We all love to have a bleat about the woeful state of the Australian economy – regardless of which side of the political sewer you’re standing, it’s always going to smell bad to someone.

But you’ll know your economy’s really in the doo-doo when you’ve got newly-appointed ministers begging you to stop drinking tea, in a bid to keep things from sinking deeper into the bog.

That’s the phenomenally unpopular request facing our cricket-loving friends in Pakistan, after newly-appointed Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal has fired off an ‘[email protected]’ email to tell them that tea is off the menu.

The move, Iqbal says, is an attempt to do something about Pakistan’s rapidly-emptying foreign currency reserves.

He’s obviously had a quick look at the spreadsheet, spotted that Pakistan spent a bladder-bursting $870 million importing tea in 2021, drew a line through it and sat back to say “There… I fixed it”.

Iqbal’s new hot beverage ban has been – quite rightfully – greeted with a hearty chuckle, wry smirks and a blistering “سیدھے جہنم میں جائیں۔” from the local populace, where drinking tea comes a close second to cricket as the national sport.

Spices: good luck shopping for these in the dark… Pic via Getty

Iqbal’s other request to have all shops close at 8.30pm to help bring the national power bill down a little has also been scoffed at, while the country tries to figure out how to stretch two months’ worth of cash on hand far enough to keep it afloat.

There’s little doubt that the Pakistani government is hoping desperately that the international umpires would call “Tea” on the whole mess to buy them some time, before play is completely abandoned due to bad light.
 

TO MARKETS

Aussie markets came bursting out of the gate this morning, up more than 1.0% in early trade, a hearty endorsement of the US Fed’s decision overnight to up interest rates by 75 basis points, the biggest hike in 28 years.

However, a distinct lack of movement in the nation’s unemployment figures (steady at 3.9%) knocked the gloss off the day, sending things sliding back into the sea to settle on an underwhelming 0.3% gain before lunch.

It was a close-to-even split among the sectors, with 6 from 11 posting gains as Real Estate and Tech made an unlikely alliance at the top of the ladder.

Big news from the fat end of town is the ACCC yanking on the handbrake over Dye & Durham’s proposed acquisition of Link Administration Holdings (ASX:LNK).

Link’s been on a gruesome downswing for a few days now, and lost another 10.3% this morning, adding to the company’s woes.

Overseas, and Wall Street fought back strongly from its heavy losses early in the week, piling +2.5% onto the Nasdaq. The S&P (+1.46%) and the Dow (+1.0%) did their best to keep up, which is nice.

Asian markets, however, we’re a real mixed bag. Macro economic issues and bond data that looks a bit weird from Japan didn’t hold the Nikkei back from adding +1.73%, while Shanghai and Hong Kong continued their contrarian ways this week, dropping 0.17% and 0.49% respectively.

Over on the commodities desk, it was smiles all round… oil was up 0.84%, gold added 0.7% and even wheat put in a solid showing, up 0.83% this morning, while the Big Aussie D put on 0.3% against its US counterpart.
 

ASX SMALL CAP WINNERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for June 16 [intraday]:

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Code Company Price % Market Cap
GRE Green Tech Metals 0.345 146% $4,379,200
AHN Athena Resources 0.033 43% $18,698,254
PFE Pantera Minerals 0.135 41% $4,848,000
ECS ECS Botanics Holding 0.023 35% $18,814,421
NXM Nexus Minerals Ltd 0.255 34% $55,038,351
ATU Atrum Coal Ltd 0.008 33% $4,148,210
CLE Cyclone Metals 0.004 33% $18,312,711
GLV Global Oil & Gas 0.004 33% $5,620,064
RBR RBR Group Ltd 0.004 33% $3,862,861
BYH Bryah Resources Ltd 0.04 29% $7,012,422
RLC Reedy Lagoon Corp. 0.018 29% $7,803,977
MCM Mc Mining Ltd 0.14 27% $21,742,036
ID8 Identitii Limited 0.057 27% $9,018,920
PV1 Provaris Energy Ltd 0.048 26% $20,766,258
AJL AJ Lucas Group 0.05 25% $47,851,465
BNR Bulletin Res Ltd 0.15 25% $34,810,932
MGG Mogul Games Grp Ltd 0.0025 25% $6,523,320
PRM Prominence Energy 0.0025 25% $4,849,218
RR1 Reach Resources Ltd 0.005 25% $7,640,203
HIO Hawsons Iron Ltd 0.48 25% $275,680,386
TMB Tambourah Metals 0.185 23% $6,178,890
UUL Ultima Utd Ltd 0.07 23% $4,178,529
BEX Bikeexchange Ltd 0.022 22% $3,380,481
AUQ Alara Resources Ltd 0.055 22% $31,744,316
MCA Murray Cod Aust Ltd 0.165 22% $103,309,207

 
Some big swings among the metal hunters today – most notably Greentech Metals (ASX:GRE) which went hurtling into the stratosphere fast enough to have the ASX speed camera flashbulbs popping like a paparazzi convention.

Trading was halted a minute past midday, but by then Greentech’s investors had already been shouting something about it being “a Whundo-ful life” – up 146% on the news that high-grade copper and zinc at its Whundo (see what I did there?) project in Western Australia was even better than expected, including:

  • 32m @ 2.43% Cu from 75m, including 17m @ 4.37% Cu and 0.46% Zn from 90m, including 7m @ 7.83% Cu, 0.64% Zn and 0.26g/t Au from 95m
  • 62m @ 1.12% Cu, 1.36% Zn and 0.36g/t Au, including 19m @ 1.6% Cu, 2.27% Zn and 0.51g/t Au from 21m
  • 45m @ 1.15% Cu and 2.6% Zn from 23m, including 12m @ 9.17% Zn, 2.34% Cu and 0.62g/t Au from 52m
  • 8m @ 2.65% Cu, 0.64% Zn and 0.11g/t Au from 141m
  • 10m @ 2.85% Cu and 0.96% Zn from 162m

Also making gains was Athena Minerals (ASX:AHN) (+43%) and Pantera Minerals (ASX:PFE) (+41%).
 

ASX SMALL CAP LOSERS

Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks for June 16 [intraday]:

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