Local markets dipped early on Monday, after a wishy-washy lead-in from Wall Street’s Friday session was overshadowed by ructions in Europe that are gaining momentum.

I’ll get into the details of that shortly, but first… we need to talk about the Danes, because it turns out that when it comes to spicy food, they really don’t have the heart for it.

There’s a bit to unpack here, so let’s start with the organisation that’s doing all the whining – the alarmingly-named Danish Veterinary and Food Administration (DVFA).

It’s entirely possible that something’s been lost in translation from its original Danish “Fødevarestyrelsen” – but I can’t really think of any scenario where tying veterinary services to food supply is going to make the populace okay with one body overseeing both things.

I want my sick cats well away from my food supply, thankyouverymuch.

Anyway, the DVFA has stepped into the fray in a bid to stop Danish people from hurting themselves while consuming a particular brand of instant noodles – namely, the Buldak 3x Spicy & Hot Chicken, 2x Spicy & Hot Chicken, and Hot Chicken Stew made by South Korean company Samyang.

The reason: they’re too spicy for Danish people, with the DVFA forcing the company to withdraw them from sale in Denmark over fears – and I quote – “they pose a risk of the consumer developing acute poisoning”.

I’ll readily admit that I haven’t personally tried them, so I can’t tell you firsthand how spicy they are, but I did lose several hours of my life going down a Youtube rabbit hole into the wild, wild world of so-called “mukbang” videos, which feature a loose collection of sociopaths and morons eating things , because that’s what passes for entertainment these days.

Among the best of them I could find was this one – a young man who is absolutely, 100% not a serial killer, continuing the fine YouTube tradition of hurting himself on camera for views. But it’s okay, because that decorative samurai sword in the background there is a sure sign that he’s a tough guy.

 

 

Fair warning: if watching young someone in obvious discomfort chewing food with their mouth open isn’t your thing, you might want to skip the video – but it was the least offensive video of its kind I could find, as most of the others made me want to kill someone almost immediately because of the gross chewing noise. #TeamMisophonia.

Anyway… the actual spicy heat of these noodles has been hard to pin down, because the packaging says they clock in at a reasonably paltry 13,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU), a moderately reliable measure of the raw heat a chili can produce.

That puts them somewhere between a jalapeno (2,500 – 8,000 SHU) and a Serrano pepper (8,000 – 22,000 SHU) – but anecdotal evidence suggests that the packaging is a monstrous lie.

According to one local source, they’re actually in the same “Insanity” spice category as other products that sound utterly horrifying, such as Dolly’s Jerky Carolina Reaper Beef Jerky – which tips the scales at a modest 2.2 million SHU – and the always-popular Chilli Willies Carolina Reaper Rectum Wrecker.

So… maybe the Danes are onto something here, and not the culinary namby pambies that the noodle ban suggests.

 

TO MARKETS

Local markets dipped sharply at open on Monday morning, recovered a bit and then wobbled their way into the lunch break, with the ASX 200 clinging desperately to break-even but evidently fighting a losing battle.

At midday, the sectors looked like this:

 

asx today (SCL)
Chart via Marketindex.com.au

 

And the ASX indices looked like this:

 

asx today (SCL)
Chart via Marketindex.com.au

 

Up the big end of town, a couple of the nation’s largest miners have had a busy few days, starting with BHP (ASX:BHP) managing to avert a worker’s revolt at its Spence copper mine in Chile, after the company finally threw enough money at the workers to keep them happy.

The new three-year contract – which rallied a 93% approval from the workforce – includes a significant pay bump for the Chilean miners, along with better working conditions.

BHP, for its part, seems to be fairly nonplussed about the terms of the agreement, if its public statement on the deal is anything to go by.

“The company appreciates the willingness for dialogue, respect and effort to build a sustainable and beneficial agreement for both parties,” the company said in a statement.

And Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) was in the news this morning, with a potentially huge step forward for the embattled monster lithium mine in Jadar, 160km southeast of the Serbian capital Belgrade.

The proposed mine has been on ice for about two years after the locals were able to make enough noise about the ill effects of it, but it appears that Rio has been able to subdue a lot of those fears, with reports that the $3.6 billion project is set to move ahead.

Rio says the mine will produce about 58,000t of lithium every year – “enough for 17% of EV production in Europe — approximately 1.1 million cars”.

Closer to home, Gillon McLachlan, the sports administrator who led the AFL for nearly a decade, has been named the new chief executive of Tabcorp Holdings (ASX:TAH).

Tabcorp says McLachlan has a strong track record of success, after more than doubling AFL revenues from $502 million in 2013 to $1,063 million in 2023. He also expanded the AFL to 18 teams and started the AFLW competition. Investors weren’t exactly jazzed by the news, apparently – Tabcorp is down -1.15% since the announcement this morning.

 

NOT THE ASX

In New York on Friday, Wall Street delivered a mixed bag, after the S&P 500 fell by -0.05%, the blue chips Dow Jones index was down by -0.15%, but the tech-heavy Nasdaq lifted by +0.12%.

But the big news on Friday came from European markets which *ahem* CAC’d their DAX in the wake of a series of wins by far right parties that increased pressure on France’s president, causing investors to worry that this could weaken the European Union.

France’s CAC fell -2.7%, bringing its loss for the week to 6.2%, while Germany’s DAX lost -1.4% – with the falls in France led by some gruesome losses among France’s big banks.

BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole and Societe Generale all lost between 12%-16% since this time last week… just a little over a month out from the Paris Olympics, so it’s a safe bet that the Olympic flame will actually be a pile of burning Renaults on every street corner.

In US stock news, Tesla shares fell by -2.5% after shareholders voted to reapprove CEO Elon Musk’s compensation package. Despite some resistance from major investors, 77% of the votes were in favour, according to the company.

Cruise liner Royal Caribbean’s stock fell -4.5% after Bank of America analysts noted that cruise prices in early June were a bit lower compared to early May.

Shopify rose by +5% after an analyst suggested the stock could rise by +16% from here. Mark Mahaney from Evercore ISI upgraded Shopify’s rating, saying the recent drop in its stock price has made it a good buy for investors.

In Asian markets this morning, Japan’s Nikkei is down -1.81%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is up +0.82% and Shanghai markets are down -0.39%.

And elsewhere around the globe there’s not a whole lot of work going on, with no less than 31 markets closed for holidays today, mostly due to Eid al-Adha celebrations.

 

ASX SMALL CAP WINNERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for 17 June [intraday]:

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

Wordpress Table Plugin

 

There’s no mistaking who was the winner on Monday morning, after Schrole Group (ASX:SCL) announced that it had entered into a Scheme Implementation Deed with TES Aus Global (a subsidiary of TES Global) for the acquisition of 100% of Schrole’s issued capital by way of a court-approved scheme of arrangement for a cash price of 48.52 cents per Schrole share.

That’s a whopping 203% premium on the closing price of Schrole shares on 14 June 2024 of $0.16, and puts a valuation on the company of $18.15 million. Predictably enough, Schrole almost immediately went through the roof, up +178% to $0.445 just after 12.30pm today.

HeraMED (ASX:HMD) also had a good morning on Monday, boosted nicely by news that its HeraCARE platform has gone live and is currently onboarding mums as part of the implementation of its agreement with Broward Health in Florida, USA.

Pilot Energy (ASX:PGY) rose on news that it has taken commitments of $4.0 million (before costs) in a placement to sophisticated, institutional and professional investors, which will see the company issue 181.8 million fully paid ordinary shares at an issue price of $0.022 a pop.

Emmerson Resources (ASX:ERM) popped this morning on news that its Joint Venture partner Tennant Consolidated Mining Group has commenced construction of its Nobles CIL gold processing facility, which will see Tennant’s conventional 840Ktpa CIL gold processing facility moved to the site in the NT from Cloncurry in Queensland.

PPK Group (ASX:PPK) climbed Monday morning on news of a judgement on relief from the Supreme Court of New South Wales in the matter of Flynn & Anor v PPK Group Limited & Anor, which will see PPK issue Flynfam Pty Ltd ATF Flynn Family Trust the number of shares which is equal to $500,000 divided by the volume-weighted average price (VWAP) of PPK shares over the 30 trading days immediately preceding the judgement date on 14 June 2024 – which totals about 1,136,011 shares, and is in line with what PPK was expecting to happen.

 

ASX SMALL CAP LOSERS

Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for 17 June [intraday]:

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

Wordpress Table Plugin

 

ICYMI – AM EDITION

Brazilian Critical Minerals (ASX:BCM) has received the final socioeconomic report that forms part of a mining company’s social licence (and its preliminary licence application) for its Ema rare earths project – with public authorities and local social and community organisations supporting and welcoming the development.

Strategic Energy Resources (ASX:SER) has announced plans to commence drill testing of the Achilles 1 Polymetallic Prospect at the South Cobar project in NSW in July.

Experienced US pharmaceutical executive, Dr Katie MacFarlane has been appointed to PharmAust (ASX:PAA) Board of Directors as a Non-Executive Director, with her 30+ years of experience in developing and commercialising pharmaceutical products expected to be invaluable in establishing the company as a global leader in neurodegenerative diseases.

Resouro Strategic Metals (ASX:RAU) made a strong debut on the ASX last week, clocking a more than 30% lift at close of play on Day 1, with its 90 per cent stake in the large-scale, high-grade Tiros titanium oxide and rare earths project in Brazil.

 

At Stockhead, we tell it like it is. While Resouro Strategic Metals, PharmAust, Strategic Energy Resources and Brazilian Critical Minerals are Stockhead advertisers, they did not sponsor this article.