Five long, looooong years ago, the world woke up on January 31st to be greeted by some extremely unsettling news.

Top Scienticians from Cambridge University (big place, lots of sandstone, somewhere in Engerland… you can’t miss it) revealed to the world that they believed they’d found the earliest known ancestor of the human race.

People were, understandably, quite excited about the revelation – until, that is, they found out what it was… a 540 million-year-old fossil of a 1mm-long squishy jellybean with a giant mouth, no eyes, and no arse. Ew.

It was a bit of a slap in the face, made all the worse when the paleobiologist who made the announcement, Professor Simon Conway Morris, revealed he’d called it Saccorhytus coronarious, not knowing precisely how unbelievably radioactive any name with the word “corona” in it would become a few short years later.

Anyway – the good news this morning is that we, as a species, are not related to this half-billion-year-old microscopic gobbling scrotum. And we have Professor Philip Donoghue, from the far-less-posh University of Bristol to thank for that.

Prof Donoghue went out looking for as many of these fossilised oddities as he could, and then spent way too many late nights taking a good, hard look at them under a microscope.

asx lunch Memphasys
Great great great great great great great AllMouth NoButt the Third. Pic via a microscope.

Now, this bit is a tad on the sciency side, so forgive us – it turns out that the bits the boffins originally thought were primitive gills are actually just holes where the wee beastie’s teeth had fallen out.

What that means is that it couldn’t possibly belong to a branch of our ancestral family tree, known as Deuterostomes, as those are characterised (partially) by the fact that they have holes they can breathe through.

They also start life in an embryonic state, during which time they develop a hole to poop from and then, as something of an afterthought, develop a hole they can use to eat things so that they have something to poop out of the hole that they poop from.

Hence the name Deuterostome – deutero meaning “second”, and stome meaning butt.

Anyway, the gross things they thought we developed from turn out to be ecdysozoans, where things like spiders come from. All of which gives rise to the notion that millions of years ago there were trillions of tiny spiders that were all mouth and fangs, terminally ill-tempered because they crapped out of their mouths.

And on that delightful mental image, let’s go find some mind-cleansing numbers to burn the horrors from our minds.



Aussie markets are off to a poor start today, falling 46 points to 7.081.5 before rallying at 10.30 for a ponderous climb as the morning wore on, finding itself down 0.24% at midday but striving to do better.

Consumer Discretionary (-1.38%), Industrials (-1.20%), Real Estate (-1.40%), InfoTech (-1.62%) and Utilities (-1.61%) all have a serious case of the handbrakes this morning.

However, a strong showing by both Health Care (+1.41%) and Energy (+2.02%) seems to be providing something of a guiding light.

Talk of the Top End of Town is IPH (ASX:IPH), which released a set of fab-looking results, including such highlights as a 34% jump in Underlying EBITDA $137.4 million, and a 3.4% jump in divided to $0.34 per share.

Undeniably nice numbers, which the market has rewarded with a corker of a surge, up 13.3% to a whisker under $10 per by lunchtime.

Obviously, with so many sectors so deep in the red, there were bound to be a bunch of big players on the loser list… to many to mention individually, but the highlights include Regis Resources (ASX:RRL), which shed 8% this morning after issuing a heads up that Statutory Net Profit After Tax for the year ended 30 June 2022 will be landing somewhere between $10m and $20m.

That’s a pretty big window, and it’s in entirely the wrong place for shareholder value – but it looks like it’s in exactly the right spot to allow investors to start tossing RRL’s share price out into the street.

Meanwhile, Pointsbet (ASX:PBH) seems to have stopped see-sawing – unfortunately on a downswing – losing another 6.25% this morning, and Super Retail Group (ASX:SUL) gave back all of yesterday’s nice gains (and then some), dropping 6% so far today.

Let’s see if things are any better overseas…



Apparently, they are not. In the US, the S&P 500 and Dow Jones fell for the first time this week, down by around half a per cent, while the Nasdaq also slipped 1.25%.

Early Eddy Sunarto says that the much awaited July FOMC meeting minutes were released, indicating that Fed members considered slowing down rate hikes going forward.

During a meeting in which the Fed approved a 0.75% rate hike, participants noted that 2.25%-2.50% range (current range) for the federal funds rate was around the “neutral” level that is neither supportive nor restrictive on activity.

Meanwhile, Reddit is positively foaming at the mouth at the fact that meme stock Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ:BBBY) jumped by another 11% last night, taking its price surge to over 500% in the last three months to reach US$23. That’s making an absolute mockery of more than a few analysts’ recommendations that it’s a Sell, with a price target of less than 10% of that figure.

In Asia this morning, things are sub-optimal as well. The Nikkei is down -0.80%, Hong Kong down -0.57% and Shanghai down -0.51%.

In commodities, there’s not a huge difference anywhere, but where change has occurred, it’s not been the kind we like.

Oil dipped 0.07%, and gas slumped 0.22%, along with silver which has fallen 0.41%. Gold has inched up 0.07% and copper – dear, sweet little copper – has managed to wriggle its feet into a +0.01% move.

In CryptoWorld – where the money’s pretend and you’re not allowed to save any JPGs – Rob Badman reports that Bitcoin and Ethereum’s weekend exuberance ended with firm rejection, although BTC has presently found some support in between US$23k and $23.5k, while ETH is clinging on a bit under $1,850.

There’s loads more to learn from Badman’s Mooners and Shakers. Go there when you’re done here.



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for August 18 [intraday]:

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

Code Company Price % Volume Market Cap
MEM Memphasys Ltd 0.055 83% 1,601,751 $23,765,350.11
LKY Locksleyresources 0.09 50% 23,592 $2,066,835.06
ANL Amani Gold Ltd 0.0015 50% 992,527 $23,693,441.13
ROO Roots Sustainable 0.005 43% 9,309,779 $2,623,714.41
TAS Tasman Resources Ltd 0.017 31% 3,306,883 $8,724,979.46
CMX Chemxmaterials 0.23 28% 211,038 $8,341,335.18
BCA Black Canyon Limited 0.26 27% 315,848 $9,141,457.17
HMG Hamelingoldlimited 0.2 25% 288,855 $17,600,000.00
GNM Great Northern 0.005 25% 777,085 $6,836,203.90
ATR Astron Corp Ltd 0.8 22% 53,217 $80,222,486.09
DAF Discovery Alaska Ltd 0.084 22% 518,059 $15,472,194.16
MMG Monger Gold Ltd 0.365 22% 1,636,124 $12,012,000.00
SZL Sezzle Inc. 0.88 21% 13,483,327 $148,921,018.95
CBE Cobre 0.355 20% 16,927,108 $59,619,185.83
AXP AXP Energy Ltd 0.006 20% 233,000 $29,060,903.37
IR1 Irismetals 0.77 19% 168,553 $38,616,150.00
NGY Nuenergy Gas Ltd 0.026 18% 40,000 $32,581,020.93
AQX Alice Queen Ltd 0.0035 17% 5,000,000 $6,348,544.03
GLV Global Oil & Gas 0.0035 17% 164,599 $5,620,064.12
MTH Mithril Resources 0.007 17% 6,465,570 $17,581,398.25
NAE New Age Exploration 0.007 17% 190,000 $8,615,393.46
RMX Red Mount Min Ltd 0.007 17% 3,862,279 $9,854,183.15
TSC Twenty Seven Co. Ltd 0.0035 17% 1,316,765 $7,982,441.72
CNJ Conico Ltd 0.052 16% 93,586,246 $65,354,554.98
PPG Pro-Pac Packaging 0.45 15% 146,802 $31,633,059.90
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In Small Caps news – and, let’s be honest, it’s why we’re all here – spermy bio-tech Memphasys (ASX:MEM) has exploded to a 72.0% climb since breakfast after announcing a $3.36 million capital raising to accelerate commercialisation of its Felix IVF system and continue development of other product pipeline products.

Black Canyon (ASX:BCA) spiked 27% after announcing good news in a scoping study evaluating the potential development of the Flanagan Bore Manganese Project, in WA’s Pilbara region.

And minnow mineral sands miner Astron appears to have caught the market’s eye for no reason, but it’s up 25% this morning as well.

Because somebody, somewhere is apparently a fan of Bert Newton’s Third Law of Market Dynamics, there’s an equal but opposite mystery at Equus (ASX:EQE) this morning. It’s down 11.5% on no news since 19 July and just $57 worth of volume.

But the Sad Trombone Award this morning belongs to Kalium Lakes (ASX:KLL), which went into a trading halt on 9 August, came out of the halt today, announced it’s found firm commitments for $22 million to sort out a debt restructure and then sank like a stone, down more than 40%.



Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for August 18 [intraday]:

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

Code Company Price % Volume Market Cap
KLL Kalium Lakes Ltd 0.053 -42% 10,538,244 $108,717,523.69
DW8 DW8 Limited 0.0105 -30% 33,351,235 $39,679,834.41
AUH Austchina Holdings 0.008 -20% 2,339,574 $20,368,327.32
CFO Cfoam Limited 0.004 -20% 66,667 $3,669,203.17
MGG Mogul Games Grp Ltd 0.002 -20% 1,504,600 $8,158,603.01
ROG Red Sky Energy. 0.004 -20% 355,942 $26,511,135.99
BAT Battery Minerals Ltd 0.005 -17% 2,520,667 $17,551,454.07
AJQ Armour Energy Ltd 0.006 -14% 359,686 $15,809,156.13
KIN KIN Min NL 0.078 -14% 1,738,203 $78,818,189.18
88E 88 Energy Ltd 0.0095 -14% 109,948,771 $182,712,281.47
SHN Sunshine Gold Ltd 0.026 -13% 380,000 $14,034,681.90
SKN Skin Elements Ltd 0.02 -13% 68,628 $9,964,227.12
VAL Valor Resources Ltd 0.007 -13% 1,008,000 $29,268,278.32
WFL Wellfully Limited 0.035 -13% 737,683 $11,147,889.20
TTI Traffic Technologies 0.015 -12% 1,200,000 $12,276,893.18
EQE Equus Mining Ltd 0.115 -12% 500 $22,630,004.02
FOS FOS Capital Ltd 0.21 -11% 20,000 $3,126,942.67
14D 1414 Degrees Limited 0.089 -10% 50,238 $19,996,560.34
ADS Adslot Ltd. 0.009 -10% 611,550 $22,044,786.56
NTI Neurotech Intl 0.099 -10% 1,797,478 $76,746,903.86
BUX Buxton Resources Ltd 0.095 -10% 49,940 $15,312,054.87
MM8 Medallion Metals. 0.19 -10% 60,000 $22,541,758.26
RDM Red Metal Limited 0.077 -9% 150,000 $20,875,298.16
MHC Manhattan Corp Ltd 0.01 -9% 409,999 $16,789,065.62
PKO Peako Limited 0.02 -9% 1,094,904 $6,785,990.22
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