CLOSING BELL: It’s never a good idea to let the ASX dress all in red ‘just like Santa Claus’
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The Closing Jingle Bell has rung, so that’s it until after Christmas for 2022! What a pity today’s turned out to be just like that photo of you as a toddler, howling in fear and wetting your pants while perched upon Santa’s knee at the mall.
The market dipped hard this morning, and from there it’s been like your weird little nephew on Christmas Day, double-fisting corn chips and double-dipping as fast as his scabby little hands can move between the guac and his relentlessly motoring jaws.
By the Closing Bell, the ASX benchmark had landed on -0.76%. Ba Humbug, and all that guff.
As we trundled to a close, all the sectors are still in the red, with InfoTech and Energy still at the bottom of the ladder by at least a country mile. There’s an outside chance that Utilities might break even today, but I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were you.
In terms of winners, the afternoon has seen one large capper break into the league table – Neuren Pharmaceuticals (ASX:NEU) has climbed 5.13% today, after it announced the submission of an Investigational New Drug (IND) application for NNZ-2591 in Prader-Willi syndrome and provided an update on progress in its ongoing Phase 2 clinical trials for each of Phelan-McDermid, Angelman and Pitt Hopkins syndromes.
Also among the Big Kids, sadly GUD (ASX:GUD) has had something of a ‘Guh’ moment, with the pool, spa and auto pump group shedding 6.63% for no apparent reason at all.
I’ll check into that and in the unlikely event that I remember, I’ll give you an update once the stuffing’s cleared from Christmas Day.
As mentioned this morning, the US markets managed to take positive news in the worst possible way…
The overnight data from the US was good. LIke, fundamentally good for just about everyone
The main part was lower than expected initial jobless claims out of the US, which came in lower (healthier) than expected, Pete “The Thailand Pirate” Farquhar reports. And that’s great! Lower unemployment is quite clearly an excellent thing, right?
But noooo… because that plays right into the US Fed’s assessment that the entire nation still needs to be punished over inflationary issues, so Jerome Powell’s “you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet” approach to rate hikes now has real, hard data to back him up. The bastard.
US Tech stocks were massacred, with Tesla copping the worst (-8.88%), but Microsoft and Apple also crumbled after chipmaker Micron posted a fairly morbid outlook.
The end result was a market milkshake so sour you’d swear the cows had been spooked by a witch, with the Dow Jones down by 1.05%, the NASDAQ by 2.18% and the S&P 500 by 1.45%. Big Oof.
Asian markets have also performed poorly today. Japan’s Nikkei is down 0.88% this morning as the nation steels itself for the arrival of Annual Gift Man, fresh from his headquarters on the moon, bearing small toy robots made entirely of parts designed to choke small children. #BatteriesNotIncluded
On Hong Kong, the Hang Seng was barely hangin’ on, down 0.51% while Shanghai was flatter than Steven Seagal’s performance in Sniper Special Ops. 0.00% out of 5 stars.
Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks:
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Not much has changed in the Small Caps landscape since this morning.
Immuron (ASX:IMC) is still up 19.4% after it received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration to proceed with the clinical evaluation of Travelan.
The biggest mover of the day, though, is Retail Food Group (ASX:RFG), which has seen an enormous boost in popularity, after it announced that its beef with the ACCC has been settled in a manner that is entirely good for RFG.
The whole thing’s been dropped with RFG making any admission as to the ACCC’s allegations in the proceeding, paying any pecuniary penalty or being subject to any injunction, disclosure or adverse publicity order.
At the time of writing, RFG is up 10.15% – but that’s likely to climb higher given the relatively massive volume being reported at the moment: about $1.2m worth of a $0.076 stock.
MetalsTech (ASX:MTC) was up ~13% this morning off the back of news that Chifeng Gold (aka Chijin International) has completed a $3 million placement to take its position in MTC to about 9%.
The placement comes in advance of MetalsTech updated mineral resource estimate at its flagship 1.5+oz Sturec gold deposit in Slovakia, which is expected to drop shortly.
MTC has since eased somewhat, and is currently trading ~6.4% higher for the day.
Here are the least best performing ASX small cap stocks:
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As it’s the last trading day before Christmas, things are relatively quiet in the ‘news we didn’t tell you yet’ department, but worth noting is this little gem from Asra Minerals (ASX:ASR), which – at first glance – looks like it’s making a late run at the Company Pivot of the Year award for 2022.
Asra informed the market today that it’s purchased a cow farm, which is quite a large step away from its core competencies in finding stuff to dig out of the ground.
ASR says it has completed the strategic debt free ownership of the 172,662Ha Tarmoola Pastoral station and associated civils machinery for a combined purchase price of $4.0 million – by discharging the remaining $3 million facility owing to RiverFort.
Because, you can’t go mining for gold without a whole heap of cows to worry about as well, right?
Just kidding… Asra’s into the cow-herding game because the station’s been amassing carbon credits since 17 March 2021, and Select Carbon has been appointed by Tarmoola Holdings to provide the requisite services to attain the carbon credit benefits.
And Aspen Group (ASX:APZ) has announced that it’s also made a property purchase, snapping up the Black Dolphin Resort Motel in Merimbula, on the New South Wales Emerald Coast.
The Black Dolphin sits right door to Aspen’s existing eyebrow-raisingly-named Tween Waters Holiday Park property, wedged in between the beach and the river (oh… that explains the name…) – increasing Aspen’s footprint on the block by roughly 60-65% (it’s hard to tell from the photos, so we’re guesstimating).
Invictus Energy (ASX:IVZ) – Halt called pending an update in relation to results from the Mukuyu-1 sidetrack wireline logging programme, formation pressure and fluid sampling.
Belararox (ASX:BRX) – Halt called in light of a potential project acquisition.
Annnnd that’s it from us until after Christmas. We’d like to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season, from all of us at Stockhead.