There are many benefits to a cashless society, namely that you can walk past buskers with the “sorry I haven’t got any change” line.

You can also shake your head firmly at those people trying to wash your windscreen at the traffic lights, and you can walk past charity collectors safe in the knowledge that Barbara from church probably isn’t going to chase you down for that $2 coin somewhere under the car seat.

But an unexpected benefit for Denmark is that bank robberies have essentially stopped.

Only 20 banks in the country are still holding cash thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, making it seem dirtier than it already was.

In 2000 there were 221 bank robberies, and the number of hold-ups fell to 121 in 2004, before declining to one in 2021 and zero last year.

There were also no attacks on Danish ATM machines for a second year running, probably because financial crime has moved online, with digital fraud on the rise. 



There’s also the added benefit that less bank workers have to deal with PTSD from being held up at gunpoint.

“It’s nothing short of amazing. Because every time it happens, it’s an extreme strain on the employees involved,” Finansforbundet finance workers’ union vice-president Steen Lund Olsen said.

“It’s something you can’t even begin to understand the emotional impact of if you haven’t experienced it yourself.”



The ASX 200 is trading up 0.12% at lunch today, with seven out of 11 sectors in the green.

Consumer Discretionary was leading the winners, up 0.65%, with Communication Services and Industrials hot on its heels, up 0.55% and 0.54% respectively.

On the gain train was Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) up 0.60%, Aristocrat Leisure (ASX:ALL) up 0.43%, and The Lottery Corp (ASX:TLC) also up 0.43%.

On the small caps side of town, everyone’s favourite “that a good deal for a bbq” website Kogan (ASX:KGN) was up 3.11% whereas Myer (ASX:MYR), which apparently still exists in brick ‘n’ mortar form, was only up 1.09%. 

Leading the sector laggards was Energy, down 1.41%, probably because Brent crude, the global benchmark, has fallen about 9% this week to $77.95 a barrel.



European stocks rose yesterday as investors took heart from inflation falling more than expected last month in Germany, helped by government moves to ease pressure on consumers from high gas prices.

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 and the British FTSE 100 both gained more than 1%, the French CAC 40 advanced 0.4% and the German DAX climbed 0.8%.

“Lower oil and gasoline prices and the first phase of the government’s gas-price cap have pushed down headline inflation in December,” ING analysts said in a note. 

“Still, at current levels, inflation remains a major concern in 2023.”

BNP Paribas’ group chief economist William De Vijlder said both the US and the eurozone should spend part of the year in a recession, which is expected to be short and shallow, but the contraction might be bigger if energy prices rise again or inflation falls less than expected.

In the US, the S&P 500 rose 0.1% in afternoon trading while the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.1%. The tech-focused Nasdaq Composite Index was flat.

Fresh economic data fanned the fears of a looming recession, with manufacturing activity dropping to its lowest level since May 2020.

Meanwhile, China’s moves to ease strict Covid-19 rules could help cushion the global economy from a deeper slowdown, investors say, but it is unclear by how much.



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for January 5 [intraday]:

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

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Lindian Resources (ASX:LIN) reported “outstanding” high grade rare earths assays today at its Kangankunde Rare Earths Project in Malawi – including 12 metres at 4.2% TREO from surface in drill hole KGKRC00.

LIN says both holes contain mineralisation with very high rare earths grades, broad intersections of non-radioactive material over the entire lengths of the holes, and a large percentage of critical battery metal elements of NdPr, which are used in EVs and wind turbines.

“These first assay results are absolutely outstanding in terms of grade, distribution and continuity, and with a steady stream of assays to follow, we are confident of delivering more of the same and building the case that in 2023, Kangankunde will rapidly emerge as a standout, globally significant rare earths project in terms of grade, scale and non-radioactivity,” CEO Alistair Stephens said.

“Today’s results should be regarded as a leading indicator of this. I am not aware of another deposit anywhere in the world demonstrating such high grades of rare earths mineralisation over these continuous lengths to such depth. 

“Added to this is the non-radioactivity of the Kangankunde rare earths mineralisation – a highly unique and extremely commercially advantageous characteristic, with the potential for concentrates from Kangankunde to be shipped anywhere in the world, free of Class 7 restrictions. 

“The commercial significance of this cannot be understated.” 

The holes ended in mineralisation which will be further extended with core drilling later in the program. 

The company also plans to deliver an exploration target and maiden Mineral Resource Estimate sometime in Q2 CY2023. 

And Scidev (ASX:SDV) signed a three-year chemical services deal with Iluka Resources’ (ASX:ILU) Cataby Mineral Sands Mine in WA.

SciDev’s chemistry will be utilised for the treatment of the mine site tailings to assist in maximising water recovery whilst minimising the tailings footprint. 

The contract is expected to generate around A$14 million, with sales anticipated to commence in March 2023. 



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