With apologies to the non-cricket fans out there, there’s no letting this go through to the ‘keeper.

Engerland, trying to win its first Test match in Australia in 10 years, isn’t going to. At least not this week, after deciding to not play its best two bowlers for the Ashes opener on a greenishly-tinged Gabba.

Captain Joe Root loves a challenge. He followed the “we’ll go with a poorer lineup” decision by opting to bat first after winning the toss. With the pitch and overcast weather conditions, that was always going to be risky.

All they had to do was survive the morning.

Here’s the first ball:

And here’s how England are travelling after the first morning:

 

To markets

Back to business, where things were also a lot healthier for the Aussie players.

By midday, the S&P/ASX200 had gained 0.74% to 7,368.20.

That means the index has gained 1.83% over the past five days and is tracking for a good end to 2021, just 3.47% off of its 52-week high. At this stage last year, it sat at 6725 points.

So we’re up about 9.5% for the past 12 months. Cosy.

Leading the charge were memestonk darlings Zip and Mesoblast up 9.64% and 10% respectively.

Why all the positivity? Well, that first ball from Mitchell Starc, obviously… but also the general vibe that we’ll see off Omicron with little fuss.

All three major US equity benchmarks had a good night – the S&P 500 by 2.07%, the Dow Jones by 1.4%, and tech heavy Nasdaq by 3.03%. Euro stocks lifted, and even iron ore had another good session, surging 8% overnight.
 

ASX SMALL CAP WINNERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for December 8 [intraday]:

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

Outside of the popular Zip Co and Mesoblast pips, the big winner was “Australian gold royalty and mineral exploration growth story” Emmerson Resources (ASX:ERM). Growth indeed – EMR sent notice that it had hit a very chunky 117m at 3.38% copper at its Hermitage Project in NT’s Tennant Creek – and there was more to come.

Oh yeah, there was a bit of gold there as well – 3m @ 14.91g/t and 24m @ 4.2g/t.

And The Environmental Group (ASX:EGL) rose 34% after presenting successful results from a trial of its “foam fractionation” technology which removes PFAs from liquid waste streams.

PFAs are useful for waterproofing stuff, because they take forever to break down. But they’re nasty for waterways… because they take forever to break down.

 

ASX SMALL CAP LOSERS

Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks for December 8 [intraday]:

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

OK. Just one more time…