Closing Bell: Your source of inspiration for how to make Santa’s naughty list
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Welp… that’s it for the final day of the week, and as tempting as it is to wander off to the beach for a swim and a relax, there’s still the not-insignificant matter of wrapping up what’s happened on the ASX and beyond for the day. The market worked hard for its gains today, and as the final bell tolls for the week, the benchmark is sitting on a 0.53% gain.
Let’s get into wrapping the day up, because the ocean is beckoning…
Making news today, and it’s a couple of Australia’s big guns that have found themselves in a bit of hot water – with Star Entertainment Group (ASX:SGR) copping a monster fine from Queensland’s regulators after a look behind the curtain at its two casinos north of the Tweed found a whole big mess of Very Naughty Things.
Queensland’s Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman has slugged SGR with a $100 million fine, and suspended its licence to operate casinos in the state for 90 days, with the latter punishment deferred to December 2023.
The deferral gives Star 12 months to ‘gather its excrement in one place’, and Nicholas Weeks – who was tapped on the shoulder by NSW’s Independent Casino Commission to look after its Sydney casino after that one was also found breaking the rules – has been appointed as special manager of Star’s two casinos in Queensland.
It’s unclear what sort of remuneration Weeks is receiving for the task of fixing three badly broken casinos – but Star is bearing the cost of it, and if there’s one safe bet to be made here it’s that Weeks will be doing very nicely indeed out of all this.
Meanwhile, ACCC Commissioner Liza Carver has read Bluescope Steel the riot act, finding that “BlueScope, which is one of Australia’s largest companies, and its former senior executive, Jason Ellis, attempted to induce competitors to enter into price fixing arrangements”.
Obviously, that’s completely no bueno, even though it’s been nine years or so since Ellis “tried to induce steel distributors in Australia and overseas manufacturers to enter agreements containing a price-fixing provision”, the ABC reports.
“If successful, these attempts would have resulted in agreements between competitors which reduced price competition in the Australian flat steel market and increased prices for flat steel products which are widely used in Australia,” Carver said.
All in all, not a great day to get nabbed with your hand in the till – and investors don’t seem too perturbed by the ACCC’s finding of historical malfeasance… at the time of writing, Bluescope was trading 0.17% higher for the day.
Still, it’s a pretty good bet that the old Elf on the Shelf watching over Star and Bluescope would be breaking the sound barrier on his way to dob them in to Santa.
Up the top end of town, and there’s not much to report in terms of positive action. The big miners gained weight over the course of the day, because that’s what they do best – BHP (ASX:BHP) climbing 2.47%, Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) up 2.65%, Fortescue (ASX:FMG) up 3.13%, etc etc.
That rise helped drive Materials to a 2.0% gain for the day, earning itself a merit badge for having the highest score, with InfoTech (+0.92%) and Energy (0.62%) plugging away behind it.
Weighing on the market for the day was Utilities (-0.4%) and Financials (-0.3%), providing a sour Yang to the sweet, sweet Yin of a booming performance by the miners.
Helping everything along was a fantabulous debut from Patriot Lithium, which went live at 12:00pm and bananas by 12:05. Patriot came to market on a $10m at $0.20 IPO, and then thundered into the heavens, up 95% as the afternoon wore on.
It’s the second “Patriot” themed lithium play to climb into the clouds this week, after Patriot Battery Metals (ASX:PMT), which also doubled on debut two days ago.
But it wasn’t all fab news right across the entire lithium market, with the likes of Galan Lithium (ASX:GLN) dropping 8.2% today on no news.
Downer EDI (ASX:DOW) is still taking a caning after revealing that somebody somewhere has been playing a bit fast and loose on the spreadsheets, and there’s been a “historical overstatement of pre-tax earnings in the order of $30 million – $40 million”.
Downer has fallen another 5.6% this morning, on top of shedding more than 20% yesterday, with the only new announcement today being London-based investment firm T Rowe Price tipping out of the company entirely on December 6, ceasing to be a substantial holder two days before the accounting error was made public. #ImpeccableTiming.
A rapid look at our neighbours reveals that Japan’s Nikkei is on track for a win, up 1.25% so far, and Hong Kong’s tracking well too, up 1.51% – however, things aren’t so rosy in Shanghai this afternoon, with its index finishing flatter than next door’s “missing” cat that was last spotted trying to dash across a nearby busy road.
Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks:
Swipe or scroll to reveal full table. Click headings to sort:
|CDR||Codrus Minerals Ltd||0.18||50%||19,156,737||$4,851,600.00|
|ANL||Amani Gold Ltd||0.002||33%||1,750,015||$35,540,161.69|
|GRV||Greenvale Energy Ltd||0.13||30%||2,614,787||$42,172,220.90|
|LNU||Linius Tech Limited||0.005||25%||14,756,342||$10,673,438.46|
|RR1||Reach Resources Ltd||0.005||25%||1,019,600||$7,640,202.56|
|AJL||AJ Lucas Group||0.038||23%||6,894,582||$42,647,618.53|
|EVR||Ev Resources Ltd||0.018||20%||689,201||$13,934,761.07|
|PUA||Peak Minerals Ltd||0.006||20%||406,443||$5,206,853.76|
|CLA||Celsius Resource Ltd||0.019||19%||13,846,433||$24,045,264.69|
|LOM||Lucapa Diamond Ltd||0.052||18%||7,067,256||$63,340,634.50|
|FZR||Fitzroy River Corp||0.135||17%||5,335||$12,414,738.87|
|DUB||Dubber Corp Ltd||0.54||15%||561,680||$144,275,544.21|
|AVE||Avecho Biotech Ltd||0.008||14%||20,000||$12,865,085.41|
Aside from Patriot Lithium’s rocket ride today, there are a couple of other small cappers that put in a solid day’s work in the gain train.
Codrus Minerals (ASX:CDR) caught the eye of absolutely everyone with a few dollars in their pocket this morning on news that it’s sitting on a heap of hugely valuable high-grade permanent magnet rare earths dysprosium, neodymium, terbium and praseodymium in xenotime, within a large-scale pegmatite.
New assay results from Codrus’ niobium-rich Karloning REE Project in WA are positively eye-popping, including 28,463ppm (2.85%) Dysprosium Oxide – Dy3O3, 64,100ppm (6.41%) Niobium and a heart-stopping 186,000ppm (18.60%) tantalum.
In early trade, Codrus was up more than 85%, but has since eased to 52.8% as the afternoon wore on – still a massive climb which sees the company trading at just under the $0.20 per share mark it achieved with its heavily oversubscribed IPO in June last year.
Fitzroy River’s (ASX:FZR) run from this morning held its value through the afternoon. The company announced that a special dividend of $0.005 cents per ordinary share, fully franked, will be paid two days before Christmas to all eligible registered shareholders – which is obviously much better than a lump of coal in your stocking… but not by much, the way coal prices are at the moment.
Here are the least best performing ASX small cap stocks:
Swipe or scroll to reveal full table. Click headings to sort:
|PMT||Patriot Battery Metals||1.12||-36%||5,909,086||$12,320,000.00|
|BTH||Bigtincan Hldgs Ltd||0.565||-22%||5,592,829||$397,692,110.88|
|WRM||White Rock Min Ltd||0.073||-22%||1,060,615||$18,689,062.38|
|PNX||PNX Metals Limited||0.004||-20%||980,000||$22,220,289.04|
|SNX||Sierra Nevada Gold||0.24||-17%||42,720||$12,072,080.85|
|WEC||White Energy Company||0.22||-17%||4,992||$10,750,862.12|
|REZ||Resourc & En Grp Ltd||0.016||-16%||730,003||$9,496,309.99|
|LLI||Loyal Lithium Ltd||0.505||-14%||1,741,563||$27,576,600.00|
|AJQ||Armour Energy Ltd||0.006||-14%||553,863||$16,323,987.11|
In news you may have overlooked, Medlab (ASX:MDC) has put out an announcement that it has cleared US SEC comments, a key milestone as it looks to list on the US Nasdaq under its reserved symbol MDLB.
There’s still work to be done, much of which remains a bit Secret Squirrel – however Medlab CEO Dr Sean Hall is upbeat about what the near future holds for the company and how the effort to list through its US bank, AGP.
“We can’t talk about the deal at this point as the bank is not yet marketing the stock,” Hall said, adding: “That time is coming.”
“For now, we wanted to inform our current shareholders of the Nasdaq progression and remind everyone that the goal is for ordinary stocks trading on both the ASX and Nasdaq.”
Meanwhile, Tamawood (ASX:TWD) has put out some not-great news, as its outlook for FY23 is looking a lot weaker than the board had hoped.
“The Board expects to remain marginally profitable and debt free for first half FY23, although the result is expected to be approximately 70% below first half FY22 ($3.4m before tax), based on unaudited figures up to November 2022,” the company says, labelling the outlook “disappointing”.
TWD is trying to remain optimistic, though, comparing its performance to the “300+% increase in losses recently reported by our only ASX listed competitor”… which we assume is Simonds (ASX:SIO), which – and this might just be a case of poor timing – has had a belter this week, up 21.7%.
Lefroy Exploration (ASX:LEX) – Capital Raise.
Mincor Resources (ASX:MCR) – Capital Raise.
Coppermoly (ASX:COY) – Coppermoly’s got news of a big deal on the way…
Provaris Energy (ASX:PV1) – Provaris is prepping an announcement in relation to the vessel classification approval status for its proprietary compressed hydrogen carrier.
Marquee Resources (ASX:MQR) – Marquee’s about to report assay results from its exploration program at the Kibby Basin Lithium Project.
Star Entertainment Group (ASX:SGR) – Disciplinary action by Queensland regulators is expected to be handed down today … and it’s not going to be pretty.