It’s super-easy to hate on Australian banks, especially since griping about your mortgage now sits uncomfortably between cricket and netball as Australia’s national sports.

But even if you’re having a strop because your bank has decided to chance its arm on a rare – and difficult – Front Wedgie manoeuvre by hiking your variable interest rate well past your belly button, spare a thought for how things are going in China at the moment.

China is, frankly, a mess. The economy – as tightly controlled as it is – is beginning to look less like a slick David Copperfield magic show, and more like a game of Three-Card Monty with a dealer that only has two cards, and one arm.

There’s been trouble brewing for some of China’s banks for weeks. Rumours of citizens not being allowed to access their own funds have been swirling for a while, and new footage that purports to be from Henan province is showing tanks on the streets, to protect the banks.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlpC5OC0q_A

 

The bare bone narrative behind this ain’t pretty – and in the simplest possible terms, it looks a bit like this:

Chinese citizens act like good citizens and put their money in the bank.  Meanwhile, massive property developers turn to selling junk-level “investment products” to keep their businesses afloat.

When those bonds stop generating the required level of liquidity, the developers start eyeing off the large quantities of cash in the banks… and start taking control of the banks themselves.

Then there’s a little bit of magic wand waving, and hey presto! – those deposits have been magically turned into “investment products”, which can’t be withdrawn. Especially when the tanks move in to stop the unhappy citizens from doing just that.

Some of us are old enough to know that this has all the hallmarks of a tedious franchise reboot – Tiananmen 2: The Tankening – and if Top Gun: Maverick has taught us anything, it’s that while the quality of the footage may be much higher definition, there’s no escaping that it’s just gonna look like a cynical remake of an 80s classic.

But we certainly hope that whoever’s developing the script on this one has a much, much happier ending in mind.

So, yeah. Lunch Wrap is normally a fairly light-hearted beast, but this seemed pretty important to talk about today. We’ll get back to making fun of hapless criminals and weird animals tomorrow, we promise.

But for now, let’s take a look at what’s happening to our money.

 

TO MARKETS

Aussie markets have been out on the see-saw this morning, and – like a lazy mate who says he’ll help you move your new fridge up five flights of stairs – it certainly looks like he’s making a lot of effort, but there’s not been much headway to show for it.

The benchmark is heading into lunchtime on a break-even trajectory, with strong-ish showings from InfoTech (+2.42%), Telcos (+0.92%) and the Consumer cousins (Discretionary +0.97%, Staples +1.06%) offset by Yet Another Weak Effort from Energy (-2.46%) and Minerals (-0.92%).

Sipping champagne at Rich People Brunch was Link Administration Holdings (ASX:LNK), which added 12% on news that it’s agreed with Dye & Durham to amend the Scheme Implementation Deed for their Base Scheme Consideration to $4.81 per share, down from $5.50.

Industrials player Kelsian (ASX:KLS) shot up 16% after informing the market it won’t go ahead with the purchase of Go Ahead, Telix Pharma (ASX:TLX) jumped 15% off the back of a positive quarterly and Novonix (ASX:NVX) appears to have applied enough Band-Aids to the Morgan’s downgrade-inflicted wounds of last week, climbing close to 10%.

Big Time Losers this morning were Woodside (ASX:WDS), after it’s BHP-boosted bottom line for Q2 failed to impress, costing the company 4.0%, and it seems that the market is giving new Imugene (ASX:IMU) CEO Mike Tonroe a thoroughly lukewarm welcome, down by around 6.0% since news of his appointment broke.

 

NOT THE ASX

Looking overseas, where Tesla released its Q2 earnings late in the day, reporting a 32% decline in profit from the record levels in the first quarter, citing supply chain issues.

But the EV maker still impressed with a US$2.26 billion net profit for Q2, compared to US$3.32 billion in Q1, so those layoffs are totally and completely justified, right? Right.

Netflix continued to climb, up 7.something% on possible rumours of a new reality show called Who Wants to be Eaten by a Bear?, and US cruise liners rose from the deep like the corpse of Jack Dawson, with Royal Caribbean and Carnival both adding around 7.1%.

That left the indices looking lovely and Kermit-green, the Dow up 0.15%, the S&P up 0.59% and the Nasdaq up 1.58%.

Asian markets are looking a bit worse for wear, though. Japan’s Nikkei is flat-ish, down 0.08%, Hong Kong shares are down 1.12% and Shanghai is down a completely trustworthy 0.43%.

In commodities, oil prices are flat as a crude slick on an ice rink, while natural gas is down 1.84%. The metal mob is also underperforming today – gold is down 0.56%, silver slid 1.11% and copper crapped out a -1.43% day.

 

ASX SMALL CAP WINNERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for July 21 [intraday]:

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

Code Company Price % Market Cap
TOR Torque Met 0.215 43% $9,467,993
SBR Sabre Resources 0.0055 38% $11,158,924
AQX Alice Queen Ltd 0.004 33% $5,098,544
BDM Burgundy D Mines Ltd 0.175 32% $45,257,791
DVL Dorsavi Ltd 0.013 30% $3,564,881
ALM Alma Metals Ltd 0.014 27% $8,134,195
WYX Western Yilgarn NL 0.165 27% $5,353,726
AKN Auking Mining Ltd 0.125 25% $9,967,461
MGG Mogul Games Grp Ltd 0.0025 25% $6,523,320
GLV Global Oil & Gas 0.003 20% $4,683,387
IOU Ioupay Limited 0.078 20% $36,010,784
SIH Sihayo Gold Limited 0.003 20% $15,255,320
ALY Alchemy Resource Ltd 0.019 19% $15,249,185
AJL AJ Lucas Group 0.096 19% $96,899,217
ACW Actinogen Medical 0.064 19% $96,978,266
S66 Star Combo 0.225 18% $25,650,566
K2F K2Fly Ltd 0.195 18% $28,677,697
SGA Sarytogan 0.39 18% $19,987,982
ATV Active Port Group 0.092 18% $10,296,585
IKE Ikegps Group Ltd 0.7 18% $94,880,897
AIS Aeris Resources Ltd 0.47 18% $1,934,646,800
TKM Trek Metals Ltd 0.069 17% $18,325,999
RLG Roolife Group Ltd 0.014 17% $8,426,770
RMX Red Mount Min Ltd 0.007 17% $9,854,183
VKA Viking Mines Ltd 0.007 17% $6,151,551
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To the Small Cap winners and a quick look at the roster reveals that it’s Torque Metals’ (ASX:TOR) turn to behave in an unruly and inexplicable manner, rocketing to a 43% gain on zero news and only slightly higher volume.

It looks like Burgundy Diamond Mines might have made a sizeable sale from its new Maison Mazerea diamond brand in Paris, because there’s nothing else to explain the 32% sparkle in its eye this morning.

And – again, on new clear news – Western Yilgarn (ASX:WYX) has stacked on some 27.0% this morning, taking its YTD gain to 5,400%, which is like a Scandinavian supermodel: completely preposterous, but still beautiful to behold.

Meanwhile, miners Galena (ASX:G1A) and HAZER (ASX:HZR) are down in the basement playing Dungeons and Dragons (since Minecraft doesn’t seem to be much fun at the moment), falling 18% and 17% respectively.

 

ASX SMALL CAP LOSERS

Here are the not-the-best performing ASX small cap stocks for July 21 [intraday]:

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

Code Company Price % Market Cap
LER Leaf Res Ltd 0.026 -67% $73,324,395
T3D 333D Limited 0.001 -33% $4,551,445
CCE Carnegie Cln Energy 0.0015 -25% $30,205,147
CLE Cyclone Metals 0.003 -25% $24,416,948
MEB Medibio Limited 0.0015 -25% $5,512,980
PRM Prominence Energy 0.002 -20% $6,061,522
G1A Galena Mining 0.135 -18% $78,606,883
HZR Hazer Group Limited 0.7 -17% $139,715,225
ROG Red Sky Energy. 0.005 -17% $31,813,363
TSC Twenty Seven Co. Ltd 0.0025 -17% $7,982,442
BUY Bounty Oil & Gas NL 0.006 -14% $9,593,507
TON Triton Min Ltd 0.026 -13% $37,763,525
ADX ADX Energy Ltd 0.007 -13% $24,478,074
RBX Resource B 0.105 -13% $4,917,180
SNG Siren Gold 0.22 -12% $21,109,981
HAL Halo Technologies 0.53 -12% $77,703,377
IR1 Irismetals 0.24 -11% $16,098,750
VOR Vortiv Ltd 0.016 -11% $9,093,035
KED Keypath Education 1.16 -11% $270,690,037
RLC Reedy Lagoon Corp. 0.017 -11% $10,591,111
AEV Avenira Limited 0.009 -10% $10,010,844
FAU First Au Ltd 0.009 -10% $8,189,109
PCL Pancontinental Energ 0.005 -9% $41,548,225
WEC White Energy Company 0.01 -9% $8,519,266
S3N Sensore Ltd 0.6 -9% $13,793,649
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