Aussie markets opened with a bang, thanks to a 1.1% jump after a decent night for Wall Street, while Kula Gold (ASX:KGD) is leading the winners this morning.

But first, to China – where the issuing of directives and edicts is rapidly eclipsing Panda Wrestling as the national sport.

We’re quite used to China deciding things and then telling us about it – stuff like “See this bit of the map? That’s ours. And that bit there? Also ours. And this little bit here? Totally ours, and the people there are lying when they say that it isn’t”.

But the latest edict from the Powers That Be in China has ruffled a few feathers, after a senior official came straight out and said “Please, everyone, don’t touch the foreigners. Like, at all, because Monkeypox.”

China’s Health Chief Wu Zunyou also told the population of China not to touch anyone who’s been abroad recently, and then expanded that to basically “keep your mitts off any and all strangers”.

It comes on the heels of China admitting that it has had a confirmed case of the disease, which spreads through skin-to-skin contact – hence the draconian Hug Ban, which threatens to completely scuttle China’s international image as the World’s Friendliest Dictatorship.

Considering disease in China often spreads faster than other people’s intellectual property, maybe it’s a wise call from a government that will almost definitely get called all sorts of nasty names on Weibo if it starts locking people in their homes again if a Monkeypox outbreak there really kicks off.

And now, time for some lighter news, as we collapse into the warm embrace of a market that’s behaving itself for a change.



After a reasonable spell on Wall Street overnight, local markets got off to a solid start with a 1.1% boost straight out of the gate, carrying enough market momentum to stay largely around the +1.2% mark for the bulk of the morning session.

Across the sectors, and it’s strong performances from Utilities (+1.54%), Materials (+1.54%) and Energy (+1.62%) driving gains today, leaving lonely little Health Care in need of medical attention as it quietly bleeds the only speck of red, down -0.12%.

In the Billionaire’s Clubhouse, New Hope Corporation (ASX:NHC) is up +6.41% after a positive FY22 results announcement that includes a massive 330% jump in Underlying EBITDA (before non-regular items) to $1,577m, and a note that the company expects record cash generation to continue while demand outstrips supply.

That has helped Brickworks (ASX:BKW) climb significantly this morning, thanks to BKW owning an appreciable chunk of New Hope.

Time to look at what’s happening overseas. But we’ll do it quietly… don’t want to upset the applecart when things are looking so Golden Delicious.



It was a much nicer night on Wall Street than we’ve seen in recent times, with the major indices into the green and feelin’ pretty groovy despite things getting a bit volatile throughout the session.

The Dow added +0.64%, the S&P did nicely to add +0.69% and the tech bro Nasdaq put on +0.76%.

Eddie Sunarto reports that US President Joe Biden woke up long enough to declare that the Covid-19 pandemic was over, despite 400 Americans dying from it every day.

Biden’s comments caused something of a mini collapse for vaccine stocks, with Moderna slipping by 7%.

The bright days on Wall Street could be shortlived, however, with a US Fed meeting on Wednesday that is tipped to deliver an interest rate hike of 75bps – 100bps, which the markets are never fans of.

In Asia, things are looking pretty healthy today as well, with Japan’s Nikkei up +0.46%, and Hong Kong climbing +1.01% so far today. Shanghai is joining the party as well, addding +0.42%.

In commodities, oil (+0.2%) and gas (+1.32%) have both risen as the market tightened overnight.

Precious and useful metals are also selling higher today, with gold, silver and copper up +0.47%,  +1.22% and +0.73% respectively.

In The Crypto Conundrum, where That Coin You Love is possibly up, maybe down, it’s honestly anyone’s guess, and Ethereum is still licking its gaping wounds as the market adjusts to a post-Merge World.

The seismic shift that was meant to see ETH become something more than pretend money isn’t likely to be a mortal wound – but the bleeding needs to stop, with analysts now saying that November is when the entire market is going to bottom out.

Rob “Hand me the Band-Aids” Badman has more on ETH and the rest of crypto in Mooners & Shakers.



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for September 20 [intraday]:

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Topping the Small Caps charts this morning is Kula Gold (ASX:KGD), which has climbed another 30.4% this morning on top of yesterday’s late (but substantial) gains, following its announcement of plans to raise $1.8m to expedite WA lithium exploration and “assess new opportunities in the sector”.

The placement will be undertaken at $0.02 per share, below its current $0.03 mark, probably because Kula said the Magic Lithium Word in its announcement and that always gets the blood rushing among investors.

Also climbing on top of the table for a quick boogie this morning is MC Mining (ASX:MCM), thanks in no small part to the surge in coal price that has helped drive the Energy sector skyward in recent weeks.



Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for September 20 [intraday]:

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