CLOSING BELL: Tech and Real Estate cop a right ol’ spanking as the market trips and falls 0.26%
There are days when things are quiet, and I might take a minute or two from my day to quietly contemplate my way into a state of abject terror over some stupid thing that’s gotten snagged in my brain.
Just the other day, I had something of a professional existential crisis – AI was blowing huge amounts of fresh, minty air up the skirts of investors everywhere, and I suddenly remembered that this thing that we’re all losing our minds about is highly likely to put me out of a job somewhere down the road.
Obviously, that’s not a nice future to be looking at – I’ve only ever been good at two things in my life… writing, and drinking.
I don’t drink anymore, so when AI finally does figure out how to write the way I do, I will be effectively purposeless – a hollowed out shell of a man, cursed to wander the streets while hitting people with a stick until they give me small amounts of money to go away.
And then, there are days like today – when the pace is relentless, the words aren’t behaving and a very large part of my brain is whispering “That AI thing can’t come soon enough, because this is just madness.”
I know I’m not alone, because over the course of the day I’ve watched local investors pick a couple of targets, and either elevate them (in the case of our Small Caps winners) to lofty heights, or back that target into a corner, and beat it unmercifully, just because it felt like the most reasonable thing to do.
On the receiving end of today’s lynching were three broad sectors – InfoTech, Real Estate and Consumer Discretionary, which generate enough broken bones, chipped teeth and torn flesh to drag the entire market into negative territory for the day.
InfoTech’s losses were steep, down 4.0% for the day after a couple of wonky sessions for their American cousins on Wall Street.
Real Estate fell more than 2.0%, and Consumer Discretionary was down 1.43% for the day as well.
In the latter of those sectors, Harvey Norman (ASX:HVN) stood out thanks to a 2.6% fall, which is a double-edged sword for anyone holding the stock.
On the one hand, you’ve probably lost a few bob today – but on the other hand, Ol’ mate whathisname… little bloke, bald, used to do their TV spots until Australian’s grew tired of having to smash their tellies every time his ads came on… you know the one.
Anyway, I’m sure someone somewhere will be silently adding a steep one-day drop to the teetering pile of Ultra-Flimsy excuses as to why the company is so desperate to chisel a few million dollars from Aussie taxpayers and hanging on to Covid payments it got, but clearly never needed.
That said, the culprit behind the market’s last couple of tediously negative days is Reserve Bank head honcho Philip Lowe, whose attempts to reassure those countrymen (and women) of his that he’s got lined up for foreclosure on their homes was truly a terrible show.
For example, his response to concerns from working Australians that cost of living is already killing them, so what’s up with spiking their debt repayments as well, was to urge workers to “just work more hours” is face-palmingly and breathtakingly tone deaf.
In fact, I’d argue that its a very close cousin to the idea of telling “unhoused” people to “just stop being poor”, or telling Philip Lowe to “Stop talking, dude. You’re only making it worse”.
Lowe did put up a feeble defence of the RBA’s action, saying that the only weapon it has to fight inflation is raising interest rates – a single economic lever that removes the headache pain of inflation by relocating it directly into our anuses instead.
It’s obviously a very blunt instrument, much like a hammer – and as the old saying goes, “When the only thing you have is a hammer, then everything starts to look like an old banker’s kneecaps”.
Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks:
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As it was at lunchtime, Iceni Gold (ASX:ICL) is still at the top of the ladder after surging well above the rest of the pack on news that further exploration at the company’s Everleigh Well target area has led to the discovery of a second gold-bearing outcrop.
“Assay results from the discovery of the second outcropping quartz vein with visible gold in the Everleigh target area are exciting, as they back up the initial field observations that reported visible gold in outcrop,” ICL technical director David Nixon said.
“High-grade rock chip results from the vein are supported by the underlying UFF+ soil anomaly, prospectivity indicators (including gold nuggets, workings and anomalous geochemical assays) and the multiple coincident targets generated by existing exploration work.
“The Everleigh Well target area continues to deliver in-situ gold bearing rock chips and significant numbers of various sized gold nuggets, where a number of key targets will be prepared for future exploration drilling.”
The rock chip analysis has turned up results with some silly numbers in them, ranging between 14,780g/t and 18,207g/t of gold.
Stockhead’s Golden Boy Reuben Adams reports that prospecting activity has also recovered gold nuggets across Everleigh Well, and the fact that the nuggets found near the vein are angular and show little or no signs of transport suggests the primary source may be close by.
In second place, and really starting to set off a few people’s spidey-sense, is Macarthur Minerals (ASX:MIO).
The advanced iron ore project developer added 39% today (for a running total of +61.3% for the week!), despite not making a market-moving sound on the ASX announcements board for nearly an entire calendar month.
So… is there something in the works and word’s leaked out? Is the market about to get completely Scooby-Do’d and Macarthur tears off its disguise and it turns out to have been Pilbara all along?
I honestly don’t know, but the first option seems the more likely of the two.
And in third place, it’s lithium explorer Nimy Resources (ASX:NIM), which gained 32% today on news that it’s intersected lithium-bearing pegmatites in eight holes, over 1.3km of strike, at the South Lake and Royale prospects within the Mons project in Western Australia.
NIM geological consultant Fergus Jockel says to intersect such extensive pegmatites below a strong lithium soil anomaly is highly promising.
“Favourable assays would confirm that the soil sampling is an effective lithium exploration tool at Mons and in this event we will move quickly to expand the anomaly, which remains open”.
Here are the least best performing ASX small cap stocks:
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It’s a good thing nothing truly noteworthy broke this arvo that we haven’t covered elsewhere on the site today, because I am plum out of time (and brainspace) to try to cobble something together.
If I have missed something terribly important, I’ll be sure not to mention it tomorrow because I will 100% forget to do that – I promise.
Spenda (ASX:SPX) – Proposed private placement. No, that’s not a code for something.
Black Rock Mining (ASX:BKT) – Capital Raising.
Zip Co (ASX:ZIP) – Capital raising and liability management exercise.
Si6 Metals (ASX:SI6) – Potential acquisition.
Gratifii (ASX:GTI) – Material contract announce, plus a capital raise.