Danish artist Jens Haaning was given US$84,000 by the Kunsten Museum of Modern Art in Aalborg to create a work of art.

But instead of using the cash to create the artwork, he instead returned two blank canvases which he renamed “Take the Money and Run”.

“Jens is known for his conceptual and activistic art with a humoristic touch. And he gave us that – but also a bit of a wake-up call as everyone now wonders where did the money go,” museum director Lasse Andersson said.

The contract states that the money is not Haaning’s and must be paid back when the exhibition closes on 16 January 2022.

Andersson said the museum would wait and see what Haaning does, but if he doesn’t return the money they will take the “necessary steps to ensure that Jens Haaning complies with his contract”.

 

To Markets …

The ASX 200 is down 123.10 points or 1.69% at midday today to 7,152.50.

In Europe a range of factors (cough cough Brexit) have sent gas and oil prices soaring.

“Energy prices are on the rise once again today, with Brent crude hitting the highest level in almost three years,” IG analyst Josh Mahony told Morningstar. “Supply constraints appear to be coming at the wrong time, with demand gradually picking up steam.”

In the US, oil prices rose as supply constraints continued to draw on inventories around the world and the rally in natural gas prices also pushed up crude, according to ANZ Research analysts.

But as traders booked profits on the recent rally, the Brent crude price fell 0.6% from 3-year highs to US$79.09 a barrel. And the US Nymex crude price fell by US16 cents or 0.2% to US$75.29 a barrel.

Copper and nickel fell by up to 2% and the gold futures price fell by US$14.50 an ounce or 0.8% to U$1,737.50 an ounce, with spot gold trading near US$1,733 an ounce.

Iron ore fell by US$6.30 a tonne or 5.3% to US$112.35 a tonne.

Investors are closely monitoring the outcomes of many high-stakes deadlines on Capitol Hill this week, setting up potentially chaotic negotiations against the backdrop of expiring government funding and the threat of a possible US default.

In testimony to the Senate, US Federal Reserve Chair, Jerome Powell, noted: “As reopening continues, bottlenecks, hiring difficulties, and other constraints could again prove to be greater and more enduring than anticipated, posing upside risks to inflation.”

“The sooner something there [Capitol Hill] happens, the happier the market will be,” said JJ Kinahan TD Ameritrade’s chief market strategist. “Watching the sausage being made is always a really ugly process.”

 

ASX SMALL CAP WINNERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for September 29 [intraday]:

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

 

The biggest small cap winner was Touch Ventures (ASX:TVL), up 40% after listing on the ASX today, raising $100 million at 40 cents a share supported by Afterpay and the Huljich family.

Touch Ventures chairman Mike Jefferies said the ASX listing was a significant milestone for the company.

“A key investment objective for Touch Ventures is to deliver long-term absolute returns to shareholders, primarily from the capital appreciation of its portfolio,” he said.

“Our structure also enables us to provide access to venture capital investments to investors as a company listed on the ASX.”

The company has also completed its investment into Refundid – an instant returns platform for shoppers providing a full refund to consumers before their items are returned to the merchants.

The company invested $1 million to acquire a 10.4% equity interest (10.0% on a fully diluted basis) in Refundid and has agreed to provide a $1.0 million term loan facility to be used to fund customer refunds.

“We were impressed by Brad and the team at Refundid having already built an incredible product, clientele and brand in such a short time frame and are proud to be a part of their journey as they enter their next phase of growth,” TVL CEO Hein Vogel said.

Next up was Red Dirt Metals (ASX:RDT), up 34% on no news, followed by Cyclone Metals (ASX:CLE) andDiscovEX Resources (ASX:DCX). Both were up 20% on no news.

Up 17% was Carnavale Resources (ASX:CAV) off the back of its latest exploration update.

The WA gold explorer said its initial aircore drilling was complete at the Ora Banda South Project – with results expected in mid-November.

And salary packaging and fleet management provider SmartGroup Corporation (ASX:SIQ) rose 16% after getting a takeover offer from TPG Capital (the private equity group, not the telco) and Potentia Capital.

 

ASX SMALL CAP LOSERS