The ASX200 gained a wee bit this week, but ultimately closed on a flat note today, down 2.27% on lower than normal volume.

All sectors were lower, led by Materials, which lost 3.52%, and with Omicron off the leash across the Aussie east coast capitals, the supply chain crunch is still going strong.

In the US, tighter financial conditions loom, Goldman Sachs chairman and CEO David Solomon said that because of the monetary and fiscal policy actions that have come out of the pandemic we have rising inflation, high rates and potentially slower growth to look forward to.

“We’re setting the table for a period of time with above-trend inflation, and slower, more sluggish growth once we come out of the pandemic and that’s something we’ll all have to adjust to,” he said.

“I think people have forgotten how much low rates, free money, all of this affects asset prices.

“You’ve got to be a good student of history, it’s not different this time.”

 

How did this week’s IPOs perform? 

NICO Resources (ASX:NC1)

The new battery metals play NiCo Resources (ASX:NC1) enjoyed a red shot start to listing life earlier in the week, peaking at 57c yesterday after listing on Wednesday at 20c.

The $12m IPO was now sitting at 55c today, with investors keen on its Wingellina nickel/cobalt project.

NC1 is a spinout from tin producer Metals X (ASX:MLX) who’s a pre-feasibility study indicated the project should support an initial 40-year mine life at production rate of 40,000tpa Ni and 3,000tpa Co.

 

Orexplore Technologies (ASX:OXT)

The company fell sharply on debut trading down 46% at 14c, after raising $2.5m at 25c a share in its IPO.

Now a stand-alone mining technology company, OXT used to be a Swick Mining Services (ASX:SWK) subsidiary and secured a $12m investment from Swick to provide it with sufficient capital to execute its business plan over the next two years.

OXT has some fancy core analysing technology and says it’s hardware can be quickly mobilised, with the company able to build and deploy customised shipping containers equipped with multiple X10 units, from its Stockholm location, within a week.

 

ASX SMALL CAP WINNERS:

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for January 17 – 21:

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Carnavale Resources (ASX:CAV)  hit high grade gold at its ‘Kookynie’ project, including a highlight 16m at 20.92g/t from 161m (inc.10m @ 31.88g/t) from the McTavish East prospect.

That’s thick, high grade, and not too deep.

Assays from the remaining 11 holes of the program are expected before the end of the month.

“Follow up RC drilling is planned to grow this bonanza grade gold discovery as soon as a suitable RC rig can be secured,” CEO Humphrey Hale says.

American Rare Earths (ASX:ARR) had a bumper week, after the US proposed a bill to block defence contractors using Chinese rare earths.

The company is already taking major strides towards becoming a leading supplier of the critical minerals with the development of its flagship projects, including 890 hectare La Paz in Arizona, and through partnerships with US Government backed R&D programs.

After being one of the few projects to be exempted from the Biden Administration’s 60-day halt on ground disturbing activity approvals last March, ARR was able to increase the scale of La Paz to 35.2 million tonnes.

Zuleika Gold (ASX:ZAG) shot to stardom this week thanks to a $3m private placement with Yandal Investments, a company owned and controlled by prominent West Australian prospector Mark Creasy.

ZAG says proceeds from the private placement will be used to underpin the company’s ongoing high-impact drilling programs across multiple exploration targets at its gold-rich Kalgoorlie projects.

Zuleika managing director Annie Guo said Zuleika’s exploration team “has propelled Zuleika from an early-stage explorer to a company with the potential to enhance existing resources”.

“This early exploration success confirms the significant potential of Zuleika’s asset portfolio and the ability of its skilled and committed exploration team.”

 

ASX SMALL CAP LOSERS

Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks for January 17-21:

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