It’s a brand new day of a brand new financial year, and if that doesn’t get your Tax Return juices flowing, do what I did and ignore them for several years, until the ATO sends you a series of rude letters and you end up owing them the price of a fancy new HiLux.

(For real, though, don’t do that… because, at last count, I do owe the ATO a fancy new HiLux, “or the cash equivalent thereof”, according to the last postcard they sent me.)

Anyhow… the benchmark has celebrated the start of the new financial year by lurching spasmodically between zero and 0.2% for most of the morning, before climbing to 0.3% at lunch time.

I’ll get into the reasons for that shortly, but first I’d like to take you on a quick trip to Italy, where the story of history teacher Cinzia Paolina De Lio is making headlines.

The reason is that Ms De Lio is fighting a recent court ruling that she be fired from her job, after being absent for 20 of the 24 years she was meant to be teaching.

No… that’s not a typo. 24 years in the job, 20 years of which she hasn’t been at work… and even when she did show up, according to her students, she was basically next to useless.

According to a report by the BBC (careful when you’re googling that acronym), Ms De Lio was absent entirely for the first 10 years of her career, which itself is a remarkable feat.

Over the subsequent 14 years, she also managed to be out of the classroom for 10 of those, citing “sickness, personal or family reasons”.

And, according to students at the school she worked at near Venice – a lovely city, prone to flooding and random outbursts of loud singing and speedboat chases – when Ms De Lio was in the classroom, her performance wasn’t quite what they were expecting.

When staff investigated, they found she was “unprepared” and “inattentive”, and students refused to take part in her classes as she was distracted by her phone, also complaining about her “lack of preparedness, her failure to bring textbooks and her ‘random and improvised’ way of marking”.

Originally fired in 2017, Ms De Lio took the matter to court and won. She was reinstated in 2018 after a ruling by a judge in Venice, but an appeal by the education ministry against that decision to the Supreme Court of Cassation upheld her dismissal.

Approached by Italian news outlet Repubblica for comment, Ms De Lio vowed to clear her name by “reconstructing the truth of the facts of this absolutely unique and surreal story”… but refused to make further comment saying “Sorry, but right now I’m at the beach”, because of course she was.

As the old saying goes: “If you do something you love, then you won’t work a day in your life”. It’s an adage that holds equally true for teaching in Italy, as it did for my mate Brian, who started doing meth in 2016 and has been on the dole ever since.



Local markets have yo-yo dieted their way to a 0.3% result at lunchtime today, thanks to a solid, if somewhat workmanlike, push from the Materials (+0.98%), Utilities (+0.88%) and Energy (+0.74%) sectors this morning.

That’s largely down to some very nice progress among some of the smaller diggers on the market, alongside the goldies in general – the ASX XGD All Ords Gold index is well above the rest of the market on +2.1% so far today.

The big loser today is InfoTech, which is down 1.65% despite a pretty solid result for the Nasdaq on Friday, with the local losses being led by the big players shedding weight today.

They include WiseTech (ASX:WTC) down 2.9%, Xero (ASX:XRO) down 1.5%, and NextDC (ASX:NXT), also down on -1.3%.

Up in the fancy seats, United Malt (ASX:UMG) has a big announcement: it’s being bought holus-bolus by France’s Malteries Soufflet, which operates 28 (but soon to be more) malt houses in Europe, Latin America, Asia and in Africa, with an annual malt production capacity of 2,360,000 tonnes.

Malteries Soufflet must really want United Malt, after signing a deal to buy the local company at $5 per share, a 45.3% premium to the closing price of United Malt Shares on the ASX of $3.44 as at 24 March 2023 (the day the first inkling of the deal was announced), and a 48.6% premium to the 1-month VWAP.

At the time of writing, UMG shares were at $4.80 a pop.

There is a lot happening everywhere else on the ASX this morning – it’s crazy-busy on the announcements board, as the whole of the bourse is making New Financial Year noises… so check back in regularly this arvo for the cream of the updates once we’ve had a chance to sift through them.



American markets had a cracking end to the financial year on Friday, as Earlybird Eddy would have written this morning, except we all forgot he had another day of holidays left so I had to do it instead.

My unparalleled excellence at offering insights into the market on Wall Street showed that the Dow added 0.84%, the S&P added 1.23% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq was once again on top, climbing 1.45%, while US 10-Year bonds climbed 0.028 to 3.846, and 5-Years climbed 0.037 to 4.17.

See? Pure genius, that is… I’ve only been here a year, and already I’ve got Tom Pitrov … Potoffs … the Commsec fella with the beard looking like a rank amateur.

In Japan, the Nikkei is soaring, up 1.6% this morning on news that a Japanese toy company has come up with a way to sell anime figurines, without having to actually make any figurines.

Perfect for the Otaku (or Weeb) in your life who is also concerned about plastic anime figurines ending up in landfill and somehow filling all the sea turtles with microplastics, Akihabara-based company Gatebox has developed the Digital Figure Box.

It looks the same as a bog-standard “miniature woman trapped inside way too much packaging” anime figuring, except that there’s no plastic toy inside. Instead, the front panel is a cheap digital display.

Here’s a short video of the witchcraft in action:



I have added this to my List of Things to Take With Me in a Time Machine, so I can show it to a gaggle of medieval peasants and blow their tiny little minds, before vanishing in a puff of acrid radioactive smoke and possibly spawning a new religion.

In China, Shanghai markets are up 0.6% and in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng is up 1.2% for reasons far too complex to go into right now.

And in crypto, there were persistent rumours over the weekend that sent the cryptotwittersphere into  overdrive, after some wag cited an “anonymous SEC official” and told the world that SEC boss Gary “Uncanny Valley” Gensler was about to resign.

However, rumours that Gensler was stepping down in order to unerringly, almost magically, find his way back to the pond he spawned from in order to find a mate turned out to be disappointingly false. #SadPepe.

Crypto coins also changed value a bit, because that’s what they do – and Rob “It’s Badman, goddammit!” Badnam has all the details of that in Mooners and Shakers this morning.



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for July 01 [intraday]:

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If you’re gonna have a big start to a financial year, then you might want to consider kicking it off like Lumos Diagnostics (ASX:LDX) has – on board a +327% skyrocket thanks to some excellent news out of the US of A.

Lumos has received clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market its FebriDx rapid, point-of-care test in the United States, allowing the company to roll out its diagnostic tester thingy that lets doctors very quickly figure out what’s happening to someone in acute respiratory distress.

FebriDx is designed to be used as an aid in the diagnosis of bacterial acute respiratory infection and differentiation from non-bacterial etiology.

In plain English: if someone’s not breathing too good, the test can tell whether it’s a bacterial problem (which can be treated with antibiotics) or a virus (which cannot), vastly speeding up treatment times without an unnecessary dose of over-prescribed antibiotic treatment.

Meanwhile, Kuniko (ASX:KNI) has jumped 40.7% on news that it’s inked a strategic partnership to provide “a significant upstream investment, fostering innovation and growth in the European battery metals sector” with automaker Stellantis.

Stellantis will make a €5 million investment, equivalent to approximately $7.8 million, acquiring a 19.99% shareholding in Kuniko at an issue price of $0.467 per share to secure  a 35% future production offtake of nickel sulphate and cobalt sulphate from Kuniko’s Norwegian exploration projects (Norwegian Projects) for nine years.

Gold Mountain (ASX:GMN) is up 40% on no fresh news since announcing it’s acquiring some Brazilian lithium tenements a couple of weeks ago, and Kairos Minerals (ASX:KAI) is up 37% off the back of its recent successful completion of a $3.96 million strategic placement to Global Lithium Resources (ASX:GL1).



Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for July 01 [intraday]:

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