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Closing Bell: ASX microcap index takes blue chips to school, bullies them, leaves early

The ASX200 has vacillated all of Monday in a whiny, unattractive way for a major global index.

Like a Kardashian (name one) unable to get out of bed, the heavyweight financial names and the major miners are just dragging everyone lower, down to their level – bar for the odd healthcare name.

Wall Street jumped on Friday –  the S&P 500 gained 2.4%, the Dow Jones up 1.7%, and the Nasdaq pumped an extra 3.1%.

But not everyone missed the signals here in Sydney; no, the S&P/ASX Small Ordinaries (XSO) and the S&P/ASX Emerging Companies (XEC) both gained 40 points to be 1.3% and 1.6% higher respectively, leaving the big end of town behind.

Oh, and on Monday afternoon Brent crude has found 1%.

Personally that’s not great news, as I prepare to go get my kids from school.

It’s worth noting the lift in international fuel costs is a big contributor to your increasingly painful visits to the petrol pump.

The benchmark Singapore gasoline price – the largest component of fuel prices paid by motorists – rose by US$4.74 or about 5% –  to a seven-year high. In Aussie dollar terms, the Singapore gasoline price lifted by $9.94 or 7.3 per cent to a 13½-year high of $147.01 a barrel or 92.46 cents a litre.

In Dalian, there’s a run on iron ore. It’s up well over 6% to $US147.90 a tonne.

Meanwhile, Ryan Felsman at CBA says private sector credit – like that’s basically outstanding loans –  rose by 0.8% in December to be up 7.2% on a year ago – the strongest annual growth rate in 13 years.


(Stocks highlighted in yellow rose after making announcements during the trading day).

Scroll or swipe to reveal table. Click headings to sort.

Today marked the deadline for Q4 quarterlies season, which meant a flurry of trading updates hit the market — and investors liked quite a few of them.

Sub-$5m penny stock Sagalio Energy (ASX:SAN) led the small cap pack today, after flagging ongoing oil production and which it had converted to sales revenue of $US104,125 for the December quarter.

Being a sub-$5m penny stock, that was enough for SAN to more that double with a surge of +120% to 2.9c.

Another energy player — oil & gas stock FAR Ltd (ASX:FAR) — also rose strongly on takeover news, after flagging a bid from Samuel Terry Asset Management to acquire the company at 45c per share.

“The offer is conditional, including on obtaining a minimum of 50.1% acceptance level. Accordingly, there is no certainty that the intended takeover bid will complete,” FAR said.

Shares in the company closed higher than the 45c bid price, indicating investors reckon there might be some more activity to come.

In other notable deal news, spacial data analytics platform Veris (ASX:VRS) jumped by almost 30%, after announcing a deal to sell its fully-owned subsidiary, Aqura Technologies, to a subsidiary of Telstra.

There were no bells and whistles from the telco giant, which snapped up Aqura for $30m — straight cash.



(Stocks highlighted in yellow fell after making announcements during the trading day).

Scroll or swipe to reveal table. Click headings to sort.



VRX Silica (ASX:VRX) shares have risen 3.03% today to 17 cents after the company announced positive results from Aboriginal heritage surveys at its Arrowsmith North and Central Silica Sand Projects in Western Australia.

Two more archeological and ethnographic surveys over proposed mining and critical infrastructure areas were completed with representatives of the Yamatji Southern Regional Corporation (YSRC) and SandS CRM personnel.

Preliminary advice from YRSC confirms all proposed long-term mining associated infrastructure areas are clear for works to proceed.

Silex Systems Limited (ASX:SLX; OTCQX:SILXY) has announced the launch of Global Laser Enrichment’s (GLE) website: GLE is the exclusive licensee of the SILEX technology for uranium enrichment.

The launch of GLE’s website coincides with the focus on commercialisation activities to support the potential deployment of the SILEX laser uranium enrichment technology in the US.

GLE is a 51%/49% jointly-controlled, joint venture between Silex and global uranium and nuclear fuel provider Cameco Corporation.

GLE’s new website provides information on the Company, its commercialisation program and the proposed Paducah, Kentucky uranium project for the production of natural grade uranium hexafluoride (UF6).

Race Oncology (ASX:RAC) has announced it’s got a new CFO with the appointment of Christina Manfre who is a partner of accountant and business advisory mob PKF Sydney.

Manfre will provide leadership to Race Oncology’s financial analysis, reporting and strategic financial needs.  Race Oncology has made strides with its phase 2/3 cancer-fighting drug Zantrene showing its efficacy as both a low-dose highly targeted precision oncology agent and cardio-protective chemotherapeutic.


The following companies went into halts on Monday, and are due out in the coming days.

1ST Group (ASX:1ST) — Rights issue announcement
Melbana Energy (ASX:MAY) — drilling results
360 Capital (ASX:TGP) — two major transactions / earnings upgrade
Energy Resources of Australia (ASX:ERA) — Ranger rehabilitation costs / schedule overruns

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