And we’re off! Welcome to 2023 everybody – I trust you’ve had an enjoyable long weekend, relaxing while the clean-up crew put the brooms through the ASX and got everything looking spiffy and shiny ahead of whatever it is that 2023 is going to deliver.

Aussie markets have kicked off the new year with a bolt out of the starter’s gate, stacking on 0.4% in the first 10 minutes, thanks to a market that’s been starved of activity over the New Years Eve long weekend.

But then it crapped the bed, because of course it did.

Someone else who most likely sh-t his bed recently was Manchester man Des Breakey, who embarked on an epically ridiculous fundraising campaign, which he labelled a “kebabathon”, and pretty much everyone else labelled “a total misfire”.

The 36-year-old father of two, who is very likely quite a nice guy but also clearly a moron, set out to raise 1,000 quid for a children’s hospice in the UK, by eating nothing but four kebabs a day through the entire month of December.

That’s a grand total of 124 badly-packed instruments of crippling intestinal distress, all of which for some unfathomable reason, Breakey decided to eat in the evenings, starving himself throughout the day so that he’d be hungry enough to put all four of them away before bedtime.

The endeavour left Breakey, in his own words, “physically and psychologically damaged”. This is completely unsurprising, considering that’s an Elvis-killing 250,000 calories worth of highly questionable “meat”, with just a light spattering of “fresh salad ingredients” and stout black “Kebab Guy” chest hairs for flavouring.

“It was a breeze for the first two weeks. But the last two weeks it got a bit messy,” Breakey told local media, no doubt referring to both his state of mind and the condition of his toilet.

Breakey spent between £5 to £15 on each of the 124 kebabs, with the cost offset by the occasional “donor kebab” (geddit?) – but even with a few freebies thrown in, it looks like this is a fundraising campaign that was about as well thought-through as this attempt by Evel Knievel to jump his Harley Davidson over the fountain at Caesar’s Palace on New Years Eve, 1967.


Hahaaaa… look at him go! What a dope.

Anyway… back to Des ‘The Human Gut Cramp’ Breakey, and his terrible ability to perform basic mathematics.

If we (quite generously) average out the cost to a mere £8 per kebab, it works out that he destroyed his insides from belly to butthole, and gave his mental health a proper kicking, and spent about £994 to do it.

Which puts the £1,000 he raised (and his ability to really think things through) in a whole new light, especially once you factor in the 9,000 rolls of poo tickets he would have blasted through from around Day 5 until the end of the month.

We eagerly await Breakey’s next charity fundraiser, which aims to raise £10 to buy a new kettle for the ladies of the Greater Wimslow Tea Appreciation Society.

To hit that goal, Breakey will subsist on a diet of cold tea and stale scones for 18 years, and then set fire to £50,000 of his own cold, hard cash. #NotReally.



Australian markets were off to a great start for the year. At 8am AEDT, as Earlybird Eddy Sunarto reported, the ASX 200 Jan futures contract was pointing up by 0.50% – and it was 100% bang on the money, for about 10 minutes, before it was totally, totally wrong.

It was a glorious 10 minutes, though, which saw the benchmark fly up 0.5%, before performing an abrupt about-face and diving for the ditches.

By 11:00am, the benchmark was down 0.5%, as the dawning realisation that we’re all back at work nursing NYE hangovers and it’s going to be a long, looooong haul through to 4:00pm.

By lunchtime, we’re down 1.87%, and I don’t know about you lot, but I’m about ready to pack it in for the year already.

I don’t know why I was expecting today to be a big, bright start to the new year – call it rampant optimism or newbie stupidity – but I haven’t been as disappointed as this since the year that everyone, including me, forgot what day my birthday was on.

Neuren Pharmaceuticals (ASX:NEU) is the only Large Cap in the winners circle in early trade today, putting on 4.65% on no news.

There are some big names shedding value this morning, though – mostly the usual suspects who are at the mercy of international energy prices and / or exposed to the somewhat mercurial nature of the lithium market at the moment.

Pilbara (ASX:PLS), Whitehaven (ASX:WHC), New Hope (ASX:NHC) and Liontown (ASX:LTR) are all trading lower today, losing between 3.5% – 4.3% as the morning wore on.



There’s nothing to report from the US in terms of market activity, as the NYSE is still closed for the holidays.

Plus, America is also reeling from the news that Jeremy “The Green Lantern” Renner somehow managed to run over himself with his own snow plow, so even if the markets had been open overnight, we doubt anyone would have been able to focus on boring stuff like buying shares.

In Asia this morning, there’s no news from Japan because the market there is closed – possibly obliterated by a swarm of mechanised cyborg warriors with bad haircuts and  ludicrously massive swords that shoot laserbeams out the end, while hardcore 200bpm dance music blasted at ear-shattering volumes and everyone had seizures because of all the flashing lights.

I must stress that those reports remain unconfirmed at this stage, and there’s every likelihood that the Tokyo Stock Exchange is simply just closed for a market holiday.

And if you’re thinking “Hang on there, Japan – another day off? Isn’t that being a little bit lazy?”, then check this out.

The Montenegro Stock Exchange (it’s a real thing… look it up) is closed today for “New Years Day”. It’s also closed tomorrow for “New Years Day”, and closed again on the 5th and the 6th, but those are for “Christmas Day”, so the market there will reopen on the 9th.

Meanwhile China is in the grip of a national citrus squeeze, with the price of oranges and lemons (and other zesty sources of Vitamin C) soaring alongside the value of other traditional Chinese medicine ingredients, as Covid continues to trample its way across the mainland, and out through China’s airports.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng is sinking in early trade, down more than 2.0% since opening, while in Shanghai, the markets are as ponderous as ever, down 0.35% so far and wobbling like Winnie the Pooh’s fat arse.

In crypto news, Solana has apparently had its wounds cauterised and is on the mend, and there’s a newcomer into the Top 10 – crypto exchange OKX’s OKB utility token, which is up 6.0% this morning.

It’s little wonder it’s performing well and investors are throwing their money behind it – because nothing quite screams “100% iron-clad above board and not at all dodgy” than the phrase “Crypto exchange founded in China but based in The Seychelles”, right?


Anyhoo – the rest of the crypto market’s news, including the deadly-serious public spat between Barry Silbert, the CEO of Digital Currency Group and one of those weird-looking Winklevoss Twins (not sure which one, but it doesn’t really matter).

Silbert allegedly owes them A LOT of money – like, nearly $1 billion genuine American dollars – so, of course, they’re earning their outrageous incomes by writing public letters to each other on Twitter, which would be funny if it wasn’t such a huge deal.

But it is still funny, though – the corporate equivalent of “handbags at 20 paces”.

You can read all the juicy goss in Rob “Back from the Bahamas” Badman over at Mooners and Shakers.



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for January 3 [intraday]:

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Leading the New Year’s first burst of Small Cap winners is GreenX Metals (ASX:GRX), which has gone on a completely inexplicable 26.5% surge on absolutely no news since well before Christmas… so either something’s happened in Poland that we don’t know about yet, or the surge in price and volume is going to attract a stern letter from the ASX demanding to know what’s going on. #HereWeGoAgain #WelcomeTo2023

Rising for a reason, however, is Mach7 Technologies (ASX:M7T), which has climbed 21% this morning after announcing a $16.7 million sales deal with a new client, NASDAQ listed outpatient radiology service provider Akumin Inc.

“The agreement with Akumin involves Mach7’s entire Enterprise Imaging Platform including its Vendor Neutral Archive (VNA), eUnity Diagnostic Viewer and Workflow Applications to provide a true cloud-based, enterprise-wide imaging and informatics solution,” the company says.

PolarX (ASX:PXX) is riding high again today, climbing 15% on substantial volume, clearly still dining out on the news of Northern Star’s (ASX:NST) 10% buy-in from what seems like a million years ago.



Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for January 3 [intraday]:

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