2021 continues to look more like the Dotcom boom of 1999-2000, rather than a market stuck in the throes of a pandemic exacerbated by a wafer thin healthcare system. Still, those in lockdown can play the stock market, and amongst the London small caps there is plenty of liquidity and plenty to choose from.
A good example of liquidity came in the form of a £10m strategic placing at waste plastic to hydrogen specialist Powerhouse Energy (PHE). This amount of cash clearly puts the company’s plan to expedite a rollout of its DMG installation, as well as putting it above the clouds as far as the perennial detractors who apparently still do not appreciate the importance of clean energy in a post pandemic world. The fact that the stock only slipped 5% in the aftermath of the fundraise implies that a few long term “sticky” holders participated in the deal.
There was a decent rebound for crypto miner Argo Blockchain (ARB) in the wake of a fresh Real Riviera interview with CEO Peter Wall, an ongoing Q&A series and the stock going OTC in the US. Also helpful to the bull cause was the sharp rebound in cryptocurrencies, lead by Bitcoin nudging its best levels again near $40,000. Squeals of pain from the financial authorities at retail investors getting too rich too quickly off this boom looked to be a decent near term counter indicator to encourage the bulls still further. Shares of Argo Blockchain rose another 15%.
One can tell the bull market is back when stocks in the wrong sector and out of favour, start to flourish. This was particularly the case as far as the “global specialist for parents and young children”, Mothercare (MTC). Here the shares were up 15% off the back of turnaround hopes for the company which at the tail end of 2020 announced that it completed its “transformation plan.” With rumoured seasoned investors alleged to arriving on the shareholder register, and a shortage of stock meeting the latest 15% rise in the shares, traders were expecting further near term upside for Mothercare.
Continuing its recent stellar run was tech investor Pires (PIRI), which was especially helped recently by its £200,000 investment in sports betting platform Low6. The run up to this deal saw stakebuilding in the shares by Chris Akers, John Mahtani and Ashok Patel. The latest development has been a fresh TR1 from Mr Patel, as he climbs from 5% to 6% on the shareholder register. Shares of Pires jumped another 17% to 14p.
The mining sector was well represented as far as the newswires were concerned, led by palladium focused Eurasia Mining (EUA), which updated on its formal sale process. Given the massive rally in the shares, the market remains split between the bears who would like to be let off the hook as far as being £1bn offside regarding EUA’s market cap, and the bulls who have enjoyed the massive share price ride backed by a precious metals rally since the pandemic began. Shares of Eurasia edged up 1.67% as the company said the sale process remains ongoing.
It could be said quite fairly that as far as metals processing group Jubilee Metals (JLP) business over the past six months has been moving, a point underlined by the latest operations update blowing the lights out across the board. In particular the company could boast PGM and Chrome operational earnings up by a record 123% for H2 2020. Jubilee was understandably pleased to have achieved this performance in a time of COVID-19, and promised to target 25,000 tonnes of Copper annual production over the next 4 years.
There was also production news from Australia focused mining group NQ Minerals (NQM) in its 2020 financial summary. Here it said that it had achieved improved tonnage for its mining and processing activities at its flagship Hellyer project. Provisional 2020 FY gross revenues reached A$63m, with operating profit from operation standing at A$24.0m and net income at A$22.7m. This was helped by higher throughput and rising commodities prices.
After being somewhat under the radar of late, no doubt partly due to the fact that speciality polymers are a concept in the rocket science category, it was the turn of Itaconix (ITX) to shine. The shares capped a recent sharp bull run with a 45% rise, in the wake of the appointment of Helen Cane, as Vice President of Operations. Bulls of the stock have gushed over the company beefing up the number of key operatives, with the goal according to Itaconix being that it will be well placed to develop the next phase to develop revenue growth.
Finally, there was a chunky 10% gain in shares of Remote Monitored Systems (RMS), whose Pharm2farm subsidiary continues to inspire retail investors. This has especially been the case after the board changes this week, and a director sale of 24,000,000 shares at 2.7p. With the stock now well above this level, traders were acting as if they had plenty to look forward to in terms of the anti-viral face mask machine being commissioned and getting into production over the next few weeks.
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