• ASX hammered as bank-driven fear grips the market like a python round a possum
  • XEC Emerging Companies falls more than 2.0% because they’re young and don’t know any better
  • Safe haven goldies still managed to make bank. Sorry… poor choice of words


The ASX has not had the best of days today, opening with a plunge into a bucket of unimaginable filth and rolling about like a gross little piggy all day. But it got better. A bit, anyway.

The end result for the day is a benchmark down by 1.5%, salvaged from a level below 2.0% mid-afternoon, with Emerging Companies taking one on the chin, falling 2.35% to the dismay of quite a large number of people.

The big news is still the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank in the US, with global markets getting a bad case of the Jelly Bellies despite the US Fed moving to guarantee deposits in an attempt to tell the US, and the rest of the world, that “everything is fine” from inside a burning dumpster.

There’s not much to say here that hasn’t already been said, but we should all take a moment to pause and consider Rabobank’s Michael Every, and his calm, measured assessment of what’s been happening.

“Total panic, with 2-year US bond yields falling the most in one day since Volcker, eclipsing declines seen post-2008, 9/11, and 1987,” Every whispered, so as not to wake the baby or spook the horses.

I dunno about you, but I certainly feel reassured. Thanks, Michael!

As it was this morning, things are really not great. A look over the sectors shows that InfoTech has been savaged like a conspicuously poor dress choice on the Oscars red carpet, down 3.35%.

That’s an improvement on this morning, but to give you an example of the outright lunacy surrounding the market fear of exposure to the Silicon Valley Bank collapse, I give you this nugget of information.

Tinybeans (ASX:TNY) – a walled-off anti-social photosharing app – told the market yesterday that it had $1.3 million locked up in Silicon Valley Bank, but it wasn’t really wasn’t a problem.

The company’s got no debt and was on track to remain cashflow positive for H2-FY23 – so not having access to the money was going to have no measurable impact on the day-to-day running of the show. No harm, no foul – price remained relatively steady.

Today, TNY told the market that it’s now able to access the funds, and it’s trading price soared 13% to a near one-year high, like the $1.3m was the result of trapping an unlucky leprechaun, and not simply money that was already theirs to begin with.

Yup – it’s been that kinda day.

Meanwhile, the Energy sector’s taken a massive hit (-2.82%) after falling bond yield kicked oil prices in the nards and Financials is doing about as well as you’d expect in the wake of every bank in the US having their teeth kicked in – it’s down 1.43% which is a vast improvement on the morning’s -2.58% effort.

The only ‘winner’ of sorts for the day is Real Estate, finishing the day flatter than a Chinese high-rise development at -0.07%.

Predictably, though, the goldies are doing okay today – the ASX XGD All Ords Gold index is up 1.7%.

In Large Cap news, the best performer today was Neuren Pharma (ASX:NEU), which lifted another 10% following yesterday’s 20% gain after receiving a “historic” world’s first approval for its Rett syndrome drug, DAYBUE (trofinetide), yesterday.

Bitcoin has meanwhile rallied by around 10% to US$24,475 as financial stability risks sent bond yields crashing.



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks:

Swipe or scroll to reveal full table. Click headings to sort:

Wordpress Table Plugin

In Small Caps, Polymetals Resources (ASX:POL) is closing the day 46% higher on news that, after 7 months of teasing the market, it’s pretty much ready to pull the trigger on acquiring 100% of Orana Minerals.

It’s a little convoluted, but it looks like this: Orana is the sole shareholder of a special purpose acquisition vehicle (SPV) which, in turn, has entered into a (albeit, separate) legally binding acquisition agreement in relation to the purchase of a historic lead, zinc  and silver mine development project, which is currently on care and maintenance.

Polymetals is set to pay 52 million shiny new shares to bring Orana and its SVP in as wholly-owned subsidiaries – which is an idea that investors seem pretty enthusiastic about.

Elsewhere, Critical Minerals Group (ASX:CMG) is seeing a lift today, up 15.6% on yesterday’s news that the final 23 core holes of its latest exploratory drill program all intersected shallow vanadium and alumina in oxidised mineralised zone at its Lindfield project.

The exploration program shows consistent thicknesses and grades across the deposit, with standout higher grade V2O5 assays including:

  • Hole LIND011 15.89m – 16.22m @ 0.70% V2O5,
  • Hole LIND016 6.50m – 6.90m @ 0.62% V2O5 and 6.90m–7.05m @ 0.65% V2O5.

And lastly, PPK (ASX:PPK) has climbed 18.3% today on news that it’s entered a series of conditional transactions to acquire a material interest in PowerPlus Energy Pty Ltd, Australia’s largest privately owned lithium battery manufacturer.

Powerplus manufactures lithium ferro phosphate (LFP) stationary storage batteries for a network of just under 300 distributors and installers around Australia, so the buy-in “complements PPK’s key business, commercial and operational strategies and is synergistic with its other investments”.



Here are the least best performing ASX small cap stocks:

Swipe or scroll to reveal full table. Click headings to sort:

Wordpress Table Plugin



Some Very Grim News from BNPL player IOUPay (ASX:IOU) which has had trading halted because somebody’s allegedly been a very naughty boy.

Yesterday, IOUPay announced to the market that its Chief Financial Officer, Kenneth Kuan Choon Hsuing, had been forcibly ousted from his position following “a preliminary review by the Executive Chairman of cost levels and financial performance in the company’s Malaysian business”.

Well, it turns out that it didn’t take long for that “preliminary review” to take on a much more solid form – the company has announced today that it has “discovered serious financial irregularities in its Malaysian business”.

That’s as much detail as I’ve managed to confirm at this stage, but it’s interesting to note the revelations come just five days after IOUPay’s Executive Chairman Isaac Chong Kwong Yang, who led the investigation, was elevated to the role from his previous position as plain ol’ Chairman.

Meanwhile, IPH Limited (ASX:IPH) has gone into a trading halt on news of a “cyber incident”, with the company yanking on the handbrake while it tries to get to the bottom of things.

If you’ve never heard of IPH, it’s because it’s an “international intellectual property services group”, which does tremendously unsexy stuff that is of very little importance to most people, until something goes wrong.

Which, in this case, it apparently has. IPH hasn’t revealed the nature of the “cyber incident”, but given that it deals with intellectual property, it could actually turn out to be something mildly – dare I say, moderately – serious.



Sultan Resources (ASX:SLZ) – Capital raising and material acquisition.

Kelsian Group (ASX:KLS) – Potential acquisition. How much is 1 potential these days?

Great Boulder Resources (ASX:GBR) – Capital raising, to help make the company Even Greater and Boulder than ever before.

Olympio Metals (ASX:OLY) – Exploration results from the Eurelia Project in South Australia.

Patriot Battery Metals (ASX:PMT) – Capital raising.

Linius Technologies (ASX:LNU) – Capital raising.

Aeon Metals (ASX:AML) – Material resource estimates update.

IOUpay (ASX:IOU) – “Serious financial irregularities”. Yikes – see above if you didn’t read about it already.

IPH (ASX:IPH) – There’s been a “cyber incident”. More details are above.