Australian markets started the week on a positive note, jumping 0.5% at open in line with the the ASX 200 Jan futures contract this morning – and by the time everyone was unwrapping their sangers to settle in for lunch, the benchmark was sitting happily on 0.9%.

Before we get into why that’s the case, we’re first going to take a look at what has turned out to be one of the most remarkably terrible bets we’ve seen in a long time, after one crafty punter made one of the most bafflingly lopsided sports betting wagers of all time.

The game was the NFL play-off match between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the LA Chargers, which looked to be all but over by the time half-time had rolled around. After a shockingly bad first two quarters, the Jags were trailing by as much as 27 points.

It was going to take a miracle – a comeback for the ages – for the Chargers to lose from there. Which is why, we assume, that someone with very deep pockets decided to put down an enormous sum of money on the Chargers to win.

The bet was US$1.4 million, with a potential payoff that would have netted the intrepid gambler a scant $11,000+change in winnings – laid against an extremely unlikely loss of his $1.4 million stake, should the unthinkable happen.

Now, given that you’re reading about it here, there are zero prizes for guessing that the unthinkable did, indeed, occur.


After basically bricking it completely for the first half, Jacksonville emerged from the change sheds like a team possessed, piling on the points and devastating both The Chargers and whichever hapless punter placed his mid-game sure thing with the bookies in Vegas with a dying seconds field goal to clinch the win, and give Old Mate Moneybags a severe case of heartburn along the way.

It just goes to show that not even the experts get it right 100% of the time – but, of course, if you’re rich enough (and dumb enough) to risk losing $1.4 million to make a measly $11k, then maybe you deserve to cop one on the chin from time to time.



Faring heaps better than a mug punter in Vegas, the ASX is having a belter this morning. Up 0.5% the moment the bell rang, the upward trajectory has continued to have the benchmark nudging +1.0% as we head into lunch.

A look out across the sectors and there’s narya  dry seat in the house – from the lowly gains from Materials (+0.28%) and Utilities (+0.47%) through to powerhouse performances by InfoTech (+1.63%) and Energy (+1.31%), it’s a sedate yet gleefully positive feeling for the first day of the week.

At the top end of town, Super Retail Group (ASX:SUL) has climbed 8.99% today after revealing a significant bump in trading performance for the first half of FY23, boasting group-wide sales growth of 15% that includes a return to positive figures for its BCF brand, up 7% against a 2% slump for the same period the previous year.

And Ioneer (ASX:INR) has had a huge boost this morning on news that none other than the US Freakin’ Government has tipped in a staggering sum of money to the Aussie-listed lithium-boron supplier.

Ioneer is set to receive about $1.1 billion in US taxpayer money to build out its Rhyolite Ridge lithium project in Nevada, with the funds representing ‘a significant step towards completing the funding’ for the project.

Once INR meets the agreed upon conditions precedent, the very significant funding from both the DOE loan, and the expected 50% equity investment from expected Joint Venture partner Sibanye Stillwater are anticipated to fund a substantial part of the preliminary capital expenditure estimate from the latest (revised) plan of operations.



On Wall Street on Friday, the mood was strangely buoyant despite a bunch of banks reporting worse-than-expected Q4 results.

As Earlybird Eddy Sunarto reports, JPMorgan Chase, US’ largest bank, reported revenues that came in below expectations as the bank warned of the risk of “mild recession” later in the year.

“We don’t know the future,” said CEO Jamie Dimon. “There are all these geopolitical uncertainties which are real, and we have our eyes focused on it. They may go away or they may not.”

JPMorgan said it will set aside more than $US1 billion to prepare for the possibility of borrowers defaulting on their loans.

Bank of America’s results topped expectations, but CEO Brian Moynihan also mentioned “mild recession” in an investors’ call after he described 2022 as “one of the best years ever for the bank”.

“Our baseline scenario contemplates a mild recession. … But we also add to that a downside scenario, and what this results in is 95% of our reserve methodology is weighted toward a recessionary environment in 2023,” he said.

Meanwhile, Citibank’s profit was a fifth smaller than a year before, and Wells Fargo suffered a huge drop in profit due to legal costs and regulatory fines.

In Japan, the Nikkei has fallen 0.85% this morning after Russian security council deputy chairman Dmitry Medvedev called on Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to kill himself.

No, he really did… and, in the process, effectively turned the world diplomatic stage into a Call of Duty lobby.

Kishida met with US Preident Joe Biden on Friday, before releasing a statement re-affirming Japan’s stance that it will continue to back Ukraine in its fight against the Russian invasion, now in Week 46 of Vladimir Putin’s “one-week campaign”, which said in part that Japan would “continue to support Ukraine in the face of Russia’s abhorrent attacks on critical infrastructure”.

Medvedev seems to have taken exception to that, calling the statement “Tremendously shameful” before adding: “The only way for [Kishida] to wash off his shame is by committing seppuku at a cabinet meeting.”

Meanwhile in China, the central government looks set to move against some of the country’s most prominent tech companies and the phenomenal wealth controlled by those who hold the reins, by taking so-called “Golden Shares” in big tech firms Alibaba and Tencent.

The Guardian is reporting that it’s a turnaround in strategy by the Chinese government, and one that “marks a shift away from imposing hefty fines and sanctions in its two-year tech crackdown” which saw billions in value wiped off some of China’s largest companies, and Jack “I used to be the richest dude in China” Ma flee to live in self-imposed exile in Japan.

In Shanghai, the markets have opened flat in very early trade, while in Hong Kong the Hang Seng is up 0.31%.

In crypto, as we welcome back Rob “The Internal Optimist” Badman from his break, I’m exited to tell you that he’s returned bearing positive news: “Bitcoin, having ended the week just shy of US$19,000, added roughly US$2,000 to its stack over the past coupla days. In fact, it’s up a whopping 23% over seven of them.”

The recent surge has pushed the overall crypto market cap back over the US$1 trillion mark, and what’s not to love about that?

There is, as always, more to the story – so head on over to this morning’s Mooners and Shakers to get the good oil.



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for January 16 [intraday]:

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

Code Company Price % Volume Market Cap
EMT Emetals Limited 0.015 36% 31,163,918 $9,350,000
IPT Impact Minerals 0.009 29% 541,999 $17,369,594
NFL Norfolk Metals 0.175 25% 1,534,724 $4,175,499
ROG Red Sky Energy. 0.005 25% 6,650,000 $21,208,909
IBG Ironbark Zinc Ltd 0.0135 23% 1,556,537 $16,134,627
NRX Noronex Limited 0.041 21% 2,164,521 $8,122,702
PEC Perpetual Res Ltd 0.024 20% 231,083 $10,909,679
RDN Raiden Resources Ltd 0.006 20% 10,000 $8,272,912
WCN White Cliff Min Ltd 0.0155 19% 14,490,270 $9,792,707
RVS Revasum 0.14 17% 89,533 $12,709,998
GBE Globe Metals &Mining 0.075 15% 438,461 $32,939,965
SPX Spenda Limited 0.015 15% 818,194 $42,418,729
14D 1414 Degrees Limited 0.083 15% 6,600 $14,542,953
NGY Nuenergy Gas Ltd 0.046 15% 519,647 $59,238,220
CPV Clearvue Technologies 0.24 14% 479,351 $45,582,884
AII Almonty Industries 0.88 14% 15,630 $13,618,174
OCN Oceana Lithium 0.5 14% 134,224 $16,022,160
ANX Anax Metals Ltd 0.068 13% 408,797 $24,563,690
SRN Surefire Rescs NL 0.017 13% 8,130,573 $23,720,452
INR Ioneer Ltd 0.515 13% 23,966,924 $954,743,911
PSC Prospect Res Ltd 0.13 13% 753,136 $53,159,838
NSM Northstaw 0.22 13% 75,510 $23,424,765
AXI Axiom Properties 0.08 13% 16,108 $30,722,670
PCL Pancontinental Energy 0.009 13% 908,262 $60,433,782
ESK Etherstack PLC 0.595 12% 47,451 $69,302,536
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In the Land of Small Caps, where everyone has a tiny little head (or so I assume… I’ve been working from home for so long now that I barely remember what passes for a regular-sized noggin any more), there have been a couple of gain trains steaming out of the station since the market opened this morning.

Leading the charge this morning is eMetals (ASX:EMT), which has gone careering off into the sky by 36.3% this morning, on news of “exceptionally high grade rock chips” at Beryl Well in Western Australia, including two highlights of 26.47% Niobium & 6.68% Tantalum, and 23.79% Niobium & 6.33% Tantalum.

Meanwhile, Norfolk Metals (ASX:NFL) has revealed that it has drilled into more visual copper at Roger River, with its third drillhole (22RRD-003) “presenting discrete zones of native copper from 102.00m to 137.80m, 159.20m to 182.00m and 212.40m to 263.05m downhole depth in silica + carbonated veins, fine-grained basalt and fracture surfaces”.

Norfolk is trading 25% higher this morning off the back of that news.

And rounding out the Top Three to Talk About today, a REE Discovery at Hines Hill has White Cliff Minerals (ASX:WCN) trading 19.2% higher this morning, after the company revealed its maiden aircore drilling program of 49 drill holes has intersected zones up to 1,602ppm TREO (from 8m in drillhole HHAC38), with mineralisation open in all directions.



Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for January 16 [intraday]:

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

Code Company Price % Volume Market Cap
ARE Argonaut Resources 0.001 -50% 2,846,633 $12,723,743
ANL Amani Gold Ltd 0.001 -33% 500,000 $37,040,162
MEB Medibio Limited 0.001 -33% 2,005,000 $4,980,891
T3D 333D Limited 0.001 -33% 16,080 $4,783,976
GLV Global Oil & Gas 0.0015 -25% 2,688,932 $6,857,595
MTL Mantle Minerals Ltd 0.002 -20% 722,000 $13,364,013
TSN The Sust Nutri Grp 0.018 -18% 119,000 $2,653,340
N1H N1 Holdings Ltd 0.165 -18% 24,147 $17,611,115
OAK Oakridge 0.105 -16% 121 $2,149,460
LRD Lord Rsources 0.19 -16% 62,454 $7,489,040
JTL Jayex Technology Ltd 0.011 -15% 83 $3,239,971
KZA Kazia Therapeutics 0.115 -15% 831,883 $22,060,212
KLI Killi Resources 0.12 -14% 7,632 $4,700,500
MTH Mithril Resources 0.003 -14% 342,200 $11,420,816
SCT Scout Security Ltd 0.026 -13% 2,949 $6,911,839
AYT Austin Metals Ltd 0.007 -13% 16,186 $8,126,997
SIX Sprintex Ltd 0.035 -13% 346,526 $10,174,173
NNG Nexion Group 0.042 -13% 4,002 $4,917,713
NC6 Nanollose Limited 0.058 -12% 6,567 $9,826,500
UNT Unith Ltd 0.023 -12% 40,000 $19,363,821
BBN Baby Bunting Grp Ltd 2.69 -11% 1,355,209 $408,766,662
AL8 Alderan Resource Ltd 0.008 -11% 103,663 $5,204,395
LIN Lindian Resources 0.27 -10% 16,911,358 $293,328,545
AFW Applyflow Limited 0.018 -10% 11,742 $2,957,613
AMD Arrow Minerals 0.0045 -10% 59,859 $12,668,825
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