Good morning everyone, and welcome to Friday 15 December – an important date on the actual calendar, as it was on this day in 1582 that Denmark, Norway and the apparently Spanish part of the Netherlands put all their Julian calendars in the bin, and adopted the Gregorian calendar instead.

The calendar was named for Pope Gregory the Umpteenth, and it was considered superior to the exiting Julian calendar because it offered a more precise interpretation of the length of each year.

You see, the Julian calendar looked a lot like Gregorian calendar, except that it worked on the basis that every year was precisely 365.25 days long – which is why, every four years without fail, they tacked an extra day on the end of February and called it a Leap Year.

However, the even more precise length of a year is actually 365.2425 days – which doesn’t seem like much, until you start to think about the effect that continuing with the tradition of a leap year every four years would have.

And that effect is the dreaded Equinox Creep – which, under the Julian Calendar, would have seen the various equinoxes humans observe slowly move from date to date every four years, which in turn would lead to cows wanting to be milked at inconvenient times, and the fading of kitchen curtains everywhere but Queensland, because their smart.

Plus, the Julian calendar was making it hard to accurately predict when Easter was meant to happen, which was playing havoc with the Easter Bunny’s ability to adequately secure chocolate, a highly perishable commodity in the pre-refrigeration era.

Given the popularity of the Gregorian calendar, though, I am saddened that the uptake of my own “Gregorian work-week” has met with such fierce resistance, despite it making it very easy to plan for Easter by making every working week just three days in length, so the four-day Easter celebration can be accommodated whenever we feel like it.

But, since we’re all still plodding along on a five-day work week, there’s still plenty of work that needs to be done – and luckily for you, the Stockhead team has been robust in its efforts to ignore my efforts to turn every Friday and Monday into part of an extended weekend.

Hence, Guy Le Page has found an affordable gold stock that pays chunky dividends, and Bevis Yeo’s got his own wrap-up of the local Energy sector players as well.

Plus, below you’ll find all the usual digits and data to get your motor rumbling before the market opens today.


Gold: US$2,034.73 (+0.35%)

Silver: US$24.00 (+1.06%)

Nickel (3mth): US$16,468/t (-0.31%)

Copper (3mth): US$8,330/t (-0.30%)

Oil (WTI): US$71.56 (+3.10%)

Oil (Brent): US$76.69 (+3.28%)

Iron 62pc Fe: US$135.22/t (+0.14%)

AUD/USD: 0.6700 (+0.58%)

Bitcoin: US$43,032 (-0.20%)



Our chat with Wisr boss Andrew Goodwin got a lot of attention yesterday – if you missed it, here’s a link to get you up to speed on what he’s focussed on this week.




Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks:

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Doing well was Battery Minerals (ASX:BAT), which has been on a tear for the past few days and appears to be gathering even more steam, since announcing it had completed a private placement to two strategic investors at $0.038 per share, with 14.76 million new fully paid ordinary shares issued to raise $560,880 on 8 December.

Since then, Battery Minerals has raced well beyond that valuation, and at the time of writing is sitting at $0.110, making the 8 December buy-ins one of the most remarkably prescient transactions of the month.

Breast cancer detection tech company Volpara Health Technologies (ASX:VHT) climbed more than 42% today on news that Korean-listed cancer detection tech company Lunit wants to spend up big on a total takeover.

Lunit has offered Volpara shareholders $1.15 per share in cash, giving the deal an implied value of around $300 million, which the Volpara board has very enthusiastically endorsed.

Kore Potash (ASX:KP2) is up nicely, on slim volume, after an announcement of management changes at the company, which saw acting CFO Amanda Farris resign and new CFO Andrey Maruta step in to replace her.

And RTG Mining (ASX:RTG) is having a belter as well, on the back of news that the company has confirmed multiple styles of mine alisation and more encouraging gold and copper grades along 6.5km of skarns and new structures at its 90% owned Chanach gold-copper project in the Kyrgyz Republic.



Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks:

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InteliCare (ASX:ICR) – pending an announcement to the market regarding a capital raising.

Sarama Resources (ASX:SRR) ) –  pending the release of an announcement in relation to an equity raising.

Kaiser Reef (ASX:KAU) – ending an announcement regarding a capital raising and board appointment.

SensOre (ASX:S3N) – pending an announcement regarding a placement.

Neuren Pharmaceuticals (ASX:NEU) –  pending an announcement in relation to the top line results of its Phase 2 clinical trial in Phelan-McDermid syndrome.

Traka Resources (ASX:TKL) – pending the release of an announcement relating to a capital raising.

Arizona Lithium (ASX:AZL) L) – pending an announcement regarding a capital raising.

Tamboran Resources (ASX:TBN) – pending an announcement by the Company concerning a strategic partnership and a capital raising.

Superior Resources (ASX:SPQ) – pending an announcement in relation to a proposed capital raising.

Alumina (ASX:AWC) – pending an announcement from the Western Australian government in respect of mining approvals for Alcoa of Australia’s (AofA) Western Australian operations.