A Japanese city has reported that its local monkey population is out of control. Like, for real and quite seriously, out of control.

More of a “Dear Sweet Mother of Mercy, these monkeys are trying to take over the town” kinda way.

The population of Yamaguchi City, in southwestern Japan, has been besieged by a horde of cranky Cercopithecidae (look it up… I had to) seemingly hellbent on Terrorising All Humans.

Since July 8 this year, there have been more than 58 recorded attacks on people, which is obviously problematic for a number of reasons.

Normally when monkey populations get out of control, they fixate on the usual – *ahem* -– monkey business of stealing food, flinging poo and having weird monkey sex in the street.

Much like a night out during Schoolies Week on the Gold Coast, except there’s a lot more fur involved.

Anyway – this particular parkour-adept posse of primates has progressed from the usual list of petty crimes, and are actively hunting and injuring old people and babies, according to local authorities.

It’s so out of hand that officials have hired a team of hitmen (hitpeople? Is that a thing?) armed with tranquiliser guns to track down and shoot the worst offenders on sight.

Officials have also consulted an old man in a mysterious shop, and released a set of safety instructions for anyone suddenly confronted by a furry fiend, telling residents they are not to expose the monkeys to light, especially sunlight, which will kill them; do not let them come in contact with water; and above all, never feed them after midnight.

Actually, the correct advice is almost as weird: Do not look them in the eye, make yourself look as big as possible, such as by spreading open your coat like a sex pest, then back away as quietly as possible without making sudden moves.

Now, there are some members of the Stockhead team (well, one actually… and it’s me) who are quite fond of monkeys, particularly the Japanese macaque.

They’re the ones that are usually found lounging around in hot springs, chillin’ with their homies and  eating each other’s fleas, or occasionally perched on the knee of journalists shortly before peeing everywhere and ruining your favourite jeans forever.

But even we’re quite certain that whatever’s happening in Yamaguchi is one kind of ‘Apeing In’ that sounds too much like the start of a terrible Japanese horror film to be very much fun at all.

(Yes, yes. Send your aggressive “monkeys aren’t apes” email here if you need to feel better.)

 

TO MARKETS

Australian markets opened with a sharp drop, following a not-nearly-as-gruesome slither on Wall Street overnight, down 77 points in early trade before rebounding and settling in around 0.4% down from yesterday’s close.

A quick glance over the sectors and it looks like it’s the Consumer Twins taking the worst of this morning’s pummelling, with Staples down (-0.77%) and discretionary faring even worse (-1.59%). Utilities looks like it should have just stayed in bed this morning as well (-1.22%).

InfoTech is, however, doing well (+1.38%), with Telcos (+0.52%) riding its coat tails to be the second of just two sectors above the high water mark as we head towards lunch.

At the top end of town, the big winners this morning includes Lynas (ASX:LYC) which has been on a charge since 12 July and has surged even further (+6.1%) on news of a $500 million expansion to its Mt Weld mine and concentration plant to meet accelerating market demand for rare earth materials.

AI gurus BrainChip (ASX:BRN) also had a cracker of a morning, building into its third day of rebound after a serious value dip, piling on 5.53% this morning.

But the Biggest of the Big goes to Pinnacle Investment (ASX:PNI), which lurched 13.1% higher following its dividend announcement this morning, setting a distribution amount of $0.175.

Biggest Loser this morning was Champion Iron (ASX:CIA) which maintained yesterday’s slide, dropping another 5.7%, despite soaring coal prices and a predicted uptick in demand.

We will, of course, talk Small Caps in a moment, but first…

 

NOT THE ASX

Early-Risin’ Eddy Sunarto informs us that things were not terrible on Wall Street overnight, after the S&P 500 fell by 0.7%, the Dow by 1.2% and tech heavy Nasdaq by 0.2%.

US and European energy stocks got a boost as British giant BP reported its highest profit in 14 years of $US8.5 billion for the second quarter. Days earlier, US oil companies ExxonMobil and Chevron also reported a triple increase in profits for Q2.

Shares in Uber rose by almost 20% overnight after it reported better-than-expected revenue in Q2 of $8.1 billion, doubling the previous quarter.

The company however still posted a net loss of US$2.6 billion for the quarter, probably due to the appallingly high number of Free Uber Eats promotions they’ve been sending me in an attempt to compel me to consume cold Big Macs and die of a heart attack.

Asian markets are being completely contrary, however, with all the major indices happily into greener pastures.

Shanghai is up 0.65%, Hong Kong is up 0.86% and – despite the advancing army of macaques from the southwest, Japan’s Nikkei is up 0.69%. Nice.

Over at the commodities desk, energy stuff is up and shiny things are down.

Oil has ticked up 0.09% and natural gas is up 0.19%, while gold fell 0.43%, silver slumped 1.11% and copper lost its lustre to the tune of 0.55%.

 

ASX SMALL CAP WINNERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for August 3 [intraday]:

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

 

The ResApp (ASX:RAP) “please turn your head and cough into your phone” saga is leading the Small Caps Success news, after the company revealed that the collapsing Pfizer deal which all-but scuttled ResApp’s price has been amended. Again.

This morning’s announcement says Pfizer has “increased the proposed consideration to $0.208 per ResApp share, matching the preferred value and within the assessed value range of $0.146 to $0.279 per ResApp share determined by BDO Corporate Finance”.

Investors liked this very, very much and ResApp’s price went up 54.7% before lunch.

Farm Pride Foods (ASX:FRM) has gone on an apparently unwarranted 18% tear, continuing the see-saw cycle it’s been on since the 4th of July, and skin graft bio-tech wizards Avita Medical (ASX:AVH) has cranked out a 17.5% gain on no visible news, however it does have a major clinical trial result due out soon-ish, which could account for the sudden surge in interest and price.

And down the bottom of the barrel today is a disappointing day for Tempus Resources (TMR), which followed up yesterday’s belter with an absolute shocker, careening off a cliff to the tune of 17.8%.

It’s enough to have investors saying “fugit”.

(It’s Latin. ‘Tempus fugit’ = Time flies. Or, more accurately, ‘time flees’. It’s where we get the word ‘fugitive’ from. But it also rhymes with [redacted] if you mispronounce it.)

 

ASX SMALL CAP LOSERS

Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for August 3 [intraday]:

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