Afternoon, all. As you may have noted already, the ASX 200 has begun the working week a little higher, although it first opened slightly in the tomato-sauce red and down around 0.1% shortly after kick-off a few hours ago.

And that’s just about the clumsiest way possible for us to shift into this little spurt of a story to start today’s lunch wrap proceedings. (Your regular host Gregor Stronach absolutely does it better, but he’s literally gone fishing, so you’ll have to put up with my stab at this lark for a few more days.)

In the lead up to Australia Day this week… we thought we’d fall back on something some have described as shockingly “unAustralian”. The price of tomato sauce.

Specifically, the $1 price being charged for MasterFoods tomato and barbecue sauce sachets by an unnamed Western Sydney retailer, as reported by Aussies are fuming over it, apparently. How could such a thing happen in this wide, brown, crispy-topped, misshapen meat pie of a land?

It’s probably just another sign of unAustralian (or is it?) inflation, innit. Like the medium “not-too-hot” skim latte oatmilk coffee our Tassie editor says has just gone up from $5.50 to $6.20. Completely unAustralian, that. (Not Tassie – now that’s definitely Australian.)

Even the word unAustralian is probably unAustralian these days. Maybe it never really was? MasterFoods isn’t even really an Australian-owned company. It’s all too confusing, so I’ll absolutely move on to more pertinent matters in a sec.

Here’s something that’s 100% unAustralian, though. Ryan Gosling. To be fair, the American actor has never aspired to be Australian as far as we know. But contributing to closing down own iconic, completely Australian (based on the design of New York’s Hell Gate Bridge) Sydney Harbour Bridge for several hours on a Sunday morning to shoot a film? That’s just unacceptable let alone unAustralian.

It’d want to be a good movie, so let’s check. Ah yeah, it’s called The Fall Guy – based on a crap ’80s telly show about a stuntman who solves crimes with his best mate and a woman who spends 80% of her time in a bikini.

We say “crap” but in truth, we’re being a bit unAmerican there. We do remember the original series starring Lee Majors and loved it even harder than we loved The A-Team. Especially the theme tune. It had nothing to do with Australia – but that was okay.

Speaking of fall guys and inflation, though – Treasurer Jim Chalmers has been treading a not-so-encouraging line regarding it ahead of this week’s Aussie inflation data, which hits on Wednesday. Just a heads up in case you want to stock up on tomato sauce now.



Checking in again after that ramble down a windy pebbly beach to a pub with no beer, the Aussie stocks benchmark has given itself a pep talk as we’ve been banging on. It’s wound its way further up to about 0.086%. That’s okay, but nothing to write home about just yet.

What’s doing in some of the major sectors? Your IT department just switched itself off and on again and everything’s working fine once more, because Information Technology is up a good 1% at the time of writing. Coming in just after it, which somehow seems appropriate, is Energy (+0.4%).

Letting the side down a little bit is Real Estate (-0.61%) and Staples (-0.57%).

As for some of the larger movers and shakers in ASX town today, there’s been a bit of a surge from:

Karoon Energy Ltd (ASX:KAR): (+7%) This can be put down to news about a company-positive new development regarding  an increase in the Bauna oil reserves. A 23% increase in BM-S-40 (Brazilian) 2P reserves, to be specific.

It’s based on, among other things, recent production data confirming better-than-expected performance from existing wells, as well as revised subsurface modelling of Patola drilling.

Boss Energy Ltd (ASX:BOE): is also up about 7% today. It’s announced an upbeat progress report on its Honeymoon uranium project, which may or may not have Peter Garrett feeling confused about life. Dunno if he’s too tired these days to express it in song or not.



It’s a happy, rabbit’s ears Chinese New Year to major Asian markets. While they take some time off and soak up those colourful festivities, other markets are still grinding.

In terms of comparisons with our mates over in the US, as it’s a Monday, we’ve only got Friday’s performance to go off, natch.

As Stockhead‘s Eddy  Sunarto reports, the US stonks were in fine Friday fettle based on a big tech rally after news that Google is about to cut its jobs by 12,000 – with traders “viewing it as a positive move that could steady profit margins”.

Over the last few weeks, US big tech stocks have collectively announced layoffs in the order of 50k jobs, confirms Eddy.

“Apple remains the only Big Tech company that hasn’t announced layoffs, with analysts suggesting that the company’s hiring policy was more conservative during the pandemic,” he adds.

Eddy has loads more besides over at his informative Market Highlights roundup.

A particular beneficiary of the Wall Street tech move has actually been crypto this weekend. Which, unlike lazy tradfi types, simply doesn’t take any time off on weekends.

Bitcoin and pals have launched themselves into orbit. Well, kinda. Could it be a false dawn? Probably. Rob “Hey, That’s Me” Badman has a slightly less exaggerated take on it all over at Mooners and Shakers.



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for January 23 [intraday]:

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So what’s knocking it outta the park today?

Conico (ASX: CNJ), that’s what, with a whopping 111% intraday gain at the time of writing. News? Yup. It’s apparently had some “outstanding cobalt, nickel and scandium results” related to the Greenstone Resources (ASX: GSR) Mt Thirsty joint venture. Here’s an edited snippet from its latest press announcement:

“Conico Ltd is pleased to provide an update on exploration activities at the Mt Thirsty Joint Venture (MTJV) (Conico 50%: Greenstone Resources Limited (ASX: GSR) 50%:) in Western Australia, with assays having now been received for an additional 22 drill holes targeting Ni-Co-Sc-PGE (11 holes) and LCT mineralisation (11 holes).

Naturally, Greenstone Resources is trading up on the news, too (+21%).

Also of note on that table – Lincoln Minerals Ltd (ASX:LML), +17%, (a star of last Friday’s Lunch Wrap) and Booktopia Group (ASX: BKG): +22%, which is pleasing shareholders with an initiative to deliver $12-$15 million worth of earnings improvement. Maybe they read Tony Robbins’ latest self-help tome or something.

And last but not least, there’s Peregrine Gold(ASX:PGD) (+21%), which is up on not really much news we can see, but Reubs can fill you in better on that over at his knowledge-imparting Resources Top 5 today.



Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for January 23 [intraday]:

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

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