A much better start to the day has seen the ASX benchmark up as high as +1.6% today, but it’s eased slightly to +1.3% as we all sit down to a pre-Christmas Lunch lunch.

It’s a refreshing change from the past two days, which have been dismal to say the very least, and have left more than a few investors obviously unhappy and wanting to put a rocket up the ASX’s arse.

Speaking of which – and oh, how I wish that wasn’t a segue that worked as well as it does – we have news from France of a medical emergency that forced the evacuation of the Saint-Musse ER in Toulon.

It was the arrival of an 88-year-old man with a frankly enormous artillery shell lodged in his butt that caused the panic – completely understandable, since medical staff had no idea whether the object was still live. #TickingTimeBum

Despite assurances from the man that the shell was a decommissioned ordinance from WWII, the bomb squad had to be called in, lest doctors trying to dislodge the object set it off, spreading the old man even further than he already was.

The report says that the shell – measuring an eye-watering 6cm x 20cm – wasn’t just a little bit stuck. It was so far inside the old man that surgeons had to operate to remove it.

The good news is that the bomb in the old man’s bum didn’t explode, so the hospital remains in one piece – which is more than can be said for Old Mate’s rectum.

And while we don’t want to kink-shame anyone – Vive la Difference, and all that – this one does genuinely beg the question: “Really, old man? …Really?

We should let the Tale of the Loaded Tail serve as a cautionary yarn for anyone else who might suddenly feel the urge to load themselves up like a super-horny Howitzer – it’s best to bear in mind that it’s all fun and games until the bomb squad arrives.



Australian markets have bounced back this morning after a couple of days in the bad books, popping a 0.9% wheelie out of the gates and keeping momentum up to head into the lunch break around 1.4% higher for the day.

In a complete reversal of yesterday’s Red Horror, this morning sees all the sectors into the green – some faring better than others, obviously, but even little ol’ Health Care’s 0.36% climb is worth celebrating.

Top of the tree, though, sits Utilities – a +4.5% angel, surrounded by the glistening baubles of Real Estate (+3.0%), Materials (+1.87%) and yesterday’s ne’er-do-well, Consumer Discretionary, which has bounced 1.85% so far this morning.

Big charger this morning is Origin Energy (ASX:ORG), up 6.0% after it revealed that it has extended the exclusivity component for the Brookfield consortium’s buyout team to finalise its due diligence for the $9.00 cash per share purchase.

“The consortium has confirmed that it is on track to complete its due diligence early in the new year, it has not identified any material adverse matters to date, and it continues to work on confirming its Indicative Proposal,” Origin says, granting the extension to 16 January, so everyone can have a bit of a breather over Chrissy. Nice.

Among the big diggers, both Silver Lake (ASX:SLR) and Evolution (ASX:EVN) are up today, 7.8% and 6.8% respectively on no clear news, and real estate groups Centuria Capital (ASX:CNI) and Ingenia Communities (ASX:INA) are also both well into the positives today, by 6.4% and 5.9% each.



Overseas, and the news out of Japan yesterday over the BoJ’s decision to allow the yield on 10-year Japanese government bonds to shift up to 0.50% instead of its long-preferred 0.25% cap has certainly rattled a few cages.

It was an unanticipated move that has some analysts concerned Japan has become, as Super Pete Farkers wrote this morning, “the final global domino to fall in the race to hike rates… maybe”.

The immediate 4% surge for the yen was just part of the ground-shaking – US 10-year yields rose 10.9bps, 2-years fell 0.4bps, and the Battler lost 0.37% against the greenback.

In the US overnight, markets finished up – but not without a struggle – with the Dow Jones putting on 0.28%, the NASDAQ eking out 0.01%, and the S&P 500 gaining 0.10%.

On the garlicky side of the Atlantic, though, stocks were a mildly mixed bag… some up, some down, some napping quietly in the corner and others still reeling from the notion that the World Cup is now calling entirely the wrong continent home again.

So far this morning in Asian markets, Japan’s Nikkei is falling, down 1.12% so far today after the nation got its first look at the trailer for Christopher Nolan’s new film, Oppenheimer.

Early reports suggest the film, which is expected to be The Christmas Film for 2022, is likely to bomb in Japan.

In China… well, let’s put it this way. Here’s a tweet from someone on the ground in that country:



Annnnd the Official Covid Death Toll for China for December is: 10.

The upshot: either someone’s talking out their arse, or the new range of SuperCozy Winnie the Pooh sleeping bags are proving to be just as popular with adults as they are with kids.

In Shanghai, the market is – as you’d expect – flat at +0.01%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is up 0.27% in early trade.

In crypto, the overall market cap has climbed 3.3% yesterday, and there are strange things afoot at Visa, where the corporation’s Young Guns are touting a shift to blockchain tech to allow users to do … stuff.

It’s all proposed to happen through “a self-custodial wallet called a “delegable account” – which is based on something known as the “Account Abstraction” (AA) concept that Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin first proposed in 2015”, writes Rob “The Delegable Abstraction” Badman.

You can read more about it all over at Mooners & Shakers, because I don’t have time to figure it out for you here.



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

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

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Out among the Small Caps (where it’s okay to eat the blue ones but the red ones could make you very, very ill) Bougainville Copper (ASX:BOC) is the Super Weird pick of the litter this morning, up 29.6% – but that’s on absolutely no news.

The last correspondence from BOC to the ASX was a Quarterly Activities Report, released on 21/10/22, included below in its entirety:

“The Directors of Bougainville Copper Limited report that there has been no production since 15 May 1989.”

I don’t want to alarm anyone, but the only feasible explanation is that the ASX is haunted, and we’re currently experiencing a Class VI full-body floating apparition.

The fact is that BOC is sitting on a veritable treasure trove resource – an estimated 5.3 million tonnes of copper and 19.3 million ounces of gold at BOC’s Panguna deposit – but it’s anyone’s guess when there’s going to be even a sod turned at the site, no matter how much the local government is keen to see that happen.

Even still, 30% in one day for a project that’s been dead for 33 years? Maybe someone knows something that the rest of us don’t.

Anyhow – also doing well today is MoneyMe (ASX:MME), up 25.5% on news that it has agreed binding legal documentation with Pacific Equity Partners, its corporate debt provider, for a new funding structure that will keep it rockin’ and rollin’ for the foreseeable future.

Rounding out the Top Three is DroneShield (ASX:DRO), which has secured an $11 million contract from “a government agency customer” for several different types of DroneShield counterdrone/C-UAS equipment.

It’s great news for Droneshield, great news for shareholders (thanks to the 24.2% boost it got this morning), and not-so-great news for whoever’s going to be on the receiving end of the new gear – but let’s assume that’ll be the Bad Guys, which makes it great news for the rest of us, so… ‘hooray!’ perhaps.



Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for December 21 [intraday]:

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

Wordpress Table Plugin