It’s been a big week in the air for France, with a couple of stories that have blipped on the radar that are worthy of a quick mention as we take a moist towelette to give our brains a quick wipe down before ordering a foot-long monstrosity from Subway and then hating ourselves for it.

For starters, it’s a bad day to be wealthy in France, after the Le Taxman (that’s French for The Taxman) got all high-tech and fancy in its hunt for hidden wealth.

The target? Sneaky French folks who have failed to disclose to the government that they have a swimming pool lurking in their backyard – because, in true French egalitarian fashion, there’s a pool tax of around $300 a year for your average-sized backyard mosquito-farm.

The government there has taken to the skies, sending out drones that are Harnessing The Power of Artificial Intelligence to spot swimming pools from the air, and help the government rake in potentially hundreds of euros in fines.

Far be it from the French to take issue with their government – the long, rich history of taking to the streets and setting the whole of Paris on fire is recognised around the world as France’s national sport, with the government beside itself trying to figure out a way to maybe win at least one fiery match.

But if the French Taxman thinks that by being airborne, there won’t be a barney with the locals, they can think again…  a couple of French pilots proved that even 10,000m in the air, the French are ready and surprisingly willing to punch on.

According to a report by the French La Tribune daily, the pilot and co-pilot of an Air France flight from Geneva to Paris got into a full-on fist fight, we assume over whose turn it was to make the deep-voiced announcement over the speaker.

It’s the last thing you’d want to hear if you’re already a nervous flyer, because it’d obviously be hard to disguise the sound of being punched in the face while trying to let the passengers know that if they look out the left side of the aircraft, they’ll see a drone issuing fines to the bather-clad Bourgeoisie.



Aussie markets are back to their winning ways this morning, after yesterday’s blood-letting that left more than a couple of companies licking their wounds.

The benchmark shook off the shackles of US imperialism, ignoring Wall Street’s limp progress overnight, opening with a 35 point jump to bang-on 7,000 points, and we’re heading into lunch with about a +0.5% lift beneath our wings.

Across the sectors, and there are some big holes to be climbed out of after Monday’s troubled performance. Energy (+1.87%) and Information Technology (+1.24%) are leading the way, however Materials (-0.21%) is dragging, after a fairly solid run of positive growth.

There’s only one Billion Dollar Baby in the winner’s charts today: Omni Bridgeway (+10.1%) has issued its FY22 report, showing a profit turnaround from -$18.4 million in FY21 to a profit of $6.5 million for FY22.

As far as profits go, it’s by no means enormous, or even large… we believe the technical term for it is “freakishly small”, considering Omni’s got nearly $3 billion in funds under management, and spent an eye-watering $59.1 million on payroll (and $25.5 millon on ‘other stuff’) for the year.

Not having a great Tuesday is Sandfire Resources, which has fallen nearly 6% after sending mixed messages while it flirted with investors this morning. On the one hand, Sandfire was making come-hither eyes with reports of a copper project expansion.

However, it soon became obvious that investors would be paying for everything while out on the date, when Sandfire revealed that its net profit after tax attributable to equity holders was $111.4 million, down from $128.6 million in FY21.

Also losing grround was Grrange Resources (ASX:GRR), whose grruesome slide from yesterday continued to grrind away at its price, down another -9.74%. Grr, said investors. Grr, indeed.



Overnight, Wall Street simply never looked like a winner. The Nasdaq, Dow and S&P looked tired and withdrawn even before the fight began, and could barely keep their gloves up to protect their heads as investors landed leg-kicks and liver-punches at will.

By the time the bell rang, the S&P 500 was down by 0.67%, the Dow Jones by 0.57%, and tech-heavy Nasdaq by 1.02% – barely worth the price of admission to the fight.

Early Morning Eddy Sunarto reports that US Treasury yields edged up as bonds extended their selloff following Fed chairman Jerome Powell’s remarks on Friday that there won’t be a Fed pivot anytime soon.

The 10-year yield edged 8bp higher, while the 2-year yield rose 4bp sending most tech stocks tumbling.

In Asian markets this morning, things are as mixed as the fortunes of McLaren’s F1 drivers, with Japan’s Nikkei performing quite well, up +1.03%.

But it’s saggy old tracky-dacks and eating ice cream straight from the tub in front of a Ru Paul re-run for Hong Kong, down -1.82%, while Shanghai continues to wander off on its own inscrutable journey, down 0.54% because of reasons.

At the commodities desk, there is ought but the rending of garments and gnashing of teeth, as everything slides slowly into the sea.

Oil is down 0.31%, natural gas is down 1.33%, gold is -0.13%, silver is down 0.64% and copper is down 0.75%, because they’re all a bunch of miserable bastards.

In Crypto Corner, where the price charts resemble the EKG of a man driving a tractor over a ploughed field with a weight tied to his testes, the big news is that the rumoured dump of 140,000 BTC onto the market is, in fact, a hoax.

You can’t see us right now, but we’re all making ironic “shocked faces”.

There’s more news about crypto, of course, and Stockhead’s own Rob “Captain Crypto” Badman has the good oil on it all in Mooners & Shakers.



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for August 30 [intraday]:

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In Small Caps, the biggest winner by far is Advanced Human Imaging (ASX:AHI) which went through the freakin’ roof this morning, climbing past +95.0% to $0.245 so fast that the ASX had no choice but to slam on the brakes.

We’re still waiting on an explanation, which we’ll provide in our Closing Bell segment this arvo.

Also on the rise this morning was Beyond International (ASX:BYI), which has been putting on a great show since 11 August on no identifiable news, but possibly because it promised to never, ever produce another season of dog-grooming horror show Pooch Perfect.

Copping a pounding this morning, however, was Vita Group (ASX:VTG), down 18% off the back of a -$7.4 million NPAT for FY22, and AF Legal (ASX:AFL) was down AF, shedding 17% despite a really upbeat performance report for the past financial year.

There’s a possibility that investors have confused AF Legal’s stock ticker with that of the actual AFL, and punished the lawyers unfairly for West Coast’s utterly dismal performance against Geelong a couple of weekends back.



Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for August 19 [intraday]:

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