It’s lunchtime for the S&P/ASX200 – just a light cheese salad with a glass of water. It’s down two points – or technically about as flat as the index can get without actually having Omicron.

Yes, Strain of the Month is still calling the shots on today’s market narrative, with experts warning NSW infections are doubling every six days, and despite global cases again topping one million, traders stateside are in a distinctly risk-on frame of mind.

There’s something to be said about reading the signs. Especially on a day when both these examples of taking a risk pop up simultaneously. First here’s Melbourne-born offensive lineman Daniel Faalele’s first college try, after the opposition saw him, then regrouped to decide how best to handle what was about to happen:

And then there’s the position taken by a child tourist in London, who thought the Guards were j/k and didn’t really take their job seriously:

Speaking of risk, cheese, lunch, determination, Twiggy or steak… the owner of Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG), renowned marine biologist Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest, has snapped up a handy slice of Bega Cheese (ASX:BGA) in morning business. Investing heartily in the owner of Vegemite, what could be more risk-on than that?

 

US market records: lite version

A light and soggy session in Europe was followed up by a light and punchy Wall Street advance.

The US Dow Jones index closed up 90 points or 0.26 per cent to record highs. The Nasdaq index lost 0.1 per cent while the S&P500 hit 4,800 for the first time, its 70th record high this year, driven largely by a belief (among the 11 or so traders still left on Wall Street) that Omicron won’t derail the good-to-go global recovery.

Overnight the US Dollar fell, supporting a broader rally in commodity prices and commodity currencies like the Aussie.
 

Compelling positivity

IG Markets’ Kyle Rodda says bond markets are where the most compelling market positivity is playing out.

“The US 10 Year yield jumped 7 points to 1.55%, in what was a broad-based move lower in long-dated sovereign debt, steepening the yield curve a touch and allaying some fears of a precipitous slowdown in economic growth as 2022 unfolds.

Rodda calls it, “another risk-on signal.”

Meanwhile, oil prices are pushing across one-month highs, Brent crude lifting again as US inventories fell by more than expected over the past week, investors would’ve preferred to tread water ahead of the OPEC+ meeting next week.
 

Total bullion

Bullion lost ground, with the gold futures price losing US$5.10 or 0.3 per cent to US$1,805.80 an ounce. Spot gold was trading near US$1,804 an ounce at the US close. The fall could weigh on local goldies.

Iron ore gained US35 cents or 0.3 per cent to US$118.05 a tonne overnight. London-listed iron ore miners diverged, with shares in Rio Tinto down 0.4 per cent while shares in BHP rose by 1.3 per cent.
 

Digital assets flatten in US trade

Although mixed for most of the session, cryptocurrencies were more even on Wednesday with Bitcoin down 0.65%, Ethereum off by 2.17%.

At lunchtime in Sydney the laggard stocks are Paladin Energy (PDN), IDP Education (IDP) and Imugene (IMU), all down between 6% and 4.5%

 

Let’s look at the winners and losers as we start to knock on the door of 2022.
 

ASX SMALL CAP WINNERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for December 30 [intraday]:

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

SUPERIOR RESOURCES (ASX:SPQ) is now up ~43% since announcing visual copper and disseminated copper over much of a 659m-long hole at the ‘Bottletree’ porphyry copper-gold prospect last week.

“It must be noted that these copper-mineralised zones are a secondary target and appear to be mere outer zones of mineralisation, or ‘leakage’ related to potentially, a much larger porphyry copper-gold system,” SPQ managing director Peter Hwang says.
 

ASX SMALL CAP LOSERS

Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks for December 30 [intraday]:

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