Local markets are extending the week’s gains again today, with the ASX 200 benchmark looking mighty fine with the Little Hand on +0.4%, while the Big Hand is pointing to the exits for RBA boss Phillip Lowe.

Between that, crypto-thing-a-ma-jiggy XRP’s internet-breaking court decision news and Virgin Australia’s egregiously unwarranted cancellation of my flight home this morning, it was already shaping up to be a red letter day for Lunch Wrap readers.

And then this absolute gem of a news yarn landed on my desk, and my heart just filled with emotion.

Every now and then, you’ll be able to tell that the piece of news you’re about to read is going to be very, very special, just from the opening sentence – and this one from Seven News is about as good as it gets.

“Three gold bullion bars sold to a buyer in a Queensland service station have turned out to be fake.”

Sadly, a lot of the time when you get a great news lede like that, the rest of the story doesn’t quite do it justice – however, today we’re all in luck, because this one doesn’t disappoint.

According to the report, a 33-year-old man has been arrested after offering “gold bars” for sale on social media – because I know when I’m in the mood to buy a few bricks of bullion, Gumtree is literally the first place I go looking… just to take the temperature of the market, of course.

Queensland police say that a deal was struck, and that the buyer was instructed to meet the vendor out the back of a servo on the Bruce Highway in the Gold Coast Hinterland – which makes complete sense, seeing as it’s been the spiritual home of missing geriatrics, the ghosts of 1,000 Sea World dolphin tragedies, and totally-legit gold deals since at least 1973.

Anyhow – that deal went down in June, with the cash-price paid by the buyer kept under wraps (probably because that’s not exactly the kind of thing you’d want the whole world to know), and the two parties involved went their separate ways.

It was only after the buyer got home and decided to test his latest purchase further that he discovered – to his dismay – that the gold bars were actually just copper bars that had been electroplated with enough real gold to pass the kind of inspection that only a rigorously scientific “behind the servo” examination can provide.

Police were called in, and – while it’s not clear if there was some kind of undercover sting set up or not – a new deal was lined up, and when our ethically adventurous gold salesman arrived, the rozzers pounced.

He’s been charged with a string of offences, including three counts of fraud, one count of attempted fraud and two counts of possessing tainted property. He’s set to appear before a magistrate in mid-August.

That court appearance is scheduled to take place at Maroochydore Magistrates Court, which is located in the middle of the roundabout on Dalton Drive, between Bunnings and Officeworks.

There’s a number of useful takeaways from this story – if they’re not obvious already, please never get into the gold bullion market for yourself – and one small saving grace.

Given the global outlook for copper at the moment, the original buyer who got fleeced behind the Gold Coast servo might only need to wait until September before those copper ingots are worth 10x what he paid for them, thinking they were gold.

 

TO MARKETS

Local markets have continued to build on this week’s prolonged, almost priaprismic, burst of turgidity, stacking on a fresh 0.4% before lunch.

I honestly don’t know how much, if any, of that is due to the news that Michele Bullock will become the first woman to lead the Reserve Bank of Australia.

I’d like to take this opportunity to offer my thanks to departing RBA boss Phillip Lowe – he’s been a tremendously good sport about all the s..t I’ve been hanging on him for the past 12 months.

A look at the ASX sectors this morning reveals InfoTech (+1.75%), Materials (+1.30%) and the Telcos (+1.02%) all breaking through the +1.0% mark.

Consumer Staples was flatter than my mood when those goons at Virgin Australia cancelled my flight home this morning, stranding me in the gloom of a wintery Melbourne, because they felt like punishing me for some reason, and I really don’t know why.

(Sorry – I’m still pretty steamed about it… but I’ll let it go. Deep breaths. I’m calm. Promise.)

And languishing below zero this morning is Health Care, down 0.35%, probably because Virgin Australia cancelled that entire sector’s flight this morning as well.

Because it’s not like there aren’t some big Health Care winners this morning, given that $1 billion+ market capper Neuren Pharmaceuticals (ASX:NEU) has piled on 17.5% this morning, after it announced the expansion of its partnership with Acadia Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ACAD) for trofinetide.

I don’t know what that is, or what it does, but Neuren’s pocketing $100 million up front under the deal – and that’s what matters the most.

 

NOT THE ASX

In the US overnight, the S&P 500 rallied by 0.85% while tech-heavy Nasdaq surged 1.85% as tech stocks led, Earlybird Eddy Sunarto reports.

US microchip stocks gained with Nvidia’s share price reaching record levels, and Amazon also hit a 10-month high after reporting record sales during its Prime Day sales, along with Google which rose 4.7%.

The rally came as the US PPI, which measures price changes from the perspective of the producer, came in at the slowest pace since 2020.

In Japan, the Nikkei is up 0.23% because, weirdly enough, nothing weird happened. Mark it in your diaries, kids… Japan’s long-running Everything Weirder Than Everything Else bull market may be running out of steam.

Meanwhile in China, where nothing weird ever happens – but when it does, it most certainly never did and how dare you suggest otherwise – Shanghai markets are up a completely normal 0.15%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is up 0.36% because it’s very smug about the fact that Virgin Australia wouldn’t dare cancel its flight to Sydney.

I really don’t think I’m going to be able to let that go today.

 

ASX SMALL CAP WINNERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for July 14 [intraday]:

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

Code Company Price % Volume Market Cap
1CG One Click Group Ltd 0.016 78% 73,558,117 $5,526,638
CCE Carnegie Clean Energy 0.0015 50% 2,017,630 $15,642,574
CCO The Calmer Co Int 0.003 50% 1,661,847 $1,128,155
YPB YPB Group Ltd 0.004 33% 500,000 $2,230,384
DMG Dragon Mountain Gold 0.009 29% 386,210 $2,762,702
3DA Amaero International 0.1375 25% 498,830 $45,852,973
EQS Equity Story Group 0.05 25% 65,000 $1,624,592
RMX Red Mount Min Ltd 0.005 25% 5,843,805 $9,087,404
COB Cobalt Blue Ltd 0.48 23% 2,334,794 $144,322,437
RZI Raiz Invest Limited 0.415 22% 82,453 $31,771,458
MVP Medical Developments 1.48 22% 298,718 $104,860,788
CUF Cufe Ltd 0.017 21% 544,126 $13,525,573
PNM Pacific Nickel Mines 0.072 20% 63,806 $24,564,960
NOU Noumi Limited 0.12 20% 175,760 $27,710,932
TIG Tigers Realm Coal 0.006 20% 65,859 $65,333,512
VRC Volt Resources Ltd 0.012 20% 7,417,764 $39,394,239
KED Keypath Education 0.515 20% 6,800 $92,007,585
MDI Middle Island Res 0.025 19% 1,374,380 $2,570,783
GWR GWR Group Ltd 0.096 19% 271,931 $26,018,549
IMR Imricor Med Sys 0.42 18% 96,057 $53,915,878
DTC Damstra Holdings 0.13 18% 879,932 $28,346,603
LLO Lion One Metals Ltd 1.09 17% 109,357 $12,585,545
MIO Macarthur Minerals 0.24 17% 324,043 $33,999,965
NEU Neuren Pharmaceuticals 13.59 17% 1,208,149 $1,473,224,469
SI6 SI6 Metals Limited 0.007 17% 623,750 $8,972,368
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In Small Caps this morning, fintech platform One Click Group (ASX:1CG) is up 77.8% on news that its One Click Life platform has continued its rapid business growth, surpassing 90,000 registered users.

1CG isn’t kidding when it comes to “rapid growth”, either – that userbase grew 12% in the past week alone, and the company is seeing vastly improved revenue growth on the back of the surge in popularity.

Again, the figures are clearly excellent – between 1 and 12 July this year, the company’s brought in more than $1 million in revenue, which represents a better-than 300% climb on the prior comparative period.

In second place, Cobalt Blue Holdings (ASX:COB) is up ~22% this morning on no fresh news, but it’s a continuation of a climbing trend that kicked off in early June of this year when the company delivered a DFS update for its Broken Hill Cobalt Project.

There’s the usual slew of little companies doing weird things around the place on the ladder, until we get to Lion One Metals (ASX:LLO), which is up 19% this morning after the company revealed successful mining results and better than expected grades from underground developments at its 100% owned Tuvatu Alkaline Gold Project in Fiji.

The company has provided face sampling results from one lode returning 19.91g/t Au over the first 35m of mining, and a highly gratifying peak value of 246g/t Au, which is a lot.

 

ASX SMALL CAP LOSERS

Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for July 14 [intraday]:

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

Code Company Price % Volume Market Cap
CLE Cyclone Metals 0.0015 -25% 2,460,242 $20,529,010
DXN DXN Limited 0.0015 -25% 1,500,000 $3,442,630
GMN Gold Mountain Ltd 0.01 -23% 32,017,398 $25,609,124
FFT Future First Tech 0.007 -22% 2,128,160 $6,433,529
LSR Lodestar Minerals 0.004 -20% 1,170,498 $9,216,987
SP8 Streamplay Studio 0.008 -20% 5,339,179 $11,381,238
SRY Story-I Limited 0.004 -20% 4,112,590 $1,882,024
WFL Wellfully Limited 0.004 -20% 1,681,044 $2,464,721
LYK Lykos Metals 0.08 -19% 49,883 $6,177,600
CAV Carnavale Resources 0.0065 -19% 116,685,564 $21,868,414
AWJ Auric Mining 0.046 -18% 389,110 $7,328,137
AN1 Anagenics Limited 0.015 -17% 336,776 $6,581,159
1ST 1St Group Ltd 0.005 -17% 6,500 $8,501,947
IS3 I Synergy Group Ltd 0.01 -17% 591,197 $3,468,964
NES Nelson Resources 0.005 -17% 96,914 $3,681,566
1AG Alterra Limited 0.011 -15% 6,000 $9,055,183
EDE Eden Inv Ltd 0.003 -14% 1,683,987 $10,489,305
LNU Linius Tech Limited 0.003 -14% 49,252 $13,260,767
CWX Carawine Resources 0.13 -13% 16,000 $29,522,620
ADY Admiralty Resources 0.007 -13% 780,128 $10,428,633
ECT Env Clean Tech Ltd. 0.007 -13% 1,003,380 $19,812,885
TSI Top Shelf 0.21 -13% 67,832 $46,932,207
BOA Boadicea Resources 0.04 -11% 859,859 $5,539,064
YRL Yandal Resources 0.05 -11% 200,000 $8,836,972
LM1 Leeuwin Metals Ltd 0.395 -10% 106,807 $19,705,400
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