Closing Bell: When life gives you lemons, draw monkeys on ‘em and sell ’em to Bieber
Aussie markets have wandered like the mind of a student near a window today, scudding through the day with no real sense of urgency but still managing to eke out just enough of a result to ensure no one can really be all that mad at the end of the day.
The highest from zero the benchmark managed to move was around the +0.4% mark, with Utilities (+0.82%) and Telcos (+0.79%) doing all the moderate lifting today, with the only two laggards performing so lazily they could barely even lose value.
Now that’s commitment to having a whole-day siesta.
Overseas, and while Wall Street’s overnight slide once again failed to translate into terrible news for the ASX, it seems to have pushed Asian markets into a mixed bag for the day.
Japan’s Nikkei is set to close lower (-0.10%), Shanghai is also edging down (-0.11%) but Hong Kong is bravely forging its own path to the right side of the ledger, adding 0.56% for the day.
Now it’s time for a quick look around to see what’s what…
“News” this week for anyone who doesn’t follow what’s happening in the world of NFTs, is the terrifyingly sad story that Heartthrob Justin Bieber’s Bored Ape has fallen in value.
A lot of value.
Bieber reportedly shelled out ~US1.3 million for it in January, and this week it was valued at just under US$70k – oh dear, what a shame, how sad.
It’s obviously a sign that the broader NFT market has been kicked in the cobblers (Thanks heaps, SBF!) and is in observably terrible shape – but, luckily for everyone, none other than William Shatner has swooped in to save the day.
The 12,000-year-old Canadian chap who pretended to go into space for many years (and then did, for real) has spent the past couple of days talking up how vitally important NFTs are to the future of gaming.
Small problem: The jury is well and truly out on whether he’s quite got a handle on what he’s trying oh-so-hard to sell.
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) November 18, 2022
#OhNoHeDidn’t… #OhShitHeDid. #Khaaaaaaaaaan.
Some news from the big US automakers over the past couple of days, with a couple of public statements on the future of the EV market from the manufacturers’ point of view.
First up was Ford CEO Jim Farley, who dropped a bit of a bombshell about Ford’s projections that there’s about 40% less labour required to build an EV than there is in a traditional oil-burner.
Naturally, auto workers were less than thrilled to hear that – because it smacks of “Erm… so… nearly half of you are gonna have to go”.
Farley, however, says that’s not necessarily the case, already flagging a wave of in-sourcing to help keep lay-offs to a minimum… whether that pans out, only the future can tell.
And overnight, it was GM’s turn to talk about what an EV future looks like over in their neck of the woods – CEO Mary Barra spilling the beans on a brighter economic future for The General which includes its EV division turning a buck a lot quicker than anticipated.
Barra says it’s because of government incentives under the Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act, which not only hands money to companies for making EVs in the US, but also hands money to people who buy them, as well.
It’s a triple-jump of good news for America’s EV makers – lower labour costs, cashback for making the cars and then further cash incentives for people to buy them… what’s not to love?
Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks:
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Today started off with a sense of excitement in the air, as local wunderkind WA1 Resources (ASX:WA1) came out of a trading halt called within days of it announcing it had bitten deep into a second hunka-hunka chunk of niobium-REE mineralised carbonatite at Arunta West on Wednesday.
WA1 barrelled straight into a capital raise, and investors were positively frothing at the mouth to get as much WA1 into their pockets as possible, so expectations were high when the market started this morning – and it didn’t disappoint, for a little while.
At open, WA1 was immediately 65% higher, breaking through to $3.01 per share before slowly-slowly, it eased – leaving behind a price chart that looked a lot like somebody taking a tediously slow tumble down a set of stairs as value was grabbed at a few stop-points along the way.
By the end of the day, WA1 was at $2.32, still up 31% for the day and waaaaay above its $0.135 price from 21 October – but down quite a bit from the high water mark this morning.
That left Estrella Resources (ASX:ESR) on the top step of the podium for the day, holding aloft the trophy and a little certificate with +50% written on the front, following news it had entered into an ore processing and off-take agreement with Murrin Murrin Operations, a wholly owned subsidiary of Glencore, for the 5A nickel mine bulk metallurgical sample.
While the precise details of the deal are Super-Top-Secret, what it means for Estrella is that it’s now primed and ready to move forward with bulk metallurgical extraction of 2,000 to 4,000 tonnes of high grade nickel sulphide ore.
And Chase Mining (ASX:CML) has completed the Green Critical Minerals acquisition, which has the right to earn up to an 80% interest in the graphite mineral rights contained in the McIntosh Graphite project located near Halls Creek in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.
Chase says that there’s some Is to be cross and Ts to be dotted – including finalising a new management team from a set of shortlisted candidates – and that the company will shortly be changing its name and ticker to Green Critical Minerals (ASX:GCM) to reflect the transformational change the deal is bringing about.
Chase… erm… Green Critic… no, still Chase (for now) is trading 42% higher on the news.
Here are the least best performing ASX small cap stocks:
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Paradigm Biopharmaceuticals (ASX:PAR) has announced that it’s been mailed a cheque by the Tax Man, with a healthy $7,409,117 being returned to the company as part of the Australian Government’s R&D Tax Incentive Scheme.
Paradigm has – very politely – said ‘thanks’, and plans to spend the money on support for its Phase 3 clinical program in OA and Phase 2 clinical program in MPS, as well as multiple other pre-clinical programs it’s currently undertaking.
Meanwhile, Mighty Kingdom (ASX:MKL) has parted ways with Lion Studios, after the latter underwent a restructuring earlier this year and punted some 30% of its workforce, leaving no one left for MKL to play with.
But the good news for Mighty Kingdom is that its relationship with Google is still going strong, after an agreement was signed that will see an additional 9-month period added to the partnership, and Mighty Kingdom set to receive milestone payments for the “development of gaming experiences”.
And lastly, every now and then something will cross the newsdesk here that makes our coal-black hearts break – just a little, but enough to remind us that we’re human.
Today, that ‘something’ is this: Alice Queen (ASX:AQX), one of the littlest of the little explorers, issued an announcement this morning, informing the market that it kicked off exploration at its 100%-owned Viani Project, located on the Pacific Rim of Fire in Vanua Levu, Fiji.
At the end of the day, though, Alice Queen’s trading 33% down – on a total volume of “3” – at a price of $0.002 each.
Most likely some poor little bot on a server in a basement somewhere is now humming quietly to itself over a job well done, having pushed through a transaction worth less than a penny.
Rest easy, little bot. You did good.
Sky Network Television (ASX:SKT) – Halt called to allow the company to implement a NZ$70 million capital return to shareholders.
Linius Technologies (ASX:LNU) – Capital Raise for Linius Tech… that’s Linius with two “I’s”, ASX… sheesh.
Sandfire Resources (ASX:SFR) – SFR’s got news about the outcome of the institutional component of a proposed capital raise.
Mitre Mining Corporation (ASX:MMC) – Acquisition and material capital raise.
And that is us done for the day – and the week… so y’all have a safe weekend, spend your winnings wisely and we’ll see you back here on Monday for more Small Cappy goodness.