Last week the Daily Star set up a webcam on a lettuce from Tesco to see if it would have a longer shelf-life than UK Prime Minister Liz Truss after the Economist said earlier this month month that Truss’s tenure in Downing Street threatened to be “roughly the shelf-life of a lettuce”.

And they were right, with Truss announcing her resignation following economic and political chaos caused by her tax-cutting budget – with the lettuce earning a plastic gold crown for outlasting her.


“Truss’s great political gamble has spectacularly backfired, but not before wreaking significant damage on the UK economy,” Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Susannah Streeter said. 

“It will take considerable time before the risk premium attached to UK assets fades away, following the financial nervous breakdown which followed the mini-budget.

But shrugging off the UK political turbulence, European stocks rose with the Pan-European Stoxx 600, FTSE 100 and German DAX gaining about 0.3% and the CAC 40 advancing 0.7%.

“Market reaction to Truss’s resignation has been very muted,” Royal London Asset Management’s head of multi asset, Trevor Greetham, said, adding that it wasn’t a big surprise. 

“The best outcome for markets would be a rapid rallying of the parliamentary Conservative Party around a single candidate who would validate [Treasury chief Jeremy] Hunt’s approach and the timing of the Oct. 31 report from the Office for Budget Responsibility.”

Our money is on Larry the Downing Street Cat – who was appointed in 2011 and has lasted longer than 4 UK prime ministers so far.




The ASX 200 is trading down 0.66% at lunch today, with eight out of eleven sectors in the red and Financials leading the laggards, down 1.55% and Energy leading the gainers up 0.25%.

The labour force survey was issued yesterday, highlighting that the labour market remains is in incredibly strong health. 

“Unprecedented levels of fiscal and monetary stimulus as well as the drying up of offshore labour supply from migration during the covid pandemic has led to the tightest labour market since the 1970s,” CBA senior economist Belinda Allen says.

“The economy is likely at or close to full-employment. 

“The combined impact of returning migration and tightening financial conditions will loosen the labour market in 2023. 

For now though, job vacancies remain high (albeit likely peaked) and the economy is strong indicating that the labour market will remain very tight in the near term. 

“We expect a gain of around 20k jobs in September, keeping the unemployment rate at steady 3.5%,” she said.



US stocks moved lower yesterday as investors weighed the latest batch of corporate earnings and the question of how aggressively central banks will raise interest rates to moderate inflation.

The Federal Reserve has raised interest rates five times this year and is likely to increase its benchmark federal-funds rate by another 0.75 percentage point at its meeting next month as it tries to bring down high inflation.

“At the moment, we keep getting upside surprises on inflation everywhere you look,” said Hugh Gimber, a strategist at J.P. Morgan Asset Management. 

“No one really has a good grasp yet of where the central banks — particularly the Fed — are going to be able to stop.”

The uncertainty around both inflation and the extent of the Fed’s monetary tightening is at the core of what’s been weighing on markets in recent days, according to Arthur Laffer Jr., president of Laffer Tengler Investments, a Nashville, Tenn.-based registered investment adviser that manages more than $1 billion in assets.

“Markets are a little bit stunned that the Fed has shown that it’s going to stay the course at least through year-end,” Laffer said. 

“If these inflation numbers don’t come down and they don’t come down consistently over several months, you are not going to get a pivot anytime soon.”



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

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

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In the lead today was MRG Metals (ASX:MRG) who’ve applied for mining licenses for its Corridor Central (6620L) and Corridor South (6621L) Heavy Mineral Sands (HMS) projects.

“We made application based on data which confirmed a low-cost structure and potential mining operation with mineralization from surface,” chairman Andrew Van Der Zwan said.

“On this basis the Board decided to progress to mining License application as it is well understood that the process can take a considerable amount of time and we wanted to get ahead of the curve.” 

We anticipate announcing the Scoping Study Preliminary economics shortly and these Mining License application mark a significant period in our vision to move from exploration to project development at Corridor while understanding considerable exploration upside remains.”

Results from a recent reconnaissance aircore drilling program, as well as mineralogical studies, are expected soon. 

Strickland Metals (ASX:STK) has announced its plans to spin out its Western Australian Earaheedy Basin Iroquois Project and Bryah Basin Project to deliver a standalone ASX base metal exploration company – and allow the company to focus on developing its flagship Yandal Gold Project.

The Iroquois zinc-lead project lies directly along strike from Rumble Resources’ (ASX:RTR) world-class Earaheedy project, and the Bryah Basin project comprises five early stage Exploration Licences covering 260 km2, in an area which hosts volcanogenic massive sulphide deposits (VMS) of copper and gold – including Sandfire Resources’ (ASX:SFR) DeGrussa operations.

CEO Andrew Bray says that, should the spin out proceed as proposed, Iroquois will be front-and-centre of the new company – which will allow much more dedicated and focused exploration programs.

“With the addition of the Bryah Basin project, the new company will also have a largely greenfield project in a highly prospective area to begin advancing,” he said.



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Nelson Resources (ASX:NES) is raising up to $1.47m at 0.5c per share – a big 50% discount to the 5-day volume weight average price – to continue exploration activities at the Company’s highly-prospective Woodline and Tempest projects;