After the Aussie benchmark rose more than 1.1% on Thursday, timid local markets are just a bit of a lemon on Friday – eh, and traders have been sucking all morning.

The ASX Energy (XEJ) sector has been just awful.

At 11.45am in Sydney on Thursday March 21, the S&P/ASX 200 was down 0.45%:

asx small caps
Via Google

While Japan’s market is cleaning up, energy and bank stocks have been a real obstacle to what should’ve been a few easy yards on Friday in Sydney.

In Tokyo, the benchmark Japan Stock Market Index (JP225) has already hit another record high after inflation picked up, endorsing the BoJ’s big move last week to walk way from negative rates.

Japanese markets are up 49% since this time last year.

At home, the Energy sector dragged the benchmark index substantially lower from the get-go.

West Texas Intermediate is back around US$81. Brent crude’s at $86. The heavier losses occurred over the previous two sessions, but the unforeseen rate cut out of Geneva – where the Swiss National Bank (SNB) cut by 25 basis points – took the US dollar on a surprise ride and that’s always grim for local resource sectors.

The tension around global oil prices has also  been exacerbated by some peculiarly Australian irritants.

Profit taking on coal miners which’ve done pretty well this week has seen majors like Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) and Yancoal Australia (ASX:YAL) shed between 1 and 2%.

While the uncomfortably entwined heavyweights Messrs Woodside Energy Group (ASX:WDS) and Santos (ASX:STO) are also weighing significantly.

By contrast, local Property stocks – peopled by a bunch of Real Estate Investment Vehicles (REITs) – is enjoying the new global interest rate outlook. The sector has bucked the trend on a fairly quiet day of buying.

Healthcare stocks are at parity, lifted only by Fisher & Paykel Healthcare (ASX:FPH) which is well out in front, after an upbeat guidance statement to the ASX.

FPH has lifted its full year revenue and profit outlook, after what MD Lewis Gradon says has been solid demand for its 2H hospital consumables product portfolio “towards the upper end of our expectations from November.”

Now, assuming a NZ:US exchange rate of approximately 61 cents for the balance of the financial year, FPH expects full year operating revenue to be approximately $1.73bn (previously $1.7bn and underlying profit after tax, excluding any fair value changes) to be in the range of approximately $260-$265m from $250-$260m.

The S&P500, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite all finished overnight at new, new, new record highs.

 

ASX Sectors at Lunch

asx small caps

 

Not the ASX

Yes. Wall Street clocked new records overnight.

Reddit IPO’d like it know’d. Up about 40% on day 1.

Of the 11 S&P500 sectors Industrials and Financials led. Utilities did not.

Retail bellwether Nike has dropped some nice numbers after the market close.

Crypto is down 2.5%.

 

At half-time in Sydney, US futures still have room to run…

 

asx small caps
Via Fox

 

ASX SMALL CAP LEADERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for March 22 [intraday]:

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

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Sometimes a company just makes a terrific presso. Gold 50 (ASX:G50) is seriously into ciritcal minerals at the moment like Gallium…

asx small caps
Via G50

It’s also something of a bargain, right now.

Via Google

Up sharply for an oil stock on Friday – Bass Oil (ASX:BAS) which says it plans to kick off an Extended Production Test (EPT) at the Kiwi project “as soon as possible” to confirm the potential field size and gas composition.

“Bass has increased confidence that Kiwi contains a commercial volume of gas, providing the pathway for the company to enter the eastern states’ gas market,” it says.

It gets weirder on the ASX actually.

The biotech and hand sanitiser maker Zoono has nothing to say, but there’s lots of traders saying it.

The stock’s up a lazy 40% on Friday and this is two days after ZNO had already been handed a please explain from the ASX:

Via ZNO

Still. Worth a chart:

Via Google

 

Elsewhere, ENEGEX (ASX:ENX) has new exploration ground at its Perenjori project in the West Yilgarn, the same neighbourhood as Chalice Mining’s (ASX:CHN) 560Mt Gonneville project.

The newly granted exploration licence covers Rocky Ridge, a 6.5km-long gold target defined by elevated gold anomalism at surface and promising shallow drill results, including 7m at 2.52g/t to end of hole.

 

ASX SMALL CAP LAGGARDS

Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for March 22 [intraday]:

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In Case You Missed it

Nordic Nickel (ASX:NNL) has started exploration at the highly prospective and recently awarded Holtinvaara licence at its Pulju nickel project in Finland’s Central Lapland Greenstone Belt.
The company is carrying out 2,240m of base of till (BOT) drilling to test the southern zone of three identified magnetic anomalies in the area for nickel and copper sulphide targets.
Holtinvaara covers ~15km2 and contains a mapped continuation of the prospective Mertavaara Formation, which hosts the same mineralised ultramafic packages observed at Hotinvaara where the company’s current resource of 418Mt @ 0.21% nickel, 0.01% cobalt and 53ppm copper is situated.
At Stockhead, we tell it like it is. While Nordic Nickel is a Stockhead advertiser, it did not sponsor this article.