director – he was bumped up into the role just yesterday – Damon Dormer said: “These are spectacular intersections and the highest nickel grade we have ever encountered at Quicksilver.”
“The results indicate that we have a significantly higher-grade zone within the overall Resource with the potential of disseminated nickel mineralisation within the untested primary zone. This may provide an opportunity for direct transportation and shipping of high-grade zones of the orebody to provide early cash flow while constructing the beneficiation plant and accelerating project timelines.”
Golden Mile was briefly sitting above +100% in gains this morning, but that’s eased to around +90% at lunchtime.
Not too far behind G88 is Intelligent Monitoring Group (ASX:IMB), which has leapt +71% this morning on news that it’s entered into a binding agreement to acquire all of the shares in Tyco Australia Group for $45 million.
Investors have decided that this is a Good Thing for Intelligent Monitoring, as security monitoring provider Tyco (which trades under the well-known ADT brand in Australia and New Zealand) has a ready-made revenue of around $95m, with $65m of recurring revenue – which makes the $45 million price tag look like a bit of a bargain.
And in third place is IperionX (ASX:IPX), blasting off to gain 52% this morning, on yesterday’s news that the company has inked a deal with US automaker Ford to to supply titanium metal components using its 100% recycled low-carbon titanium metal.
The company has been collaborating to design, test and additively manufacture a series of high-quality titanium components for future production vehicles for Ford’s high-performance and racing division, Ford Performance.
Ford Performance is well known for a leading range of performance cars such as the F150 Raptor, Bronco Raptor, Mustang Mach 1 and the Shelby GT500.
Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for June 14 [intraday]:
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