Aussie markets have kicked off the first trading day of April with a gentle lift this morning, ahead of tomorrow’s meeting of the RBA board to decide which way it’s going to jump on interest rates.

Before we get too involved in all that, we’re off to Japan where the nation has been stunned by news that the annual Kanamara Matsuri festival has been forced to distance itself from a self-appointed costumed mascot, called Gachachin – mostly because it’s just a dude dressed as a dick.



It’s a completely understandable reaction, because there is no way in the world that thing is anything other than completely horrifying, or is designed to do anything other than haunt your dreams for the rest of your life.

Somebody call the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Kanamara Matsuri festival, it’s also known as the “Festival of the Steel Phallus”, a celebration of an ancient (possibly not 100% true) piece of folklore about a woman who had a demon take up residence in her hoo-haa.

The demon, it is said, would bite her husband on the penis to stop the couple from having a baby – so the woman asked the local blacksmith to make her a metal plonker, which she used to trick the demon into breaking his teeth.

… and if you believe that explanation for “Why is there a dildo under our bed, my dear?” then I’ve some ultra-great, 100% guaranteed-never-to-fail BNPL stock to sell you.



The ASX opened higher this morning, kicking off April madness with a 0.6% jump out of the gate, which peaked around 0.9% mid-morning before settling at 0.8% as we unwrapped our no-longer-appetising meatball subs for lunch. Blergh.

The morning’s only sector showing signs of weakness is Materials, down 0.88%, while the Energy sector has received a massive shot in the arm thanks to a surprise slashing of output from OPEC+ of more than 1 million barrels a day, abandoning the cartel’s previous assurances that supply would be held steady, and sending crude prices skyward by 5.5%.

The Energy sector is up 2.9%, with InfoTech in hot pursuit on +2.8%.

Among the large caps this morning, Karoon Energy (ASX:KAR) is up 6.8% after capping a loss of containment incident associated with a high pressure flare on the FPSO, Cidade de Itajaí.

Karoon expects production to resume in mid-April, and promises to keep us all in the loop if that timeline looks likely to change in any meaningful way.



Us markets ended the month well on Friday, with Wall Street in buying mode on the last day of the quarter after a raft of positive data releases. The S&P 500 closed Friday 1.44% higher, the Dow up 1.26%, and the Nasdaq by 1.74%, Earlybird Eddy Sunarto reports.

A slowdown in inflation figures for the US, and in the Eurozone, also had investors feeling pretty buoyant. Stateside, February’s personal consumption expenditure price index (excluding food and energy) rose 0.3% for the month, 0.1% lower than estimates and 0.2% below January’s increase.

In Europe, headline inflation for March was 6.9%, compared with February’s 8.5% – however, core inflation, which strips out energy, food, alcohol and tobacco prices, rose  5.7% in March, higher than February’s 5.6%.

In Japan, the Nikkei has risen 0.30% despite the massive penis kerfuffle, while in China, Shanghai’s markets are up 0.31% and the Hang Seng is pretty much flat in very early trade.

And in crypto, which I’ve been ignoring recently because – and I’m just being honest here – it’s mostly gibberish, BTC is apparently hovering around US$28k, but something went wrong with the Arbitrum token airdrop, and it’s not hovering in any way, shape or form.

Rob “Let Me Handle This” Badman, who knows what he’s talking about, has all the important details over at Mooners & Shakers.



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

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Code Company Price % Volume Market Cap
WBE Whitebark Energy 0.002 100% 7,500,000 $7,339,661
OLY Olympio Metals Ltd 0.19 73% 2,310,191 $4,311,617
CLZ Classic Min Ltd 0.0015 50% 29,884,592 $2,437,440
PNX PNX Metals Limited 0.003 50% 535,243 $10,761,249
OD6 Od6Metalsltd 0.305 49% 3,482,514 $11,278,177
ICN Icon Energy Limited 0.008 33% 641,800 $4,608,082
BML Boab Metals Ltd 0.26 33% 883,813 $34,020,240
EOS Electro Optic Sys. 0.6 32% 3,355,372 $77,912,383
LER Leaf Res Ltd 0.018 29% 2,082,758 $25,340,544
88E 88 Energy Ltd 0.0115 28% 122,140,255 $180,970,814
1AE Auroraenergymetals 0.12 26% 136,969 $11,661,647
RDN Raiden Resources Ltd 0.005 25% 18,344,994 $6,618,330
AQS Aquis Ent Ltd 0.18 24% 625,511 $5,179,281
AEV Avenira Limited 0.017 21% 12,726,367 $17,433,781
NWM Norwest Minerals 0.035 21% 1,008,249 $7,173,765
ADD Adavale Resource Ltd 0.018 20% 648,485 $7,792,891
HVM Happy Valley 0.06 20% 799 $10,626,477
LSR Lodestar Minerals 0.006 20% 100,818 $8,692,187
DM1 Desert Metals 0.13 18% 17,000 $7,979,519
AWJ Auric Mining 0.059 18% 87,859 $6,542,980
PPK PPK Group Limited 1.1 16% 177,151 $84,378,382
CTP Central Petroleum 0.072 16% 202,673 $45,214,148
C29 C29Metalslimited 0.145 16% 56,454 $5,170,864
LRD Lordresourceslimited 0.22 16% 35,420 $6,884,103
RCR Rincon 0.074 16% 13,532 $4,334,441
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The morning’s Small Caps winner – by quite a substantial margin – is Olympio Metals (ASX:OLY), up more than 77% on news that it’s inked a farm-in agreement with Liontown Resources (ASX:LTR) that would see LTR getting its digits into OLY’s Mulline and Mulwarrie lithium projects in the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia.

Under the deal, Liontown is set to complete 1,100 soil samples across the projects before progressing to Stage 1 of a two-stage earn-in.

All going to plan, Stage 1 will see Liontown end up with a 51% interest within one year, at which point Olympio can request to end the farm-in and to form a joint venture (JV) with Liontown funding 51% and Olympio 49%.

Alternatively, Olympio will have the option to continue the farm-in, seeing Liontown earn a further 39% within three years in Stage 2.

Meanwhile, OD6 Metals (ASX:OD6) has some great news back from the labs at ANSTO, where “very high metallurgical recoveries” have been achieved from samples taken from the company’s prospects.

The highest recoveries were achieved centrally within the main clay basins:

  • Prop Prospect – 44% to 96% recovery of MagREE (average 71%)
  • Centre Prospect – 54% to 78% recovery of MagREE (average 62%)
  • Scrum & Flanker Prospects – 64% and 76% recovery of MagREE respectively (one sample each).

OD6 says that an impressive leach response has been observed, suggesting reductions in acid strength are possible.

The company says ~80-90% of magnet rare earth oxides (MagREO) are located in the fine clay hosted size fraction (<75μm), and 30-50% reductions in material to be leached can be achieved by removing the coarse grained clays.

Electro Optic Systems (ASX:EOS) has revealed that its Defence Systems business has secured a contract with SpetsTechnoExport (“STE”), a Ukrainian state-owned foreign trade enterprise, to supply up to 100 EOS heavy RWS units to Ukraine, including spares and related services.

The contract, worth around $120 million over 2023-24, is conditional on demonstration testing over the coming weeks, and subject to other customary terms for military contracts.

EOS is trading 32% higher today on the news.



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

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

Lu Company Price % Volume Market Cap
AVE Avecho Biotech Ltd 0.006 -33% 4,613,707 $16,540,824
AXP AXP Energy Ltd 0.002 -33% 75,015 $17,474,042
CCE Carnegie Cln Energy 0.001 -33% 511,333 $23,463,861
EMU EMU NL 0.002 -20% 118,944 $3,625,053
FIJ Fiji Kava Limited 0.004 -20% 2,577,501 $1,923,005
GCR Golden Cross 0.004 -20% 197,983 $5,486,281
MCT Metalicity Limited 0.002 -20% 225,000 $8,761,348
PUA Peak Minerals Ltd 0.004 -20% 226,600 $5,206,883
EVG Evion Group NL 0.055 -18% 715,000 $18,719,547
VRX VRX Silica Ltd 0.105 -16% 338,772 $70,050,379
RNX Renegade Exploration 0.017 -15% 8,646,151 $18,633,676
AGR Aguia Res Ltd 0.04 -15% 853,419 $20,391,150
ADS Adslot Ltd. 0.006 -14% 1,000,000 $15,430,439
EMP Emperor Energy Ltd 0.02 -13% 547,284 $6,183,837
ROC Rocketboots 0.096 -13% 839 $3,492,500
KGD Kula Gold Limited 0.014 -13% 1,394,690 $5,779,391
M24 Mamba Exploration 0.105 -13% 327,516 $7,318,001
OJC The Original Juice 0.11 -12% 14,553 $30,573,849
AOA Ausmon Resorces 0.004 -11% 692,505 $4,361,802
TSL Titanium Sands Ltd 0.008 -11% 485,433 $12,657,581
FPP Fat Prophets G P F 0.65 -11% 58,208 $16,527,631
RFX Redflow Limited 0.245 -11% 440,678 $49,422,825
WYX Western Yilgarn NL 0.094 -10% 27,127 $4,324,163
DEV Devex Resources Ltd 0.27 -10% 280,347 $111,233,573
EIQ Echoiq Ltd 0.135 -10% 9,962 $68,443,781
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