Australian markets have opened slightly higher this morning to hit +0.2% at lunch, following a volatile session on Wall Street overnight which saw markets rise, then fall, then rise again – a noble, upstanding performance if ever we’ve seen one.

Speaking of upstanding, our news piece for today comes allll the way from Serbia, where a member of that country’s National Assembly has been forced to resign, after video of his massively inappropriate behaviour went viral.

66-year-old Socialist (SPS) people’s deputy Zvonimir Stevic was filmed taking a bit of “me time” during an active parliamentary debate, on the hugely sensitive topic of Kosovo – a small, land-locked nation at the heart of a worsening dispute over sovereignty.

As debate in the chamber apparently droned on, Stevic was filmed watching a graphic adult movie on his phone, with the device held in such a manner that he evidently believed was well-hidden.

However, it was not – and footage of the MP watching a rail-thin, heavily-tattooed man engaged in some hardcore “political polling” quickly did the rounds of social media, where everyone promptly lost their minds.

I’d normally include a clip of whichever incident being discussed here, but frankly it’s not worth raising the ire of our editorial board – and the skin flick in question is really nothing special, anyway.

When asked to comment on the matter, Stevic told local reporters: “I resigned as deputy half an hour ago. I can’t talk anymore, call me again in two hours” – which, we assume, is when the video he was watching at the time was due to finish.

It’s a timely reminder that while it’s all well and good to explore your own sexual identity and feel good about who you are as a sexual being, “the middle of a very heavy parliamentary debate on the sovereignty of a nation-state in the geo-politically unstable Balkans region of eastern Europe that is ruled by a government that represents just 6% of the population” is possibly not the best time to be exploring your kinks on Pornhub.

Let it be a warning to us all.

But now, for those among you with a severe kink for numbers and percentage signs, it’s party time!

Let’s go see what the local markets are up to.



The hot news from overnight was the official announcement of a class action lawsuit against  Medibank Private (ASX:MPL), filed in the Federal Court over the recent ransomware attack that saw vast quantities of highly sensitive customer data in the hands of some serious bad guys.

The lawsuit was brought on behalf of customers, and included allegations of breach of contract and contraventions of the Australian Consumer Law.

The announcement was quietly released at 6:46pm last night, well after the bell rang and more than 10 hours (and a complete trading day) after Medibank buttered the market up with news that it has delivered “its lowest average premium rise in 22 years” (+2.96%).

The company has also deferred the increase for two months and says it’s set to return $59 million to customers through its COVID-19 give back program – all good news that saw MPL gain a +0.8% buffer against the bad lawsuit news. It was a classic piece of misdirection – Penn and Teller would be proud.

Meanwhile this morning, the ASX 200 benchmark seems to be aping its US sibling again, opening with a 0.3% surge in a volatile market today.

The benchmark climbed as high as 0.4% through the morning, but rolled into lunchtime looking a little gassed out, just 0.2% above open.

Sector-wise, it’s the heavyweight Financials sector pushing the market higher this morning, up 0.88% so far with daylight back to the next best performer, Materials on +0.46%.

Both Consumer sectors are struggling today – Discretionary is flat and Staples is down hardest at -0.69% in the wake of the RBA’s talk of recession fears and apparent federal government paralysis on how to tackle the cost of living crisis as mortgage stress really starts to bite around the nation.

Big Mover this morning has been Boral (ASX:BLD), which has surged 11.6% despite a half-yearly report that – at first glance – may have given a number of shareholders a massive heart attack.

THe first number to leap out of the report was that Boral’s NPAT was $89.5 million for 1H FY23, down a heart-stopping 91% when compared to 1H FY22 – however, the 1H sum had included a tidy $1 billion of income from “discontinued operations primarily relating to the profit recognised on the sale of the North American Building Products business”.

Taking that into account, the figures for Boral are actually very healthy – the company’s underlying net profit after tax (NPAT) of $56.8 million is up 53%, and adjusted earnings per share of 5.1 cents is up 50% when compared to the prior corresponding period.



In the US overnight, it was a wild old ride for the markets, with investors seemingly heavily divided on whether the Fed could refrain from being hawkish again.

Wall Street initially rallied, pared gains and rallied some more, and the S&P 500 ended the day higher by 1.15%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq was up by +1.68%. The stuffy old Dow did its best to keep up, but managed to close up just 0.78% higher for the day.

US Fed supremo Jerome Powell’s post-hike pillow talk with David Rubenstein didn’t reveal anything new, but it was deemed as a missed opportunity as he could have pushed back on what the market is pricing in.

“If the job situation remains very hot, it may well be the case that we have to do more,” Powell said.

Asked by Rubenstein if he should have raised rates by 50bp instead of 25bp last week, Powell said, “We don’t get to play it that way, unfortunately.”

Tech giant Microsoft confirmed it has plans for its Bing search engine to be integrated with AI behemoth ChatGPT, possibly forever marking an end to search queries such as the classic “How is babby formed?”.

The world’s entire population of Bing search engine users released a statement, saying that their joy would have been unanimous except “Joel doesn’t trust AI at all”, but 6 users out 7 is a solid vote for Microsoft’s new AI adventure.

In Japan, the Nikkei has fallen 0.55% in early trade, following the release of one of the most perplexing Hot New Fashion Items in recent years – a backpack designed to resemble a Gacha machine.

For those not in the know, Gacha machines are similar to American gumball machines, however instead of dispensing rock-hard spheres of pure sugar designed to destroy childrens’ teeth and cause serious jaw alignment issues, the Japanese machines dispense small plastic capsules with miniature toys in them for children to choke on.

The toys themselves can apparently be integrated into in-game assets for some video game titles – it’s all a bit complex, to be honest – but in essence, think “in-game NFTs without all that completely unnecessary blockchain nonsense”, and you’re on the right track.

The stylish new backpacks feature the same physical dials and graphics of a standard Gacha machine, but lack the mechanism to dispense the capsules. However, owners are able to store a prize capsule in a small zippered pocket on the backpack, so other people can pretend to win a small prize of your choosing.

Well done Japan – I’m sure that selling a backpack that teaches young kids that it’s okay to go unzipping a random stanger’s luggage can only end well.

Elsewhere in Asia, Shanghai markets are up 0.13% and the Hang Seng has added 0.39% in very early trade.

In crypto, all the gossip from the US Fed nerds has helped the major coins into a bit of a surge overnight, but it’s AI-related coins that are flying the highest, riding the wave of AI-integration into products such as Microsoft’s Bing search engine, which we’re all assured is still very much a thing.

As always, Rob “Mr Details” Badman knows a lot more about all that stuff than I do, so best you head on over to Mooners & Shakers to find out what all the fuss is about.



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for February 8 [intraday]:

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

Code Company Price % Volume Market Cap
XST Xstate Resources 0.003 50% 500,000 $6,430,363
FIJ Fiji Kava Limited 0.013 44% 14,480,698 $2,867,890
MGG Mogul Games Grp Ltd 0.002 33% 1,700,000 $4,895,162
SPA Spacetalk Ltd 0.083 32% 24,693,987 $16,833,558
MTL Mantle Minerals Ltd 0.0025 25% 1,218,333 $10,691,210
EME Energy Metals Ltd 0.16 23% 10,000 $27,258,831
AJX Alexium Int Group 0.029 21% 3,065,971 $15,492,650
TMS Tennant Minerals Ltd 0.041 21% 72,855,985 $20,963,593
BM8 Battery Age Minerals 0.68 18% 1,406,566 $42,675,444
TFL Tasfoods Ltd 0.033 18% 25,025 $12,238,674
CNB Carnaby Resource Ltd 1.265 17% 912,058 $156,125,766
DVL Dorsavi Ltd 0.014 17% 796,400 $5,682,075
LNR Lanthanein Resources 0.028 17% 11,938,247 $23,557,814
MTH Mithril Resources 0.0035 17% 200,000 $9,789,271
PET Phoslock Env Tec Ltd 0.066 16% 806,143 $35,590,259
TSN The Sust Nutri Grp 0.023 15% 26,015 $2,412,128
AYT Austin Metals Ltd 0.008 14% 1,212,500 $7,111,123
PNX PNX Metals Limited 0.004 14% 59,500 $15,554,202
AL3 Aml3D 0.125 14% 1,241,120 $20,686,977
LRS Latin Resources Ltd 0.125 14% 7,064,476 $242,182,041
AEV Avenira Limited 0.017 13% 617,891 $18,679,051
ARD Argent Minerals 0.017 13% 5,039,093 $17,583,875
MCE Matrix C & E Ltd 0.33 12% 1,700,501 $43,091,072
LRD Lord Resources 0.19 12% 61,525 $5,659,661
Wordpress Table Plugin


The clear leader for the day (so far) is Fiji Kava (ASX:FIJ), which has put the lime in the coconut to the tune of +44.44% this morning on news that its wholly owned subsidiary, South Pacific Elixirs has inked an exclusive distribution agreement with the largest FMCG distribution company in the South Pacific, CJ Patel.

The agreement is targeting minimum sales of $11 million to retain exclusive distribution rights for Fiji Kava’s Taki Mai product throughout the region, including AUstralia and NZ, as well as Canada, the USA and a bunch of other tiny islands around the place.

Taki Mai is a bottled product containing what the company says is a significant quantity of kavalactones, the active ingredient in the traditional Fijiian kava drink that, in sufficient quantities, has been known to put an angry All Blacks tighthead prop to sleep in under 20 minutes.

Elsewhere on the winners charts, Spacetalk (ASX:SPA) is back in the news again; after losing ground over yesterday’s session  it has surged back with another 25% gain on no fresh news.

And Tennant Minerals (ASX:TMS) is back in the winners circle as well, this time on news of a “spectacular drill hit” at its Bluebird gold-copper project.

The company has reported that diamond drillhole BBDD0018 has produced a “spectacular, true-width, intersection of high-grade copper and gold” at Bluebird, 40km east of Tennant Creek in the NT:

  • 30.5m @ 6.2% Cu and 6.8g/t Au from 153.6m (downhole),
    • including 17.8m @ 5.2% Cu and 11.5g/t Au from 153.6m, and,
    • including 16.1m @ 10.5% Cu and 0.44g/t Au from 164.9m.

“Drilling is already planned to extend this remarkable new discovery, which lies under shallow cover to the east of the Tennant Creek Mineral Field and continues to grow – in all directions,” Tennant Minerals chairman Matthew Driscoll said.

“The results are another key step in our strategy to identify multiple, multi-million tonne, high-grade copper- gold deposits within the Barkly Tenements, where we aim to establish a stand-alone copper-gold project.”



Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for February 8 [intraday]:

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

Code Company Price % Volume Market Cap
ZEU Zeus Resources Ltd 0.021 -58% 14,874,839 $21,696,639
LAW Lawfinance Ltd 0.041 -23% 32,217 $3,384,986
BKY Berkeley Energia Ltd 0.36 -20% 603,637 $200,608,522
MCT Metalicity Limited 0.0025 -17% 6,106,543 $10,476,118
NME Nex Metals Explorat 0.02 -17% 19,615 $6,691,656
GUL Gullewa Limited 0.051 -15% 39,000 $11,746,386
AYA Artrya limited 0.48 -14% 623 $35,164,373
CPT Cipherpoint Limited 0.006 -14% 5,073,509 $8,005,717
CVR Cavalierresources 0.12 -14% 10,259 $4,256,567
DLT Delta Drone Intl Ltd 0.006 -14% 125,000 $3,581,235
DCG Decmil Group Limited 0.23 -13% 95,344 $41,221,337
RIM Rimfire Pacific 0.007 -13% 936,894 $14,449,958
GPR Geopacific Resources 0.022 -12% 4,185,854 $13,029,778
BMG BMG Resources Ltd 0.015 -12% 1,112,855 $6,561,858
BCK Brockman Mining Ltd 0.023 -12% 32,925 $241,286,035
LME Limeade Inc. 0.24 -11% 44,184 $69,193,687
RGS Regeneus Ltd 0.016 -11% 190,918 $5,515,864
SFG Seafarms Group Ltd 0.008 -11% 3,277,718 $43,529,393
SVG Savannah Goldfields 0.18 -10% 99,209 $37,769,688
ATH Alterity Therap Ltd 0.009 -10% 650,000 $24,164,184
CI1 Credit Intelligence 0.185 -10% 2,810 $17,117,328
HPC The Hydration 0.095 -10% 150,000 $15,358,619
BIR BIR Financial Ltd 0.039 -9% 132 $12,080,255
AHQ Allegiance Coal Ltd 0.02 -9% 1,523,633 $22,107,710
EDE Eden Inv Ltd 0.005 -9% 273,751 $16,122,848
Wordpress Table Plugin