Local markets are up at lunchtime today. I know, right? I can barely believe it myself.

But yup – there it is…the benchmark is up 0.2% after a rapid decline at open had a lot of hearts sinking this morning, but a surge in Energy and a mini-surge in Materials has turned things around for the market as a whole.

There’s a lot happening around the place – including a 4.0% spike in crude oil prices and a local market newbie landing to a lot of happy fanfare.

But before I get into all that, there’s the small matter of a roving band of sheep in Greece who, in a moment of ovine madness, broke into a greenhouse to feast upon a marijuana crop.

And it wasn’t a small crop, either… local news outlets are reporting that the crop, grown legally for therapeutic purposes, totaled more than 600lb (about 270kg), which was gone even quicker than if the farmer had simply dropped it off beside a Snoop Dogg / Willie Nelson tour bus.

The sheep reportedly began “behaving strangely”, which is hardly a surprise. Even a massive flock of sheep would have trouble standing up after eating its way through 9,700 ounces of pot.

The reason for the sheep deciding the time was right to suddenly become really big fans of The Grateful Dead isn’t all that funny… Greece has been in the grip of a severe weather event called Storm Daniel.

Everything’s underwater, and there’s nothing else around for the local animal herds to eat, so they can’t really be blamed for smelling the unmistakably herby stench of the dope farm and making a beeline to the source.

But, on the plus side, those Greek sheep are apparently a lot better at holding their smoke (as the old saying goes) than their counterparts in Wales.

In May 2016, after a lout dumped a large quantity of pot in the quiet village of Rhydypandy in the Swansea valley in South Wales, and the local sheep got stuck right into it before going on a “psychotic rampage”.

At the time, County councillor Ioan Richard said that the sheep were so stoned, they were breaking into houses, and many of them so high that they’d wandered into the middle of the road in a daze, and been hit by cars and lorries.

The Greek farmer whose crop is that latest to be consumed by sheep told local media that he’s unsure quite how to feel about it all.

“I don’t know if it’s for laughing or crying,” he said. “We had the heatwave and we lost a lot of production. We had the floods, we lost almost everything.

“And now this. The herd entered the greenhouse and ate what was left. I don’t know what to say, honestly.”

When asked for comment, the sheep said “yeah, you can use it” and went back to searching for “like, a beanbag or some corn chips. Yeah, Oh dude, I could really go for some corn chips right now. Man, I feel fuzzy… so fuzzy…”



The benchmark fell early this morning in a heart-stopping 23 points in 10 minute plunge that set the market mood all a-jitter again, because – let’s be honest – it’s been a pretty poor week thus far for the ASX.

But, there’s been a turnaround, the market’s at +0.2, there’s been a belter of an debut for newcomer Pioneer Lithium and things are feeling kinda buoyant for the first morning in what feels like forever.

The Energy sector’s doing a lot of the heavy lifting, up better than 2.0% for the day so far, with Materials doing its best to keep pace, up just over 0.8%.

But the Consumer Twins, Staples and Discretionary, are holding things back a little, languishing like a morose, bitter old couple on a public bench outside Woolies and bickering over whose life is shittier than the other.

It’s a fight that Staples is winning, apparently.


asx winner Pioneer Lithium
Chart via marketindex.com.au


Up the fancy end of town, Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) and Karoon Energy (ASX:KAR) are providing a chunk of the Energy sector’s momentum, adding 4.7% and 4.9% respectively.

And the ever-swinging Sayona Mining (ASX:SYA) is up to its usual volatile tricks, up around 8.9% at lunchtime but that can, and probably will, change quite rapidly, as it often does.



In the US overnight, the likelihood of another government shutdown has hit, according to Goldman Sachs, about 90% – not exactly the boldest of predictions, considering the US is about three days away from seizing up like a poorly-serviced chainsaw in dire need of lube.

The short-term hope for avoiding the shutdown – a bipartisan Senate bill that would have kept everything open while a ‘proper, long-term’ solution – has been labelled dead in the water by Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

Kev’s refusing to take up the bill from the Senate on the basis that it includes $12 billion in aid and war money for Ukraine, but precisely $0 billion for border protection – so, even though budget money for border protection could very easily be added into whatever long-term measures are negotiated over the coming weeks, the US is once again dancing merrily on the edge of the shutdown cliff.

To put how breathtakingly dumb this level of brinksmanship is in perspective, Australia had a similar issue develop once, in 1975. That’s when the Australian Senate “blocked Supply” – basically turned off the money tap so the government was unable to function – and it brought down the Whitlam government.

But America’s turned this sort of rampant idiocy into an annual event, it would seem… and it’s playing havoc with the US economy.

The only potential ‘upside’ to it all is that the damage a shutdown would do to the economy would force the US Fed’s hand and put a stop to interest rate rises, for now.

Last night, despite the crazy talk, the S&P 500 rose by +0.02%, the blue chips Dow Jones index was down by -0.2%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq lifted by +0.22%.

Earlybird Eddy Sunarto reports, in US stock news, Meta Platform was down -0.4% after Mark Zuckerberg unveiled two new high-tech headsets built for the metaverse at the Meta Connect conference.

Palantir surged 6.5% after signing a US$250m artificial intelligence contract with the US Army. Costco meanwhile was up 2% after its quarterly earnings per share came in above Wall Street expectations.

Elsewhere, oil stocks will be ones to watch today after crude prices jumped by almost 4% last night to one-year high, with Brent trading now at US$96.67 a barrel.

“Oil price rally is likely to continue, but it’s not sustainable in the longer run,” says a note from ING’s commodities analyst, Warren Patterson.

Patterson adds that he can’t see crude prices over US$100/bbl, because weaker demand and political pressure to increase supply would help bring oil prices back to levels slightly above US$90/bbl.

In Japan, the Nikkei is down 1.73% because, weirdly, nothing weird has happened, while Shanghai markets are flat and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is down 1.21%.



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for 27 September [intraday]:

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

Code Company Price % Volume Market Cap
CCE Carnegie Cln Energy 0.002 100% 100,556 $15,642,574
MXC Mgc Pharmaceuticals 0.002 100% 3,067,946 $4,427,968
PLN Pioneer Lithium 0.33 65% 1,013,889 $5,685,000
MEB Medibio Limited 0.0015 50% 3,000,000 $6,100,744
MTC Metalstech Ltd 0.25 47% 576,074 $32,062,780
FL1 First Lithium Ltd 0.26 44% 4,901,635 $12,609,300
LPI Lithium Pwr Int Ltd 0.3375 30% 4,529,167 $163,601,766
VAR Variscan Mines Ltd 0.014 27% 848,695 $3,922,762
IVX Invion Ltd 0.005 25% 12,838,579 $25,686,529
JTL Jayex Technology Ltd 0.01 25% 246,314 $2,250,228
ROO Roots Sustainable 0.005 25% 236,477 $554,889
SNS Sensen Networks Ltd 0.055 25% 33,696 $29,973,864
RAS Ragusa Minerals Ltd 0.039 22% 247,387 $4,563,161
CXU Cauldron Energy Ltd 0.012 20% 21,536,138 $9,515,687
CKA Cokal Ltd 0.125 19% 2,167,674 $113,289,643
GMR Golden Rim Resources 0.026 18% 417,520 $13,014,944
ODE Odessa Minerals Ltd 0.013 18% 2,090,719 $10,418,230
DMM Dmcmininglimited 0.068 17% 409,271 $1,737,100
BFC Beston Global Ltd 0.007 17% 2,041,306 $11,982,281
NAE New Age Exploration 0.007 17% 200,000 $8,615,393
KCC Kincora Copper 0.036 16% 52,777 $4,971,751
BLU Blue Energy Limited 0.016 14% 1,044,193 $25,913,630
HOR Horseshoe Metals Ltd 0.008 14% 1 $4,504,351
VAL Valor Resources Ltd 0.004 14% 982,226 $13,556,672
PEB Pacific Edge 0.125 14% 8,370 $89,178,882
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New kid on the block, Pioneer Lithium (ASX:PLN) has topped the charts this morning with a belter of a debut, going live on the market after a heavily oversubscribed $5 million IPO, thanks to the company’s “multi-asset portfolio of strategically located lithium projects in Ontario and Quebec, Canada”.

That includes the Root Lake (90% owned) and Lauri Lake (100% owned) Projects in Ontario and the LaGrande (100% owned) Lithium Project in Quebec’s world-class James Bay region.

It’s the Root Lake project that will be the immediate focus for PLN, positioned directly between Green Technology Metals (ASX:GT1) Root Bay and Morrison/McCombe lithium deposits, and its James Bay Quebec LaGrande Project.

PLN’s trading price is showing a bump of 67.5% at lunchtime.

In second place, it’s a company making a return to the bourse this morning. First Lithium (ASX:FL1) – formerly known as Ookami) returns to trading today after a long suspension to a +41.6% welcome.

As Reuben and Josh pointed out this morning, FL1 is hunting spodumene in Mali, just down the road from Goulamina where China’s Ganfeng and $700 million capped ASX developer Leo Lithium (ASX:LLL) plan to open Africa’s first major spod mine next year at a world class 500,000tpa.

You should read Reub’s and Josh’s work on this one – it’s complicated, and they’re far better at explaining it than I am.

Meanwhile, in third place, it’s MetalsTech (ASX:MTC), up 35.2% because “lithium”, which seems to be the hard driver for Small Caps today.

MTC recently announced that it bought a hard rock lithium project in… you guessed it… James Bay, and this morning announced that “highly respected lithium industry executive” Robert Sills has been added to the board as a non-executive technical director.



Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for 27 September [intraday]:

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

Code Company Price % Volume Market Cap
VPR Volt Power Group 0.001 -33% 5,000,011 $16,074,312
MTB Mount Burgess Mining 0.003 -25% 3,091,833 $4,062,587
AMD Arrow Minerals 0.0025 -17% 25,321,872 $9,071,295
EMU EMU NL 0.0025 -17% 286,511 $4,350,064
MZZ Matador Mining Ltd 0.042 -16% 113,863 $15,771,702
FFT Future First Tech 0.009 -14% 155,000 $7,505,784
AYT Austin Metals Ltd 0.006 -14% 1 $7,111,123
NAE New Age Exploration 0.006 -14% 22,950 $10,051,292
TGM Theta Gold Mines Ltd 0.13 -13% 50,000 $105,761,251
AJL AJ Lucas Group 0.013 -13% 232,064 $20,635,944
VN8 Vonex Limited. 0.013 -13% 25,000 $5,427,429
EXL Elixinol Wellness 0.007 -13% 721,511 $5,011,862
YPB YPB Group Ltd 0.0035 -13% 243,950 $2,973,846
DEL Delorean Corporation 0.022 -12% 99,626 $5,393,023
KTA Krakatoa Resources 0.022 -12% 329,200 $10,872,448
ASE Astute Metals NL 0.037 -12% 4,261 $17,241,819
DES Desoto Resources 0.12 -11% 46,125 $8,090,078
L1M Lightning Minerals 0.12 -11% 278,346 $5,307,957
OPN Oppenneg 0.008 -11% 602,607 $10,050,117
BML Boab Metals Ltd 0.125 -11% 155,701 $24,424,788
JNO Juno 0.076 -11% 3,527 $11,530,930
ALV Alvomin 0.17 -11% 39,462 $14,534,262
TRE Toubaniresourcesinc 0.094 -10% 88,888 $12,340,529
OAR OAR Resources Ltd 0.0045 -10% 1,600,000 $13,065,679
PVE Po Valley Energy Ltd 0.036 -10% 226,754 $46,358,465
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