ASX rose 6.2% in January: Aus shares closed the day 0.07% lower

Market Reports

by Peter Milios

Australian shares fluctuated on Tuesday with a 0.4 per cent gain and later 0.2 per cent loss. Consumer stocks led the gains, up 2.3 per cent, while tech stocks weighed the market down. Despite the 3.9 per cent drop in retail sales, economists still predict a ninth straight RBA rate rise to 3.35 per cent. Consumer stocks Woolworths and Coles rose more than 2.3 per cent, while Megaport fell 25 per cent and Bubs Australia fell 11.3 per cent.

At the closing bell, the S&P/ASX 200 was 0.07 per cent lower at 7,476.70.


The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a fall of 18 points.
The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a fall of 2.5 points.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a fall of 36.25 points.
The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 17 points when the market next opens.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector was Consumer Staples, up 2.33 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Information Technology, down 1.34 per cent.

The best-performing large cap was Woolworths Group (ASX:WOW), closing 3.77 per cent higher at $36.08. It was followed by shares in Meridian Energy (ASX:MEZ) and Coles Group (ASX:COL).

The worst-performing large cap was Allkem (ASX:AKE), closing 7.48 per cent lower at $12.98. It was followed by shares in IGO (ASX:IGO) and Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS).

Asian news

Japan's Nikkei has lost 0.23 per cent.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng has lost 1.29 per cent.
China's Shanghai Composite has lost 1.96 per cent.

Company news

Arovella Therapeutics (ASX:ALA) has released its results for the 2nd quarter of FY 2023. During the quarter, the company continued to progress its iNKT cell therapy for cancer treatment towards first-in-human trials and announced a strategic collaboration with Imugene to combine Arovella’s iNKT cell therapy platform with Imugene’s onCARlytics platform. Highlights of the quarter include a collaboration, the optioning of cytokine technology, receipt of grant for key iNKT cell patent, closure of R&D facility, and $1.05 million R&D tax rebate refund. Shares closed 3.85 per cent higher at 2.7 cents.

Magnetite Mines (ASX:MGT) provided an update of its activities for the quarter ending 31st December 2022. The company's mineral resource base in South Australia exceeded 5.7 billion tonnes and remains focused on the development of its flagship Razorback Iron Ore Project. The company prioritized the completion of optimisation studies, engineering and metallurgical studies, and project de-risking during the quarter and remained in a strong cash position with $9.6 million cash on hand. Shares are currently trading 2.13 per cent lower at 46 cents. Shares closed 4.26 per cent lower at 45 cents.

Kazia Therapeutics (ASX:KZA) provided an update on the development of its oncology-focused drug candidates for the quarter ending December 31, 2022. The company presented final data from its phase II clinical trial of paxalisib in glioblastoma at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuro-Oncology (SNO) showing a median overall survival of 15.7 months, compared favorably to 12.7 months for temozolomide. A phase II clinical trial for paxalisib in diffuse midline gliomas has expanded internationally, with initial data expected in 2023. The company also reported positive preclinical data in melanoma from collaboration with Huntsman Cancer Institute and ongoing collaborations with the Queensland Institute of Medical Research. Shares closed 3.85 per cent higher at 13.5 cents.

Novatti Group (ASX:NOV), a fintech company, reports strong growth in the December quarter of FY23, with sales revenue up 60 per cent YoY to $9.3 million. The company also achieved its first-ever quarterly gross transaction value of over $1 billion, which was up 83 per cent YoY. The company's acquiring division saw its quarterly GTV passing $54 million, up 13x YoY, and 19 per cent from the prior quarter. The International Bank of Australia, launched in November with Novatti maintaining a 91 per cent shareholding, is expected to significantly reduce Novatti's operating expenses. The company remains committed to delivering positive cashflow and has a strong balance sheet with enough cash resources to support growth. Shares closed 9.3 per cent lower at 19.5 cents.

ABx Group (ASX:ABX) provided an update of its activities for the quarter ending 31st December 2022. Their maiden resource estimate for Rare Earth Elements (REE) Exploration shows 3.94 million tonnes of REE averaging 655ppm TREO-CeO2 and 918ppm TREO, which only covers 7.5 per cent of the local prospective targets. The company has received a $3.3 million first installment from the federal government's Modern Manufacturing Initiative (MMI) grant funding and is making progress in its pilot plant design for Alcore (hydrogen fluoride and aluminium fluoride from aluminium smelter waste). They plan to begin mining in Tasmania in Q3 2023 and Queensland in H1 2025. Shares closed flat at 12.5 cents.

INOVIQ (ASX:IIQ) released its Appendix 4C and Quarterly Business Update for the quarter ended December 31, 2022. INOVIQ's US sales team implemented its first EXO-NET sales and marketing campaign targeting over 1,000 researchers. Strong initial interest from potential customers has been received and is now being followed up. A Field Application Specialist has also been hired to further drive sales and provide technical support to US customers and the contract sales team. Shares closed flat at 65 cents.

NOVONIX (ASX:NVX) released their quarterly activities report from October to December of 2022. NOVONIX is a leading US-based battery materials and technology company that has a clear path to profitability with a global tier 1 customer base. They have proprietary process technology and capabilities across the value chain, including industry-leading battery testing equipment. They have experienced recent milestones such as a US$150 million investment from Phillips 66 and a US$150 million grant from the DOE. Shares closed 10.6 per cent lower at $1.73.

BluGlass (ASX:BLG), a global semiconductor developer, has launched its first suite of gallium nitride (GaN) laser products for customer purchase at the SPIE Photonics West conference in San Francisco. The first suite of GaN laser products are meeting entry-level commercial specifications and pave the way for first orders and commercial revenues. BluGlass President Jim Haden said the company has a large market opportunity within the $2.5 billion GaN laser industry and the launch at the conference allows them to engage with potential customers. Shares closed 5.66 per cent lower at 5 cents.

PropTech Group (ASX:PTG), a software provider for real estate agencies, has released its financial results for the second quarter of FY23 ending December 31st, 2022. The results showed positive net cash flows from operations of $0.4 million and a strong cash balance of $5.8 million. The company's cash receipts for the year to date was $12.0 million, a YoY growth of 12 per cent. The PropTech Group Board also updated shareholders on the proposed scheme of arrangement for the acquisition of the company by Rockend Technology Pty. Shares closed 0.8 per cent higher at 60 cents.

North Stawell Minerals' (ASX:NSM) December 2022 quarterly report shows a successful quarter despite a prolonged wet season. Two priority projects, Darlington and Caledonia, returned positive results and are considered bellwethers for the company's exploration strategy. Darlington had a central zone of 3+ g/t Au and Caledonia evolved from a surface gold-arsenic anomaly to a 250m strike target. Both projects remain open for further exploration. The company's exploration strategy continues to be effective with a focus on detailed mineralization modelling and geophysically responsive targets. Shares closed flat at 19.5 cents.

AuKing Mining (ASX:AKN) advises that it has completed the purchase of various prospective uranium and copper licences in Tanzania. In response, AuKing’s CEO, Mr Paul Williams, said: “Already this year, we have seen uranium prices push past US$50 per pound and demand is set to increase. AuKing’s strategic pivot into this important energy sector commodity is a tremendous value-add for our Company and its shareholders.” Shares closed 9.52 per cent higher at 11.5 cents.

Heavy Rare Earths (ASX:HRE) has announced the Highest Grade Rare Earths to date at their Project. This brings the total number of holes reported to 141, nearly one third of all holes drilled during the 2022 campaign. Shares closed 7.69 per cent higher at 14 cents.

Sayona Mining (ASX:SYA) has announced that the restart of their NAL operation achieves a new milestone, with successful trial feed of 400 tonnes of spodumene ore into the crushing plant. Guy Belleau, CEO Sayona Québec, stated, "2023 will be a remarkable year in every way for Sayona and for Québec as a whole, as the first tonnes of lithium spodumene will be produced at our NAL operation.” Shares closed 11.9 per cent lower at 26 cents.

Radiopharm Theranostics (ASX:RAD), a company developing radiopharmaceutical products for both diagnostic and therapeutic uses, has provided a summary of its activities for the quarter ending December 31, 2022. The company has received IND approval from the FDA for its αVβ6 Integrin technology and will begin a Phase 1 imaging trial in patients with pancreatic cancer by the end of Q1 CY23. The interim data from the F-18 Pivalate phase 2a imaging trial in brain metastases was presented at a symposium in Barcelona and showed high tumour uptake and that F-18 Pivalate can be used to monitor cerebral metastases. Shares closed 3.57 per cent lower at 13.5 cents.

Altech Chemicals (ASX:ATC) made progress on its CERENERGY Battery Project with workshops held in Germany, the design basis for a 100MWh battery plant being finalised, and major equipment suppliers being selected. The company is also exploring various grant schemes and initial contacts with EU banks. The board of directors visited Schwarze Pumpe in Germany to inspect the Silumina Anodes pilot plant and CERENERGY pilot plant, and participated in technical workshops. The Annual General Meeting was held on November 30, 2022 and all resolutions put to shareholders were carried. Altech has also launched its CERENERGY 60KWh Battery Pack design for the renewable energy storage market. Shares closed flat at 10 cents.

The quarterly activities report for Lepidico (ASX:LPD) ending December 31st, 2022 showed improved economics for the first phase of the project compared to the May 2020 feasibility study. The NPV8 per cent of the project rose to $530 million, while the lithium price sensitivity analysis had a range from $452 million to $703 million. The Stage 1 FEED works were completed, and the Stage 2 EPCM works have started, with the first lithium chemical production scheduled for 2025. The report also showed increased interest from tier 1 consumers for supply of lithium hydroxide and further interest for amorphous silica and gypsum. The entitlements offer raised $19 million and there was $17.1 million in cash and no debt as of December 31st. Shares closed 3.33 per cent higher at 1.6 cents.

Trigg Mining (ASX:TMG) reported that their 2022 resource definition drilling programs at the Lake Throssell Sulphate of Potash (SOP) Project in WA have concluded, with groundwater bore installation and magnetic resonance geophysical logging completed. Evaluation of alternative process routes for the controlled production of SOP continued, with positive initial results. The SOP market continues to be impacted by global supply chain dislocation, driving high SOP prices above $1,000/t. Shares closed 2.78 per cent higher at 3.7 cents.

Laybuy Group Holdings (ASX:LBY) announced its quarterly business update for the period ended December 31st, 2022. The update showed that Laybuy achieved its second highest quarterly GMV (Gross Merchandise Value) result, with a GMV of $231 million, up 13.3 per cent from the previous quarter. The company also recorded a record low default rate of 1.74 per cent, which is a reduction from 2.0 per cent in the previous quarter and 4.0 per cent YoY. The company remains on track to achieve EBITDA profitability by the end of the financial year. Shares closed 8.57 per cent lower at 3.2 cents.

RareX (ASX:REE), an Australian sustainable rare earths company, has reported outstanding results from its 2022 growth drilling program which has confirmed the significance of the Cummins Range deposit as an extensive mineral system with both rare earths and phosphate mineralisation. The deposit now has a confirmed strike extent of 600m. An updated mineral resource estimate is expected later this quarter which points to a significant increase in scale from the 2022 scoping study. RareX expects a major resource upgrade to underpin the pre-feasibility study that could define the commercial parameters of a project producing a combined monazite-apatite concentrate. Shares closed 14.5 per cent lower at 6.5 cents.

Chimeric Therapeutics (ASX:CHM) has successfully completed the planned dosing of the third patient cohort in the Phase 1 CHM 1101 (CLTX CAR T) clinical trial at City of Hope, evaluating the safety and maximum tolerated dose of the cell therapy in patients with recurrent or progressive glioblastoma. Chimeric has also signed a sponsored research agreement with Case Western Reserve University to advance their NK cell therapy portfolio, and entered an exclusive licence agreement for the CHM 0201 (the CORE-NK platform) for oncology, immune disorders, and viral infectious diseases. Shares closed 1.3 per cent lower at 7.6 cents.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,935.20 an ounce.
Iron ore is 1.9 per cent higher at US$129.80 a tonne.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a 0.6 per cent fall.
Light crude is trading $0.36 lower at US$77.54 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 70.38 US cents.

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