Aussie markets are 0.3% lower at lunchtime today, as confusion envelopes US politics, crypto and other regional markets this morning – and we’re unlikely to see a clear result about any of them until at least tomorrow.

One result that is a lot clearer today comes to us from the world of boxing, the Grumpy Old Man of bloodsports.

By “Old” we mean “it’s been around since primates discovered it was fun to watch other primates beat each other into an early grave”, and by “Grumpy” we mean “breathtakingly corrupt at even the highest levels”.

Boxing is full of tales of redemption, however, just like that movie The Wrestler, which is about a once very handsome, successful man who had his face destroyed in the boxing ring, underwent a ton of plastic surgery to have it “fixed” which made it heaps worse, and then starred in a movie about a wrestler.

But the most recent story from inside the ring that we’re interested in here is the story of how three-time world champion Jeff Fenech became a four-time world champion, when the result of a boxing match from more than 30 years ago was overturned, in his favour.

Picture the scene: The year was 1991 – Nirvana was on a collision course with musical history following the release of grunge classic Nevermind, Whitney Houston still had her coke habit under control and we were still a few months away from everyone’s Hypercolour T-shirts becoming permanently scarlet under the armpits.

The toast of Australian pugilism was a man they call The Marrickville Mauler – Jeff Fenech – a plucky 5 foot, 7 inches of Aussie Punching Fury who was chasing a career-making fourth weight division world title, to sit on the shelf in the pool room alongside his bantamweight, super bantamweight and featherweight belts.

Up against Azumah Nelson in Las Vegas, Fenech slogged his guts out and by any reasonable metric (aside from actually removing Nelson’s head from the vicinity of his shoulders), the Aussie was clearly all over the reigning champ.

And yet, when the referee read out the scores, the fight was judged to be a tie. Nelson kept his belt and Fenech travelled home with an irreparably broken heart.

It’s a result that has been stuck in the craw of Australian sports ever since – until yesterday, when Fenech was finally, after 31 years of arguing the toss, awarded the fight and the title following a panel of WBC judges re-watching the fight and unanimously fixing the mistake.

It’s a proud day for Australia, a huge day for Fenech and a tick in the box of sweet, sweet justice, even if it did take more than three decades of shouting at the judges before they finally got it right.

… and while we’re on the topic of being punched in the head until your brains turn to mush, let’s have a look at what’s happened on the markets this morning.

 

TO MARKETS

Australian markets opened lower this morning, slumping as far as 0.6% before staging a remarkable comeback in the 8th Round to within two jabs and an uppercut of not being a total disaster.

A look at the performance across the sectors, and even a panel of blind WBC boxing judges could tell you why the bloodletting isn’t as bad as it could be this morning – things are, largely, quite flat – Health Care (+1.16%) through to Energy (-2.06%) and almost-all else in between providing a Yin and Yang stability.

And then there’s Utilities. It is currently 13.2% up because Brookfield Asset Management is having a tilt at the Origin Energy (ASX:ORG) windmill, throwing down a $9 per share glove on the table and effectively daring anyone to stand in the way of the bid.

Pre-offer, Origin was trading at $5.81 when markets closed yesterday, and at the time of writing, it’s around $7.85 a share – the best it’s been since Valentine’s Day, 2020 and a rise of 35% for the morning.

Also enjoying a lift this morning is News Corp (ASX:NWS) which is trading about 10% higher this morning with the buyers jumping on a sharp fall yesterday.

And ComputerShare has jumped more than 6.0% this morning after revealing an upgrade for its FY23 guidance, and a surge in earnings over the previous year.

 

NOT THE ASX

US markets took a tumble overnight, as it became clear that the results of the midterm election are going to be anything but decisive, with current assessment being that the US state of Georgia (you know, the one that just about derailed democracy as we know it a couple of years ago) is headed for a run-off, and we won’t know the results for weeks, and so chaos is set to reign once more.

The kerfuffle is, obviously, all the Devil’s fault – I heard tell that he went down to Georgia one time, got into a violin battle (this was in the days before rap battles were a thing) and Georgia hasn’t been the same since.

But, US President Joe Biden has come out to proclaim in an ebullient monotone that the “giant red wave didn’t happen”, which is quite a strong statement from a man whose shoes were quite clearly filling with blood every moment he was at the podium.

Long story short – it’s all a bit of a mess, with the Dow falling 1.95%, the S&P tumbling 2.08% and the Nasdaq scuttling like a startled cockroach to a 2.48% loss.

The US tech market, in particular, is in massive disarray. Overall sentiment has taken a battering since Elon Musk bought The Shouty Bird app and stuck his pecker in it, and Meta handing out red cards to 11,000 employees overnight has really harshed a lot of people’s mellow.

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei is suffering a case of the “Ready, Steady, No’s”, down 1.11% this morning as the region’s markets wait to see which way the US dominoes are going to fall.

Hong Kong is getting on the losing ground game this morning, shedding 1.96% in very early trade, while Shanghai has dipped 0.55% as the region starts to prep for high level talks next week with a few global leaders, including another unlikely winner who hails from Marrickville.

Crypto’s big news is that the old adage about “whatever you do, don’t mess with Binance’s CZ” appears to be ringing very true.

The stoush between FTX and Binance that spilled out into the street and cost FTX head SBF virtually everything he had got even worse when the sort-of lifeline CZ had dangled for SBF turned out to be, as the crypto people like to call it, something of a rug-pull.

Binance backed out of the deal, and crypto went crapto. Like, gruesomely and unflushably crapto.

Rob “If my head’s under the blanket then the monsters can’t come get me” Badman has all the details at Mooners and Shakers – it’s probably best that you hear the news from him.

 

ASX SMALL CAP WINNERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for November 10 [intraday]:

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In Small Caps news, Invictus Energy (ASX:IVZ) has gone through the roof, up 111% and counting so far today. A bit to unpack here, but it’s worth taking the time to look at it.

Last week on 03 November, Invictus got thrust into a trading halt following a Please Explain from the ASX over price and volume ‘issues’, to which Invictus suggested that the market “may be speculating on the likelihood of success or failure of drilling targets in the Mukuyu-1 well”.

Fast forward to today, Invictus has revealed that the drilling has been successful, with “elevated mud gas peaks (up to 65 times above background gas baseline) have been observed while drilling through a depth of 3,070 mMD with marked increases from C1 to C5 compounds (methane, ethane, propane, butanes and pentanes)”.

Managing Director Scott Macmillan says the early results are “an exciting development validating our subsurface model”.

Investors say “shuddup and take our money”. What a ride it’s been.

Elsewhere, OD6 Metals (ASX:OD6) has banged out a bumper set of results from its initial drilling at the company’s Splinter Rock REE site near Esperance, WA.

The results are assays of the first 65 holes of a 179-hole drilling program, and you can see the best of them here, with Reuben.

OD6 says the results are “outstanding and represent some of the highest grades and thickest clay-hosted rare earth intersections seen in Australia” – and I’m inclined to agree with them.

“The extent and consistency of these shallow, high-grade clays have resulted in four significant prospects being identified that are between four and seven kilometres in width which are open in length, on our 2,579km2 Splinter Rock project,” the company also says, which is probably why investors have taken a bit of a shine to the results as well, and why OD6 is trading more than 40% higher this morning as a result.

Annnnnd, because nobody’s lost nearly enough value to warrant a public pantsing before lunch, we’re gonna leave the Lunch Wrap there – but here’s a chart for those of you crying out for some pre-sandwich loss porn… you dirty, dirty sods.

 

ASX SMALL CAP LOSERS

Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for November 10 [intraday]:

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