Remember James Blunt? Well, the musician has joined the ranks of Neil Young and Joni Mitchell in campaigning for the removal of the Joe Rogan podcast on Spotify.

Young and Mitchell have had their work removed from the streaming giant, after 270 scientists and medical professionals signed a letter earlier this month urging Spotify to take action against Rogan, accusing him of spreading falsehoods on the podcast.

But instead of removing his music, Blunt has jokingly threatened to release new music if Spotify doesn’t agree to his demands.

It’s not the first time Blunt has self-depreciatingly joked that his work is unpopular.

PSA: this one is the stuff of James Blunt x Dick Van Dyke nightmares.

To Markets …

After a strong start, risk appetite reversed and the ASX 200 is down 9.50 points or 0.14% at midday today to 6,978.60.

Things are jumpy on the geopolitical front, with investors in Europe and the US monitoring rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine that have drawn the focus of NATO allies.

The situation has buoyed oil in recent days, pushing it to the highest levels since 2014.

The Brent crude price rose by 0.8% to US$90.03 a barrel and the US Nymex crude price edged up by US21 cents or 0.2% to US$86.82 a barrel.

Attention has now turned to the upcoming OPEC+ meeting on February 2.

In North America, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said last week that the central bank’s rate-setting committee is ready to raise rates at its mid-March meeting.

According to Morningstar with Dow Jones, the Fed also said it approved a final round of asset purchases, which will conclude its stimulus program by March, and discussed plans to reduce its $9 trillion securities portfolio, which has more than doubled since March 2020.

“It’s definitely a wild start to the year,” said Josh Chastant, a senior investment analyst at GuideStone Capital Management.

“That’s to be expected when you go from a stimulative Fed to a less accommodative Fed.”


Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for January 31 [intraday]:

Swipe or scroll to reveal full table. Click headings to sort:

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The biggest small cap winner today was Sagalio Energy (ASX:SAN) who’ve gradually resumed oil sales, recording sales revenue of $US104,125 for the December quarter.

Next up was VDM Group (ASX:VMG) despite its Phase 3 drilling program at the CdB Copper Project remaining on hold due to worsening COVID-19 conditions in Angola, Africa.

Then there was Veris (ASX:VRS), which entered an agreement with Telstra subsidiary Telstra Purple to sell Aqura Technologies for $30m.




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