Aussie markets opened with in a deep funk, plunging 0.7% at the open as just about every market sector decided to have a bit of a lie down this morning.

Which is exactly the sort of relaxed attitude that a squadron of British Bobbies were able to enjoy throughout the World Cup this year, as evidenced by a frankly astonishing announcement earlier today:

Chief Constable Mark Roberts of Cheshire Police has proudly announced that this year’s event is an absolute world’s first.

The record-setting statistic that has Chief Constable Roberts standing proud with his chest puffed with pride, as that for the first time in the history of the planet, the World Cup finals have been run and there hasn’t been a single arrest of a UK soccer fan.

Chief Constable Roberts, who heads up the United Kingdom’s football policing – and what a ballache of a job that’s got to be from time to time – noted that even in Russia, only three UK fans were arrested.

But – while noting that because the UK had two teams in this tournament, “we played double the group-stage games, including a home nations derby, which underlines the good nature of our fans”.

… and that’s a phrase I never thought I’d ever hear in relation to British soccer fans.

Obviously, the fans that were not arrested (not even a little bit) were operating well outside of their normal environment.

For starters, and most obviously, the Qatar World Cup has been quite famously bereft of alcohol. Which, despite the Senior Constable’s desire to play that factor down, is 100% of the reason why this World Cup has been relatively hooligan-free.

Well… that, and the horrifically draconian ‘fun police’ that roam the streets of Qatar armed with big sticks and backed up by the weight of brutal punishments for everything.

To be honest, I think the entire world was quite shocked when these jokers turned up:

… in what could be easily interpreted as

A: a bit of cheeky dress-up fun;

B: A costume that English fans routinely wear to events like this;  or

C: A fairly transparent jab at the millenia-long scrap between Judeo-Christian religions and Islam.

No prizes for guessing where those dominoes fell… And those fans were pretty lucky not to be put to the sword on the spot.



The ASX took a solid 0.7% hit this morning, tracking Wall Street lower after the US Fed dropped a 50 basis points rate hike (in line with what everyone was expecting) – and because Ol’ Ratchet-Jaws Powell said some stuff… more on that in a moment.

In early trade, the Aussie sector outlook was “mid-orgasm Barnaby” red (sorry…) – thanks to Materials, Telcos and Consumer Discretionary lying back and thinking of Tamworth (I’m so sorry…) while the losses piled up all around them.

However, much like the legendary Possum Bourne, the market rallied as the morning wore on, and by the time the cry went up for Smoko, the benchmark was a mere 0.19% lower than at closing time last night.

Staples and Financials have been leading the way, up 0.48% and 0.37% respectively.

There’s a solitary Market Cap Monster in the winner’s list today – New Hope Corp (ASX:NHC) is up 5.0% for the morning, following yesterday’s announcement of a buyback switcheroo.

New Hope has paused the on-market ordinary share buy-back announced on 3 November, and kicked off an on-market buy-back process of its 2.75% Senior Convertible Notes due 2026 with a face value of A$200 million.

New Hope said it’s all part of maintaining its commitment to “maintaining a disciplined approach to capital and liability management opportunities and utilising surplus capital distribution opportunities where appropriate.”

Investors said “Whatevs, dude… gimme gimme” and NHC is on the rise as a result.

The big sinkers and stinkers this morning – and there’s a deadset laundry list of them – cover a market cap range of $12.1 billion to $1.5 billion, and all seven of them are lithium or graphite players.

That’s obviously not just an awful coincidence, because a wider look at the ASX-listed lithium players (large and small) are showing a strong sell-down virtually across the board. There are a few outliers, of course, but overall lithium’s having a bad, bad morning.

It’s due to a tick down in lithium prices, which in turn is because China’s doing China stuff again – but when the market’s been running white hot the way lithium has for so long, any negative change in demand is gonna knock the wind right out of the sector’s sails.



In the US, and US Fed chair Jerome Powell just Will. Not. Take. The. Freakin’. Hint. and stop saying things in public.

The US Fed delivered the 50bsp rate hike everyone knew was coming, but then Jerome got up to deliver his remarks and basically pantsed the market in public again, offering insight into where The Fed’s headed which basically amounted to “Eat this s–t sandwich rate rise and love it, you worms… because we’re nowhere even close to slowing down on serving them to you”.

So of course Wall Street, which does love a good drama, started heading south, leaving the S&P down 0.61%, the Dow 0.42% lower and the Nasdaq wallowing in the mud at -0.76%, as Earlybird Eddy Sunarto reports.

Asian markets have also caught a case of the downers, with Japan’s Nikkei falling on news that its export outlook is looking a little bleak.

Turns out that the global market for questionable g00-related porn is, actually, finite. Who knew?

Hong Kong has followed Wall Street into the dumps as well, which is in turn leading the rest of the broader Asian markets lower as well. The Hang Seng is down 1.46%, and Shanghai’s broken its stellar multi-day dead-flat streak to fall 0.19% in early trade.

In crypto, the big coins like BTC and ETH have uncharacteristically shrugged off the urge to use the US Fed rate rise as an excuse to go berserk, tracking largely flat this morning so far.

The big news is of course SamWatch 2022 – with the ambulatory janitor’s mop that used to run FTX now languishing in the Bahamian Fox Hill prison until February.

SBF is reportedly being kept in the medical wing, presumably because the cupboard where the rest of the cleaning supplies are kept is full of other skinny white guys hiding from the rest of the prison population.

For that, and the latest on just how hard Binance is crapping the bed right now since the run on withdrawals hit its bottom line, head over to Rob “I never pull out” Badman’s Mooners and Shakers.



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for December 15 [intraday]:

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

Code Company Price % Volume Market Cap
OAU Ora Gold Limited 0.012 100% 4,113,999 $5,905,388
RR1 Reach Resources Ltd 0.0055 38% 4,415,291 $7,640,203
PGD Peregrine Gold 0.385 31% 838,825 $11,431,807
AQX Alice Queen Ltd 0.0025 25% 160,335 $4,400,500
RDN Raiden Resources Ltd 0.006 20% 150,000 $8,272,912
TNY Tinybeans Group Ltd 0.215 19% 327,665 $10,988,009
GRL Godolphin Resources 0.105 17% 393,263 $10,653,250
OEC Orbital Corp Limited 0.175 17% 39,439 $15,675,500
MCT Metalicity Limited 0.0035 17% 900,000 $10,476,118
SRN Surefire Rescs NL 0.014 17% 21,672,862 $18,976,362
BAT Battery Minerals Ltd 0.004 14% 250,996 $10,238,348
GCR Golden Cross 0.008 14% 111,847 $7,680,793
G50 Gold50 Limited 0.25 14% 100,037 $12,527,460
MRL Mayur Resources Ltd 0.17 13% 202,178 $36,473,726
MRD Mount Ridley Mines 0.0045 13% 20,579,009 $31,139,531
RIM Rimfire Pacific 0.009 13% 1,668,863 $14,449,958
TAS Tasman Resources Ltd 0.009 13% 1,403,148 $5,369,221
KZR Kalamazoo Resources 0.23 12% 70,010 $30,507,972
AKO Akora Resources 0.185 12% 59,351 $10,476,996
GCM Green Critical Min 0.019 12% 7,950,898 $16,515,137
HTG Harvest Tech Grp Ltd 0.068 11% 38,000 $37,770,414
TMH The Market Herald 0.4 11% 188,700 $98,657,284
AVM Advance Metals Ltd 0.01 11% 300,000 $5,220,397
NOR Norwood Systems Ltd. 0.03 11% 400,000 $10,395,509
SIX Sprintex Ltd 0.031 11% 130,000 $7,121,921
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Early this morning, it looked like Peregrine was going to be the team to beat at the top of the ladder, but it’s been pipped at the lunch post by fellow goldie, Ora.

Ora Gold (ASX:OAU) dropped a fairly solid result on the table this morning, boasting (among other highlights) a return of 7m @ 15.75g/t Au from 30m in OGGAC456, incl. 6m @ 38.06g/t Au from 41m – and up went its price.

But then came an all-too-familiar “correction” from Ora hit the wires – and in recent times, that’s usually signalled that something’s been overstated (for whatever reason).

However, in Ora’s case today, the typo in the original release actually downplayed the result listed above – it’s meant to be 17m @ 15.75g/t – and that really got things pumping for the company, which is currently trading 83.3% so far today.

(Side note – the announcement correcting the first typo for Ora itself has a typo – and Ora laying claim to a “God Intercept” is likely to have The Pope on their doorstep in the next hour or so if they don’t get that one sorted out sharpish…)

Peregrine Gold (ASX:PGD) was, for anyone’s money, going to win the day outright after announcing it had drilled into “ultra-high grade gold and silver intercepts” near Newman in WA.

What’s an “ultra-high grade” look like? Try gold and silver grades up to 122,497g/t Au and 26,234g/t Ag on for size.

And no, those are not typos – Peregrine’s claiming to have hit 122kg/tonne of gold, where most gold diggers are happy when they hit 15g/t (or with a new handbag, depending on the type of gold digger they are).

And rounding out the top three for today is TinyBeans (ASX:TNY), the family-focussed social media platform that announced its outlook for 2023 is pretty bloody good, and should see the company turn cash-flow positive a full six months earlier than they’d expected to.

Investors have thrown their chips into the middle to help things along, and TinyBeans is up 19.4% as a result.



Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for December 15 [intraday]:

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

Code Company Price % Volume Market Cap
SKS SKS Tech Group Ltd 0.14 -22% 175,423 $19,688,788
AMD Arrow Minerals 0.004 -20% 900,000 $10,168,825
MTL Mantle Minerals Ltd 0.002 -20% 8,023,065 $13,364,013
DOU Douugh Limited 0.015 -17% 3,713,646 $15,255,260
WR1 Winsome Resources 1.06 -15% 2,750,096 $172,598,106
ATU Atrum Coal Ltd 0.006 -14% 1,666,667 $9,741,894
OAR OAR Resources Ltd 0.006 -14% 645,000 $16,877,265
THR Thor Mining PLC 0.006 -14% 17,201,367 $10,095,490
WA1 Wa1Resourcesltd 1.23 -13% 622,433 $50,357,495
PMT Patriotbatterymetals 0.83 -13% 1,895,474 $6,650,000
OXX Octanex Ltd 0.007 -13% 279,138 $2,071,821
NGL Nightingale Intel 0.105 -13% 36,663 $11,609,845
SRR Saramaresourcesltd 0.105 -13% 59,134 $4,560,751
CXZ Connexion Telematics 0.0105 -13% 684,523 $11,457,453
ALV Alvomin 0.15 -12% 65,333 $9,185,088
R3D R3D Resources Ltd 0.06 -12% 40,252 $7,508,907
FAU First Au Ltd 0.004 -11% 3,068,713 $4,283,970
GNM Great Northern 0.004 -11% 750,000 $7,690,729
HSC HSC Technology Group 0.008 -11% 2,047,178 $20,057,754
LNU Linius Tech Limited 0.004 -11% 5,141,497 $12,705,118
MRQ Mrg Metals Limited 0.004 -11% 1,914,401 $8,869,134
KTA Krakatoa Resources 0.05 -11% 2,375,752 $19,303,755
PLS Pilbara Min Ltd 4.065 -11% 43,353,814 $13,640,266,012
PRO Prophecy Internation 0.59 -11% 25,482 $48,583,216
PUR Pursuit Minerals 0.017 -11% 5,372,546 $18,965,405
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