The Australian stock market took a breather on the first day of April but remains on track to hit an all-time high this year after a particularly strong March.
The drop of 0.1% or 6 points to 7494 points on Friday left the market with a surprising 6.4% gain in March as it quickly recovered from the Russian invasion of Ukraine and rose strongly on the back of large gains. energy and materials companies.
BHP (ASX: BHP) is a great example, rising 1.2% to $52.39 on Friday, putting it well on track to recapture its record levels from last year.
Commodity prices rise sharply
Iron ore prices have been on the rise as China moves to stimulate its economy following the continuing effects of the pandemic and Ukraine crisis.
Additionally, there has been a general increase in commodity prices that saw the energy and materials sector add around 10% on the month.
Companies extracting critical minerals were also much stronger after The president of the United States, Biden, announced that he would invest to boost the production of rare earth minerals..
That was helpful for actions like Lynas (ASX:LYC)which rose 3.07% to $11.09 thanks to an existing relationship with the US Department of Defense.
The announcement also encouraged lithium producers such as AVZ Minerals (ASX:AVZ) which hit an all-time high of $1.31 on Friday before closing 5.26% higher at $1.30, a far cry from the 15c levels it was at less than a year ago.
lithium giant Allkem (ASX: AKE) added a lazy 8.5% for the day to close at $12.40 after hitting an all-time high of $12.47 during the day.
Stellar issues will force board changes
It wasn’t all good news with him. Star Entertainment Group (ASX:SGR) Shares fell 0.31% to $3.24 as the troubled casino company announced Chairman John O’Neill would take over as CEO while the casino operator finds a replacement for late CEO Matt Bekier.
Star has also announced that he needs an “expedited board change” after a forest of accusations of dubious behavior in an probity investigation prompted Bekier to resign.
Actions in the real estate market online Domain Holdings (ASX:DHG) are on a trading halt ahead of a $180 million equity raise following the acquisition of Realbase, a real estate technology platform, for $180 million and contingent consideration.
Domain said the purchase will more than double Agent Solutions’ revenue by fiscal 2022 and increase its market coverage from 35% to about 50% of all Australian real estate transactions.
Corporate Travel Management (ASX: CTD) also completed the acquisition of Helloworld Travel (ASX:HLO) corporate travel and entertainment businesses in Australia and New Zealand, which will make the company the travel management provider for more than a quarter of ASX 200 companies.
Small cap stock
The Small Ords index gained 0.5% this week to close at 3,346.9 points.
The small-cap companies that made headlines this week were:
Metal Reload (ASX: REC)
In his Brandy Hill South project, Recharge Metals has discovered sulphide mineralization including visible copper during diamond drilling.
Sulfides, brecciated zones and visible copper were observed from 92 m to the end of the hole, which reached 393 m.
Following an initial reverse circulation drilling program, Recharge selected three holes to extend with diamond tailings to collect valuable structural and lithological information. This drill core will be sent for analysis and results will be reported once received.
Testing of the first four holes of the maiden RC program returned 12m of 1.2% copper from 74m, including 4m of 2.87% copper from 74m; and 1m at 5.92% copper from 147m.
Culpeo Minerals (ASX: CPO)
Another small cap to impress investors this week with copper visible on a drill intercept was Culpeo Minerals, which discovered copper sulphides in the first well of its inaugural drilling program at Lana Corina in Chile.
Visible copper was observed from 50 m to 250 m.
Drilling at Lana Corina was aimed at confirming the presence of copper in near-surface breccia pipes and verifying historical results.
In the inaugural program at Lana Corina, Culpeo will drill eight holes totaling 4,000m.
The Victorian Government Department of Health and Human Services has granted InhaleRx its license to store and sell controlled substancesincluding medical cannabis.
InhaleRx CEO Darryl Davies said obtaining the license was a “significant milestone” for the company, allowing it to stock and distribute scheduled drugs.
He said it opens the door for InhaleRx to create new products and generate additional revenue streams.
In an attempt to accelerate its expansion in the North American market, Respiri has secured EAS Advisors LLC based in New York to guide your efforts.
EAS Founder and Director Edward Sugar said he was looking forward to working with Respiri as it rolls out its wheezing asthma monitoring device and technology in the US.
“We have seen the impressive work that EAS has done with other ASX-listed companies to bring them to a broader US audience and we are delighted to be working with the company as we continue our growth in that market,” said CEO and Managing Director. of Respiri. said director Marjan Mikel.
Respiri launched its Wheezo device in the US in December last year under a remote patient monitoring program and has received positive initial response.
ioner (ASX: INR)
NextTech plans to use Rhyolite Ridge’s lithium chemicals to make next-generation solid-state batteries, which are expected to “revolutionize the automotive industry” as well as renewable energy, wearable electronics and drone applications.
“NexTech is pleased to work with a supplier that is aligned with our mission to make batteries more affordable, more sustainable and safer through proprietary lithium-sulfur science that is poised to disrupt multiple industries,” he said. NexTech CEO Bill Burger.
ioneer intends to produce more than 22,000 tons of lithium chemicals a year for the US domestic battery supply chain.
Epoch Energy (ASX: VEN)
The Cervantes-1 oil exploration well has been drilled for Vintage Energy and joint venture partners Metgasco and RCMA Australia.
The well is expected to take around 16 days to reach the desired depth of 2,370m.
Vintage is paying 50% of the well costs to earn a 30% interest in the Cervantes well and broader prospect, which are located in the onshore Perth Basin of Western Australia.
In Queensland’s Cooper Basin, Vintage and its partners have acquired their respective shares of Beach Energy’s 15% interest in PRL 211containing the Odin and Vali gas fields.
Vintage officially owns 50% of PRL 211 and is the operator. The company’s share of the 2C contingent resource now stands at 17.5Bf3 of gas.
Mineral Tempest (ASX: TEM)
Another small cap with a copper discovery this week was Tempest Minerals, which unearthed visible copper during maiden drilling at the Orion target within their Meleya project in the Yalgoo region of WA.
The first hole of a two-hole deep drilling program hit multiple sulfide mineral zones, with copper minerals such as chalcopyrite observed throughout the core and supported by portable XRF readings.
Tempest managing director Don Smith said the presence of visible copper and sulphide minerals was a “spectacular result”.
“Making a new discovery on our first hole in a completely untested region has far exceeded our expectations,” he said.
The most important event to watch in the coming week is the Reserve Bank’s board meeting, which will help consolidate the path of official interest rates for the rest of the year.
While rates are not expected to move from the current 0.1% level, there may be some movement in forward guidance to combat rising inflationary pressures.
At the moment, the market points to a lot more hikes this year than the RBA itself, so the meeting could bring the two sides closer together.
Other local releases to watch include retail trade, job announcements, inflation, consumer confidence, new car sales, international trade and the Reserve Bank’s financial stability review.
Abroad there are a few things to keep in mind, particularly in the United States.
The US Federal Reserve meeting minutes will be interesting along with factory orders, trade balance, consumer credit and wholesale inventories, while Chinese figures on services and electric vehicle sales will add context. to the economic slowdown in China.