Aussie markets have opened marginally higher this morning, after taking a short while to find their feet and pushing as high as +0.4% in mid-morning trade, before easing somewhat to +0.2% as we broke for lunch.

It’s better-than-expected result, given current ructions in the US and the twin rate hike bogeymen stalking investors in the US and the UK this week – but while the rise is admittedly a small one, it’s a welcome sight for most pundits and players today.

We’ll get to the details in a moment, but first we feel it’s our duty to clue you in on some truly magnificent scientific research that’s been published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General by the American Psychological Association.

The paper posits the theory that “Chimpanzees face many of the same kinds of challenges as humans as they grow up”, and is authored by Dr Alexandra Rosati, associate professor of psychology and anthropology at the University of Michigan.

That includes, presumably, the kinds of violent mood swings that lead to hyper-aggressive attempts to consume each other, and ongoing complaints of “growing hair in weird places”.

The research focused primarily on how risky the behaviour of the teenage chimps was between the ages of 8-15 – a period roughly analogous to the awkward pimply years that humans endure.

However, the chimpanzees were not afforded the opportunity to partake in many of the traditional risk-taking behaviours available to humans, such as posting an earnest opinion on social media, or being faced with the dilemma of being “well behaved”, while in the presence of vast quantities of illegally-acquired adult beverages.

Which is why, in the interests of scientific rigour, it’s only fair that the researchers heed calls to re-do the experiment, by plying the animals with budget-quality liquor and letting them destroy their brains by doom-scrolling their way through hundreds of hours of YouTube.

And speaking of violent, hairy yobboes taking on socially unacceptable levels of risk, let’s go take a look at what the market’s been up to this morning.



As the market got rolling this morning, a quick look at the benchmark’s early performance was giving off some pretty solid “oh, goodie. Another one of those mornings…” vibes, with the index taking some time to find its feet while bouncing between zero and +0.1%.

Early indications had been that the market was most likely going to open flat after a broad sell-off on Wall Street overnight ahead of the US Fed’s move to raise interest rates again, because all the cool kids are doing it.

Yesterday’s cracker of a session for the InfoTech sector is being slowly unpicked, with the gizmos and gadgets dropping nearly 1.5% in very early trade this morning, while Consumer Staples led the charge to prosperity, up 1.84% and way out in front of Health Care (+1.05%) and Materials (+0.37%).

Up the fancy end of the pavilion, Silex Systems (ASX:SLX) is on the cusp of heading the right way through the $1 billion market cap milestone today, climbing 5.4% on no readily apparent news.



In the US overnight, investors seemed to let the nerves start getting to them at the start of what’s shaping up to be a fairly busy week for money-people.

The main aggravator is a widely-anticipated rate rise by the US Fed later on tonight (our time), and while we all know it’s definitely going to happen, recent months have shown that it’s not always possible to predict (or, sometimes, make any sense of) just how hard the Fed’s prepared to kick the can down the road.

On top of that, there are a lot of moving parts that are starting to look like they’re going to stop moving properly and investors are moving to de-risk, as Early Eddy Sunarto reported this morning.

A number of US companies are dropping quarterlies this week, including some of the Big Names of Serious Business, like Apple, Meta, Amazon, Alphabet, McDonald’s, and General Motors.

US treasury yields climbed  (bond prices down) while crude oil prices fell around 2% overnight, against the backdrop of this week’s upcoming OPEC+ meeting, preparations for which have reportedly already seen Vladimir Putin on the blower to the Saudi crown prince overnight.

There was more news out of the Middle East overnight, after Abu Dhabi’s International Holding, a fund held by the UAE royals, revealed that it was prepared to stand behind embattled mogul Gautam Adani, by throwing US$400 million onto the US$70 billion bonfire that Adani Enterprises has become.

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei has kicked off the day by falling 0.08%, while the Hang Seng has climbed 0.43% and Shanghai added 0.17% in very early trade.

And in crypto, Bitcoin’s recent bullish run has hit something of a speedbump, dumping 4.5% over the past 24 hours – something that might not have come as such a huge shock to some analysts who are (once again) touting ETH as the best of the longer-term prospects.

As always, Rob “It’ll all make sense eventually” Badman has all the details in this morning’s Mooners and Shakers – plus there’s an added bonus of actual, potentially free stuff in Badman’s round-up of crypto airdrops that may or may not be happening soon or possibly later, it’s all a little bit hard to pin down.



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for January 31 [intraday]:

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Leading the charge this morning is tech company IntelliHR (ASX:IHR), after news that the company has entered into a scheme implementation deed and is steaming towards being acquired holus bolus by Humanforce Holdings.

The IHR board has unanimously backed the scheme, most likely because it is underpinned by a massively generous offer that implies an equity value of $38.6 million, an attractive premium for IHR shareholders of:

  • 75% premium to the last trading price of IHR shares on 30 January 2023
  • 77% premium to the 1-month volume weighted average price (“VWAP”) of IHR shares
  • 80% premium to the 4-month VWAP of IHR shares

The news has sent IHR racing, up 66.6% so far today.

Meanwhile, Heavy Rare Earths (ASX:HRE) is rising fast today, off the back of fresh assay results from an additional 49 holes from its rare earth exploration and resource expansion drilling program at Cowalinya.

HRE is reporting that these are the highest grade results yet from the project, and feature:

  • AC225: 14 metres @ 3217 ppm TREO (32.5% magnet REOs) from 16 metres
    • including 6 metres @ 5848 ppm TREO from 24 metres
  • AC221: 10 metres @ 2087 ppm TREO (25.1% magnet REOs) from 17 metres
    • including 4 metres @ 4266 ppm TREO from 17 metres
  • AC223: 17 metres @ 1069 ppm TREO (26.3% magnet REOs) from 11 metres
    • including 4 metres @ 1897 ppm TREO from 23 metres
  • AC212: 14 metres @ 1033 ppm TREO (29.0% magnet REOs) from 22 metres
    • including 4 metres @ 2040 ppm TREO from 24 metres
  • AC244: 7 metres @ 895 ppm TREO (30.9% magnet REOs) from 20 metres

Today’s announcement from HRE follows a solid quarterly report from the company yesterday, pushing HRE 23.1% higher before lunch.

And our last one for the morning is AuKing Mining (ASX:AKN), which has added 19.1% this morning on news that the company has completed its acquisition of “various prospective uranium and copper licences in Tanzania”.

“Already this year, we have seen uranium prices push past US$50 per pound and demand is set to increase,” said AuKing CEO, Paul Williams.

“AuKing’s strategic pivot into this important energy sector commodity is a tremendous value-add for our company and its shareholders,” Williams added. “We expect investor interest to grow as we work up these prospective uranium projects in coming weeks and months with plenty of news flow on the horizon.”



Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for January 31 [intraday]:

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