Closing Bell: When investors say ‘jump!’, the market says ‘how does 1.2% grab ya?’
Link copied to
Despite the ASX 200 April futures contract was pointing up by 0.1% early this morning, Aussie markets issued forth several barking, bilious grunts and heaved out a 1.2% jump at the sound of the starter’s gun at 10am.
Then, through a combination of hard work, sheer animal cunning and some very careful mathematics, it stayed there until the end of the day. Astonishing stuff.
I am probably being needlessly cynical and cruel – something for which I do apologise, along with the off-colour Easter jokes, too. Mea Culpa, and all that.
Anyhoo… the market was mostly very well-behaved today, with every sector putting in the effort to keep its head above water, from the lowly returns among InfoTech (+0.1%) to the heady highs of a surging Materials sector (+2.2%), everyone got to have a turn at feeling what it’s like to be a winner.
Latitude Group (ASX:LFS) has revealed that it’s received a ransom demand from a group claiming responsibility for hacking into the company and making off with private details of millions of customers, past and present.
Latitude says that it will not pay the ransom, with CEO Bob Belan harumphing in a manner most indignant that the company “Will not pay a ransom to criminals”, just like the US “Does not negotiate with terrorists” (except when it does).
“Based on the evidence and advice, there is simply no guarantee that doing so would result in any customer data being destroyed, and it would only encourage further extortion attempts on Australian and New Zealand businesses in the future,” Belan said.
So… anyone who was on the fence about getting a new set of documentation made (so that any ‘bad actors’ don’t take out any 100% plausibly deniable finance in your name), now’s probably the time to get moving on that.
The new documentation, I mean. Not the ‘taking out a bunch of shady loans and blaming “hackers” for it’ thing, because that would be stealing, and stealing is wrong.
Bad news for people who enjoy having things brought to their houses so that they don’t have to stare deep into the cold, dead eyes of supermarket cashiers – grocery and alcohol delivery service company Milkrun has collapsed.
The news pretty much only affects consumers in Sydney and Melbourne, and the 400 or so workers in those two cities that will be out of a job by the end of the week.
Milkrun was launched by Koala mattress king Dany Milhan in September 2021, slap-dab in the middle of the sixth round of Draconian Government Overreach Lockdown-a-palooza™– so of course, it did pretty well, because it meant that anyone fully committed to the idea of not catching Covid could get a cheeky box of chardonnay and a couple of litres of milk left on the doorstep, EZPZ.
But, as it turns out, Australia’s commitment to convenience-at-all-costs shopping has been overshadowed by our love of not paying up-the-arse-and-out-through-the-nose prices for bad wine and warm milk.
It’s not the end for Milkrun that Milhan had wanted, though. The company was, by all accounts, doing its best to make things work and ensure no one got left holding an unwanted baby.
Looking quickly overseas, and the world’s most-favourite search engine company Google has been handed a comically massive fine by the South Korean Fair Trade Commission, over unfair business practices in that country’s equally-comically massive mobile gaming market.
According to the complaint to regulators, Google had sought to block the release of a number of games on OneStore, an app market launched by South Korea’s three mobile carriers in 2016.
The SKFTC found that the monopoly had, indeed, stopped the local Telco cartel from being as profitable as possible, and exacted a terrible revenge by dropping a 42.1 billion won ($47.8 billion) fine in Google’s lap.
In Japan today, The Nikkei is on track to close 1.15% higher, the Hang Seng is close to flat at 0.08% and Shanghai’s down 0.37%, with the latter two still with some time left on the clock to improve.
And in crypto news, Bitcoin’s threat to break through the US$30,000 mark for the first time since June 2022 was finally made good this morning, hitting a US$30,347.89 high around 12.30pm before easing back under US$30k as the afternoon wore on.
Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks:
Swipe or scroll to reveal full table. Click headings to sort:
|CLZ||Classic Min Ltd||0.0015||50%||65,569,433||$2,913,095|
|G88||Golden Mile Res Ltd||0.028||40%||11,262,377||$5,268,645|
|JRV||Jervois Global Ltd||0.091||30%||53,559,420||$145,548,267|
|BPP||Babylon Pump & Power||0.005||25%||62,697||$9,831,085|
|RBR||RBR Group Ltd||0.0025||25%||100,000||$3,196,809|
|RR1||Reach Resources Ltd||0.005||25%||1,507,042||$9,510,203|
|SIO||Simonds Grp Ltd||0.11||22%||164,212||$32,391,581|
|DME||Dome Gold Mines Ltd||0.18||20%||36,500||$52,982,120|
|ASR||Asra Minerals Ltd||0.012||20%||304,377||$14,671,187|
|CTO||Citigold Corp Ltd||0.006||20%||30,000||$14,368,295|
|ECT||Env Clean Tech Ltd.||0.012||20%||6,623,528||$24,766,106|
|FAU||First Au Ltd||0.006||20%||314,841||$5,473,916|
|RIE||Riedel Resources Ltd||0.006||20%||1,475,939||$6,858,535|
|DMG||Dragon Mountain Gold||0.013||18%||313||$4,341,388|
Rare Earths minnow Prospech (ASX:PRS) is the day’s hands-down winner, screaming out past the stratosphere on news that the company’s uncovered high-grade rare earth oxides and hafnium over 4km strike at its recently-acquired Jokikangas project in Finland.
This one’s a banger, with the best of the results including:
Those are the sorts of numbers that really get investors’ attention – and the market reacted accordingly, with PRS more than 200% higher at lunch time.
The action around PRS eased somewhat as the afternoon session wore on, leaving Prospech up 142.9% to $0.051.
Next highest on the ladder is Australian Rare Earths (ASX:AR3), which went zooming 83% this morning on absolutely no news, before being thrust unceremoniously into a trading halt less than an hour after the market opened.
AR3 has replied to the ASX speeding ticket with a “nothing to see here”, but gently suggested that there’s been a lot of chatter about Rare Earths in recent days, including a great piece in The Australian yesterday about AR3’s clay-based dysprosium and terbium discovery that is set to rival those in China and Myanmar, at the same time that China’s talking tough about export restrictions.
At the end of the day, Australian Rare Earths is up a nice, round 80.0%.
And a winner from last week is back in the news, with 4D Medical (ASX:4DX) adding another 45.4% to last week’s win, which was prompted by the company’s freshly-inked deal with Tampa Bay University to provide software that helps doctors look inside people for stuff.
Here are the least best performing ASX small cap stocks:
Swipe or scroll to reveal full table. Click headings to sort:
|VPR||Volt Power Group||0.001||-33%||52,007||$16,074,312|
|NVA||Nova Minerals Ltd||0.33||-29%||7,658,432||$98,063,746|
|CCE||Carnegie Cln Energy||0.0015||-25%||3,796,888||$31,285,147|
|FIJ||Fiji Kava Limited||0.003||-25%||600,000||$1,600,355|
|LNU||Linius Tech Limited||0.003||-25%||1,123,218||$12,918,985|
|MRL||Mayur Resources Ltd||0.16||-24%||4,030||$62,066,862|
|REZ||Resourc & En Grp Ltd||0.013||-19%||1,339,531||$7,996,893|
|ADC||Acdc Metals Ltd||0.096||-17%||160,000||$5,375,963|
|GBE||Globe Metals &Mining||0.061||-16%||2,203,518||$36,994,115|
|AGR||Aguia Res Ltd||0.032||-16%||6,416,587||$16,486,462|
|NGY||Nuenergy Gas Ltd||0.036||-14%||550,661||$62,200,131|
|YPB||YPB Group Ltd||0.003||-14%||4,401,364||$2,167,371|
Two quickies, because it’s late in the day and I know you want to be getting home for dinner…
Health and Plant Protein Group (ASX:HPP) held a shareholder meeting this morning to decide on whether to sell off its macadamia business to Hawaiian Host Group, after the company indicated that it would like to go ahead and accept the latter’s offer on 23 February this year.
The results of the meeting are in line with the board’s recommendations, and shareholder approval has been granted for the sale to move ahead.
Meanwhile, Site Group International (ASX:SIT) has been handed a heavy blow by the the Full Federal Court of Australia, after the court rejected its appeal against the decision of a trial judge that its subsidiary, Productivity Partners, engaged in conduct in breach of the Australian Consumer Law in proceedings commenced by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
Additionally, the Federal Court also found (in a 2-1 majority decision) that Site was knowingly concerned in that conduct, albeit for “a shorter period of time” than the original trial judge found.
The action was launched by the ACCC over concerns about the education, training and labour services company, through an entity trading as Captain Cook College in Sydney and Brisbane had “over a three-month period in 2015 … improperly enrolled more than 7,000 people in online business courses, including some who were mentally disabled or illiterate”, the Courier Mail reports.
“Taxpayers picked up the tab for much of it, with the college claiming about $50m from the federal government under a tuition loan program,” the report continues.
At the time. ACCC supremo Rod Sims noted that “more than 90% of the consumers failed to complete any part of the courses and 86% never even logged on to a computer.”
Site has 28 days to seek leave to appeal the decision or the matter will proceed to a penalty hearing – which is a big ask, considering the company’s in the middle of a non-renounceable entitlement offer.
Omega Oil & Gas (ASX:OMA) – Incoming update on the Company’s Canyon-2 Permian Deep Gas drilling program.
Felix Gold (ASX:FXG) – Capital raising.
Western Mines Group (ASX:WMG) – Capital raising.
MGC Pharmaceuticals (ASX:MXC) – Capital raising.
Aurumin (ASX:AUN) – Update on a planned entitlement issue.
Galena Mining (ASX:G1A) – Operational update.
Health and Plant Protein Group (ASX:HPP) – Halt called ahead of Shareholder vote, held this morning.