Today’s wrap is brought to you by that badly abused, weary middle management phrase “optics”. Yes, we’re talking about how things look.

This fits the bill – both a giant eyeball and something that looks… incredible:

Pretty cool, huh? The Sphere got switched on last night, but the test runs have been all over social media all week. Understandable, because it’s impossible to miss if you’re within a comically-sized yard of alcoholic cocktail from even the fringes of Vegas:

Picture: Getty Images

It’s about 100 metres high, and covered in some 1.2 million LEDs about the size of a Wagon Wheel, before Wagon Wheels got shrinkflationed.

Pics don’t do it justice, here’s another action shot:

It officially opens in September, with eco-warrior Bono and his bandmates right at home in Vegas. In fact the only thing that has sucked more energy from the planetthan Vegas has been, well, anything U2’s written since The Unforgettable Fire.

Now it’s time to talk about the price.

*Counts fingers*… that’s one… two… point three… BILLION. US dollars.

That’s a lot of airdropped emergency supplies. Over to you, Bono.

Also open last night, Zuckerdroid’s new “Twitter killer” Threads, which pulled more than 30 million sign-ups on Day One, which, as it turns out, was an early release.

The market wasn’t entirely impressed, sending Meta down 0.8%, but it’s certainly a decent start, despite the app itself just turning out to be yet another vanilla-ised Meta clone of an existing popular app.

And of course, another way for Markberg Zoidatron 3000 to keep an eye on your personal life. The Guardian notes:

“Threads is able to collect a wide range of personal information, including health, financial, contacts, browsing and search history, location data, purchases and ‘sensitive info’, according to its data privacy disclosure on the App Store.”

And that’s exactly why Threads isn’t available in the EU yet.

Cue cute memes:

Picture: Someone on Twitter

And finally, we’re at Headingley for the Third Test, watching as the English cricket team and Fleet Street spent way too much time firmly focused on something they just this week recognised as “the Spirit of Cricket”.

That’s the part when you know the umpire might have missed something, so you bring it to their attention even though it may be to your detriment. Not, for example, asking if a guy can stay in when he’s clearly out.

More like when you clearly know you edged it to the ‘keeper. Or, if you’re the English captain and everyone can see it’s obvious your arm was touching the boundary when you “saved that four”.

Like this:

Especially when you’re the English captain who’s been reminding everyone about the “Spirit of Cricket” all week. Let’s hope the English don’t win by a single run, because as Ben Stokes himself said: “You wouldn’t want to win a game like that.”

That’ll do. Eyes forward, to Markets.


To Markets:

The ASX 200 benchmark started badly and only got worse on the journey from kick-off to lunch, falling to -1.61% at lunch time, with literally every sector in the red.

The biggest loser so far is Real Estate, down 2.48% at the time of writing, with stocks like the Goodman Group (ASX:GMG) leading the charge, down 3.85%.

Other close contenders for reddest sector so far include Information Technology down 2.40%, Communication down 2.00% and Consumer Discretionary down 1.83%.

The least worst loser was Consumer Staples, only down 1.18%.

Base metal prices tumbled on Thursday. The gold futures price fell by $US11.70 or 0.6% to $US1,915.40 an ounce. Spot gold was trading near $US1,910 an ounce at the US close.

Iron ore futures rose by 0.4% to $US112.27 a tonne on optimism about additional policy stimulus to support China’s sputtering post-Covid economic rebound. 

But interestingly, Goldman Sachs’ commodity team recently downgraded Fe and base metals.

“We maintain a cautious view on Chinese and developed market demand and are positive on only copper, met coal and mineral sands into 2H,” they said in a note yesterday.




Looking overseas, US stocks and bonds sold off on Thursday after another round of strong economic data solidified expectations of further interest rate increases.
The S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite each shed 0.8%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 366 points, or 1.1%. All 11 sectors of the S&P 500 closed in the red.

Actually, it was their worst performance since May. C’mon US Markets, do something.

The private sector added 497,000 jobs in June, payroll-services firm ADP said Thursday. That was well above the forecast from economists polled by The Wall Street Journal. The construction sector added 97,000 jobs in June, the biggest month-over-month increase in at least a decade.

The ADP report has typically shown smaller employment gains than the nonfarm payroll data supplied by the Labor Department over the past several months, said Nadia Lovell, senior US equity strategist for global wealth management at UBS. 

That has raised concerns that the official data for June, due Friday, will be especially strong.

“I think people are on the edge of their seats for tomorrow,” she said.

Chinese shares also ended lower, and the focus remained on US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s visit to Beijing for signs of how the US-China relationship is faring. 

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index closed 0.5% lower at 3205.57, the Shenzhen Composite Index fell 0.4% and the tech-heavy ChiNext Price Index declined 0.9%.
Hong Kong stocks ended the session sharply lower, analysts pointed to a range of negative factors weighing on sentiment, including intensified worries over the Fed’s tightening plan, a weaker yuan against the dollar – oh, and continued uncertainty over US-China relations.



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for July 07 [intraday]:

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Clinical stage drug maker AdAlta Limited (ASX:1AD) says new data supports the potential efficacy of its AD-214 treatment in humans with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) and other fibrotic diseases.

The new data links CXCR4 receptor occupancy with CXCR4 inhibition to provide direct evidence – suggesting that administration of AD-214 every two weeks could be clinically feasible. 

CEO and MD Dr Tim Oldham says the new findings de-risk and improve confidence in Phase II clinical study dosing regimens.

“For the first time we have been able to show that we can maximally inhibit a key fibrotic process with as little as 60% receptor occupancy and that meaningful inhibition can be achieved at much lower levels,” he said.

“This supports the hypothesis that AD-214 may be able to be dosed at a clinically convenient frequency of no more than every two weeks. 

“This information is also extremely valuable for determining appropriate dosing for AD-214 Phase II clinical studies. 

“Linking a clinically measurable parameter (receptor occupancy) with efficacy answers a question commonly asked by potential commercial partners and substantially reduces the risk of Phase II studies.” 

Golden Deeps (ASX:GED) has found germanium and gallium at its Nosib vanadium-copper-lead-silver project in Namibia, days after major producer China imposed export restrictions on the critical metals used in computer chips and semi-conductors.

Including germanium and gallium. How’s that for timing!

“The market price of germanium is currently ~US$2,450/kg and gallium is ~US$230/kg, compared to vanadium (V2O5) at US$16.60/kg, copper at US$8.25/kg and zinc at US$2.41/kg,” GED says.

“Demand and pricing for germanium and gallium are likely to be enhanced following China’s decision to restrict exports.”

“Metallurgical concentrate testwork is close to completion, which will allow the company to finalise a maiden Mineral Resource estimate for Nosib,” CEO Jon Dugdale said. 

“Concentrate samples should also contain significant germanium and gallium, potentially representing high-value credits. 

“We look forward to further drilling which is set to commence, testing for shallow extensions of Nosib.”

And Greentech Metals (ASX:GRE) has picked up more high grade lithium in rock chips – peak grade 1.8% LI2O – at the Ruth Well project, extending the mineralised zone at the Kobe prospect to 7.5km.

Plans for drilling are well advanced, it says.



Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for July 07 [intraday]:

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