• Aussie markets end Friday on a -0.80% disappointment
  • US signals new cannabis laws, good news for Aussie producers
  • Zelensky the hot tip to win a rare mid-war Nobel Peace Prize

 

The ASX has dribbled  it’s way towards Friday’s -0.80% close, staring out the window like a patient bombed on thorazine.

A cursory glance at the benchmark’s graph today shows the sort of result you’d expect when someone’s pet cat pushes a soggy, punctured tennis ball off a coffee table – an initial steep drop and a series a squelchy bounces into the bog of a not-happy Friday afternoon.

Wall Street’s overnight warm-up act was entirely piss-weak, if we’re being honest. Which, of course, we are. Because we always are. Honest.

The Benchmark fell 0.7% the moment everyone’s laptops were done booting up this morning, and since then it’s moved like a political debate Public Opinion Worm, as two Centrist candidates wrestle with the finer points of the effect of supply-side economics on a thoroughly laboured metaphor market.

Across the sectors, Energy (+1.10%) and Utilities (+0.33%) were the only groups with the stones and the moxie to keep their heads above water today, while the combined weight of all the other sectors dragged the benchmark down.

There were some major movers, though – and among the Big Kids they include strong showings from Stanmore Resources (ASX:SMR) and Karoon Energy (ASX:KAR) .

Stanmore groaned out an 8.3% rise after announcing the completion of its acquisition of the remaining 20% interest in BHP Mitsui Coal, now renamed Stanmore SMC, held by Mitsui. It’s the final piece in that part of the Stanmore puzzle, and it looks to have made the market feel all happy inside.

Meanwhile Karoon’s reported news that it’s fixed up some issues at its Baúna oil field in Brazil and punched up production to ~22,000 bopd, just days after it informed the market that it’s managed to twist the arm of the Brazilian National Agency for Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels (ANP), where it has secured a significant decrease in its royalties overhead.

Karoon’s price has eased somewhat since hitting an intraday high of $2.31 just before lunch, but it’s on track to finish 7.1% up, around $2.22 a pop.

 

WHAT HAPPENED AROUND THE WORLD?

China’s wringing the last of its Golden Week holiday spirit today, so their markets are closed. Hong Kong is open, but probably wishes it wasn’t since it’s on track to finish 1.10% down for the day.

Similarly, Japan has struggled to get into positive territory, after waking up this morning to news that a massive plumbing emergency at Nintendo headquarters in Kyoto will require a specialist team to be flown out from Italy to “fix the Princess’ pipes”.

Something may have been lost in translation there, but the net result is a drop of 0.7% for the Nikkei.

In the US, all three major indices finished lower, as the nation celebrated news that President Joe Biden is preparing to flood the streets with embittered former criminals by vacating all convictions for a swag of nonviolent cannabis-related crimes.

Wall Street obviously got in on the resulting party, smoked two fat spliffs and then greened out on a beanbag, listening to a bootleg cassette of Ravi Shankar and His Amazing Boinging Sitar and groping about in the dark for half a cheeseburger it thinks it “put down somewhere safe about an hour ago”.

South Korea has taken a break from hitting itself with powerful rockets to give Samsung a crack at destroying national morale, by announcing that it’s going to announce a pants-dampening awful 32% profit slump, as worldwide demand for electronic devices and memory chips continues to decline.

And in Norway, preparations are underway for the announcement of the winner of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky almost an unbackable favourite to win the Peace Prize, and a war, within weeks of each other.

Should he be triumphant, Zelensky will win an all-expenses-paid 7-day trip for him and a friend to a 3.5-star Bali beach resort, and a medal.

The unsuccessful nominees will be fed to a moose.

 

ASX SMALL CAP LAUDABLES

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks:

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In Small Caps, DGR Global (ASX:DGR) meaty and meteoric 42.3% rise remains the Gain of the Day, despite losing some steam as the day wore on. We’re still mystified as to why it happened, because DGR ain’t said boo for the past few days.

Elsewhere, Creso Pharma (ASX:CPH) has had a boom today, partially on news that it’s rounded up 20 patients for its awesomely-named Hallucinex synthetic psilocybin clinical trial, due to kick off in a week’s time.

Creso has also benefited from the news out of the US about significant changes on the way with regard to the federal legal status of cannabis, in a market that Creso has significant exposure to.

And Forrestania Resources (ASX:FRS) is up 30.4% today after informing the market that it’s accepted binding commitments for a Placement of 18.0 million shares at an issue price of $0.15 per share to raise $2.7 million and fund its quest to climb Mount Lithium.

On a less-than-stellar note, sad but still worth mentioning, Mt Thirsty JV partners Conico (ASX:CNJ) and Greenstone (ASX:GSR) have taken massive thumpings today on the back of disappointing assay results.

The companies, however, are putting on a brave face, remaining positive that with a bit more drilling left to do, they’re going to hit the resource levels that they believe are there, with seven drill holes remaining to be bored in this round of exploration, and results from those due in the coming weeks.

 

ASX SMALL CAP LAGGARDS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks:

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TRADING HALTS

Nagambie Resources (ASX:NAG) – Nagambie’s running a capital raise because, well… the old grey NAG, she ain’t what she used to be.

Prescient Therapeutics (ASX:PTX) – Peescient has called a halt in the lead-up to a placement announcement. Anyone that was planning on buying in this afternoon really should have seen this coming.

BPH Energy (ASX:BPH) – BPH is also holding a capital raise, possibly to fund yet another education program to explain to the public “for the last freakin’ time” that it’s not BHP.

Woomera Mining (ASX:WML) – Woomera’s holding a capital raise to improve leverage.

Kingsland Minerals (ASX:KNG) – There’s assay results due from Kingsland’s uranium drilling in the neighbouring Northern Territory.

Alchemy Resources (ASX:ALY) – Alchemy’s having a capital raise to buy more lead to turn into gold.

Metgasco (ASX: MEL) – And it’s yet another capital raise, this time from Metgasco as it continues its quest to become a bigger gas giant than Jupiter.

NickelX (ASX:NKL) – NickelX is also holding a capital raise, to pay Hollywood director Michael Bay’s astronomical fee to produce a 3-minute training montage ahead of its highly-anticipated “winner takes all” naming rights brawl with Nickelback.

Duratec Limited (ASX:DUR) – And lastly, Duratec’s been out shopping and would like us all to have a gander at what it’s bought, and remark upon how happy they look with their shiny new things.

Have a great weekend, folks. We’re outta here.