While the streets may be deserted, the Winter Sales continue apace as far as the small caps on the London market. The points of note on the last full trading day of 2020 are what stocks and what sectors remain in focus as investors continue to get their own particular brand of retail therapy.
Something which has been a standout since the early November arrival of vaccine salvation from COVID-19 is the way that to date the small cap oil and gas plays have yet to catch up with their peers in other sectors. This situation appears to have changed, most notably with Barryroe play Lansdowne Oil & Gas (LOGP), with a recent seller finally out of the stock the previous session. This led to a 15% bounce for the shares to settle at 1.33p.
Also on the front foot was i3 Energy (I3E), soaring 19%, as the UK and Canada focused independent oil and gas play returned to form with traders looking to Q1 2021 when the company is set to pay out its first dividend. This comes in the aftermath of this years acquisition of the Canadian assets of Toscana, and i3 being listed on the TSX last month.
Switching sectors, and it was the turn of the Australian mining minnows to head back to the leaderboard, while African metals plays Galileo Resources (GLR) and Jubilee Metals (JLP) both closed at 52 week highs. Gunsynd (GUN), an investment company centred on the resources space, had a late burst to the upside in the form of a 21% rise to 2.1p. Particularly shining bright with regard to the company has been the recent Rincon IPO in Australia, where Gunsynd owns 16.5% of the company now valued at $18m. Rincon shares are now 38.5c – nearly double their 20c float price.
Empire Metals (EEE) were unchanged despite the resource exploration and development company, announcing that it has received approval from the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board to proceed with the acquisition of the Eclipse Gold Project, located 55km north-east of Kalgoorlie, Western Australia. Final Ministerial Consent on Eclipse is expected to be received as soon as next week.
Renewable plays continued to dance on the graves of shorters, with waste plastic to energy play Powerhouse Energy (PHE) up another 10% to 10p versus less than 0.5p this time last year. The beginning of work on the ground with regard to its first plant along with the pandemic underlining the importance of green energy has certainly focused minds. Fellow high tech energy plays such as EQTEC (EQT) up nearly 20% to 2.59p and Velocys (VLS) soaring nearly the same percentage at 10.1p.
Flavour of the moment continues to be crypto mining specialist Argo Blockchain (ARB), with the massive re-rate along with new record highs for Bitcoin continuing. This led to the shares putting on a penning to 34p, although they had traded as high as 40p at one point. Doing rather better was cryptocurrency startup incubator Online Blockchain (OBC) with its shares soaring 53% to 49p.
It remained a happy environment for tech investors, with Pires (PIRI) adding another 12% in the wake of serial entrepreneur Chris Akers topping up his stake in the company to 18%. Edtech play Dev Clever (DEV) continued to head north to the tune of 9% in the wake of the recent 5 Year strategic agreement signed with Veative Labs for a B2C roll-out across India.
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