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    So it IS all daytraders, LOL! Well that's what the papers reckon and you know they are never wrong!! ;-)

    AFR News - 06.12.02 04:00

    Deana Mitchell


    Many of Australia's listed volatile micro-cap stocks have been hitting the most active turnover lists this week as traders have been wooed by the momentum in their share prices.

    SciGen, a recent spin-off of healthcare group Sonic Healthcare, made it onto the top turnover list yesterday when more than 86 million shares changed hands.

    The bio-pharmaceutical company, whose market capitalisation is a mere $14 million, was placed on a trading halt as it announced the launch of its hepatitis B vaccine in Vietnam. The shares rose by 1.1¢, or 21 per cent, to 6.3¢ yesterday, bringing its weekly gain to 65 per cent. The stock had been on the most active turnover list before the announcement and has swung between 8.1¢ and 3.8¢ since it listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in mid-November.

    Analysts who track the micro-cap stocks said trading activity was buoyant because of the stock's strong momentum. "SciGen is one of the stocks that our traders have been looking into because its very active. It's the volume we chase and the momentum in its share price," said Kamlesh Chand, technical analyst with Perth-based State One Stockbroking, the firm which dominated trade in SciGen stock yesterday.


    He said select biotechnology companies had attracted traders as volumes and price momentum built up. "Biotech companies have been active for a couple of weeks and before that childcare [centre] stocks were the craze," said Mr Chand. "One of my rules is to trade only if other people are interested in it as well."

    BresaGen is one company he has been eyeing. Its share price sensitivity has centred around the Senate as it prepares to vote on the stem cell research bill.

    Automated ticketing company ERG's share price volatility has also attracted attention. The stock regularly appears in the most active daily turnover list. The company has a market cap of $103 million. "The rationale is that you can get more stocks for the same amount of money and . . . the smaller stocks tend to move much more than the larger ones percentage wise," Mr Chand said.




    Stock selection at the smaller end of the market is still a high-risk strategy but the appetite for risk has been steadily growing since mid-October.

    "Some mainstream investors are still disillusioned with the market but some are still chasing the more speculative or more riskier end of the market," said an equity strategist at ABN Amro, Douglas Orr.

    He said that the price movements and turnover at the smaller end of the market had been quite strong recently but volumes were still well down on the technology boom.
 
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