Sweet Baby Jeebus, it’s a post-Christmas miracle! The ASX has opened higher on the last trading day of 2022, just like the old gypsy at the Renaissance Faire told me it would, shortly before cursing me to forget my investment strategy for the year, which was “only buy stuff that goes up”.

Serves me right for slashing the tyres on her house, I guess, but anyway…

The benchmark climbed 0.6% at open (-0.3% below what some were predicting) and, while certainly a lot more tremulous than we’d like it to be, it’s doing its darndest to stay above water, snapping a losing streak that had just about everyone ready to stuff the whole of 2022 into a brown paper bag, set it on fire and leave on the doorstep of the ASX.

There was definitely something positive in the air this morning… a sense that something, somewhere, had gone horribly right – and out of the clutter of the morning’s headlines, one story has shone through like a beacon.

A veritable lighthouse in the murk of a year that can only be described, using the words of our former monarch Queen Elizabeth II herself, as an annus horribilis.

(It’s Latin, and it doesn’t mean what it looks like it means, but it may as well mean that, because it’s undeniably been a sh-t year for just about everyone).

Today’s happy news, however, focuses on one of the most spectacular falls from (relative) grace the world has seen for quite some time, after Internet Alpha Male Blowhard Andrew Tate was bundled into a police van in Romania over claims of human trafficking, organised crime and rape.

The arrest caps an extremely rough few days for Tate, and it really couldn’t have happened to a nicer bloke.

Here’s a taste of what he’s all about, offering his tips on “wealth creation” in a self-promotional video that 100% looks like it’s meant to be satire.

 

 

When he’s not busy Creating Wealth… TO THE MAX!!!!™, Tate had allegedly been busying himself doing some really, really terrible things.

In April 2022, officials in Romania raided a luxury villa belonging to Tate and his brother Tristan, where they found two young women, including one American citizen, who said they were being held against their will.

Since then, it appears that Tate has been a tad slippery, staying beyond the reach of Romanian authorities who had, allegedly, been building a case against the Tate brothers.

But this week, it all went wrong for Tate, who picked a fight on Twitter with Enviro-Teen Sensation Greta Thunberg, using one of his many super-expensive cars to try to flex on Thunberg and the world in general.

Thunberg’s response was as effective as it was brutal.

 

 
Tate responded – because of course he did – at one point posting a video with his trademark cigar… but in all the excitement, he forgot he was supposed to be hiding from the fuzz.

A pizza box on the table in front of him in the video was enough for Romanian police to confirm precisely where he was, and the rest (and the arrest) is history.

What effect the arrest will have on Tate’s plans to teach his devotees how to kickbox the very notion of abject poverty itself remains to be seen – but even Tate’s most ardent supporters wouldn’t have had “rotting in a depths of a Romanian prison” high on their list of how they’d expected to see their hero ringing in the New Year.

 

TO MARKETS

As we giggle our way towards the last lunch break of 2022, the ASX is still pushing valiantly towards a win for the day, hovering around +0.4% but clearly a little winded.

Across the sectors, InfoTech is leading the charge so far today, stacking on 1.94% by lunchtime and well ahead of Energy (+1.04%), Health Care (+0.69%) and the Telcos (+0.61%).

Real Estate is still in dumps, though, backing up a poor performance yesterday with another -0.39% dip this morning, as that market falls victim to upward pressure on bond yields fuelled by fears of recession in 2023.

The Best of the Big Kids is Brainchip (ASX:BRN), up 8.27% on no news that I can see – so it’s probably just the ability of Brainchip’s AI to see into the future that’s driving the price spike.

Our old friend Sayona (ASX:SYA) is swinging like a chimp on a tyre again today, up 6.94% because it does what it wants, when it wants, and that’s just the way it’s going to be.

And it doesn’t happen very often, but the biggest loser so far this morning is also one of the big value players on the market. Link Administration (ASX:LNK) plummeted 40.2% on its first day of trading without shareholders being entitled to one PEXA share for every 7.52 Link shares.

 

NOT THE ASX

In the US overnight, Wall Street finally decided to come to the party with a rally led by the tech sector that saw the NASDAQ up 2.59%, the S&P 1.75% higher and the Dow up a more modest 1.05%.

European stocks closed broadly lower, amid choppy trade ahead of the new year, but the new year could bring a revival, reports Emma “Stunt Eddy” Davies this morning.

“There’s certainly a strong sense of holiday trade to the markets today, with light news flow combined with lower liquidity creating choppy but ultimately insignificant moves,” Oanda’s senior market analyst, U.K. & EMEA, Craig Erlam said.

“It very much feels like we’re now just drifting into 2023 at which point I expect things will quickly pick up again.” #AmazingInsights #ThankYouCaptainObvious.

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei has climbed a scant 0.21%, held back by news Japan’s workforce is really feeling the pinch as the year winds to a close – so much so that a 50-year-old man in Toyonaka, Osaka Prefecture, has been arrested after “faking his own attempted murder” by stabbing himself because he was feeling exhausted from work.

In China, the markets are greener than a Panda Bear’s bamboo, with Shanghai reporting a 0.53% boost in early trade. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng is driving even harder for a win this morning, up 1.63% so far.

In crypto, things are largely static among the majors except for XRP, which is – it must be said – having a bit of a shocker. Between that, yet another crypto hack, and stolen money flying around all over the place, crypto is on track to end the year in a state of absolute chaos.

You can read all about that over at Mooners and Shakers, which Rob “I’m out of the office” Badman would have written, except that he’s… well… out of the office. So I did it instead.

 

ASX SMALL CAP WINNERS

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

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

Code Company Price % Volume Market Cap
WBE Whitebark Energy 0.0015 50% 212,856 $6,464,886
ADY Admiralty Resources 0.008 33% 752,900 $7,821,475
PRM Prominence Energy 0.002 33% 62,438 $3,636,913
FFT Future First Tech 0.029 26% 468,058 $15,633,670
AUH Austchina Holdings 0.01 25% 10,921,252 $16,623,069
EDE Eden Inv Ltd 0.005 25% 2,887,999 $10,844,921
GTI Gratifii 0.017 21% 1,383,468 $14,107,059
HHI Health House Int Ltd 0.012 20% 75,083 $1,413,297
GCR Golden Cross 0.007 17% 13,291 $6,583,537
CAY Canyon Resources Ltd 0.065 16% 973,147 $56,826,924
LPD Lepidico Ltd 0.015 15% 2,575,454 $99,291,026
TTB Total Brain Ltd 0.046 15% 3,655,812 $5,348,845
GRX Greenx Metals Ltd 0.62 15% 44,602 $136,955,051
MIO Macarthur Minerals 0.155 15% 96,268 $22,363,221
ADG Adelong Gold Limited 0.008 14% 66,667 $3,211,756
ADV Ardiden Ltd 0.008 14% 1,310,001 $18,818,347
AL8 Alderan Resource Ltd 0.008 14% 764,955 $4,047,863
PUR Pursuit Minerals 0.016 14% 1,541,478 $15,995,698
WOO Wooboard Tech Ltd 0.008 14% 106,696 $1,609,684
ALV Alvomin 0.16 14% 8,243 $7,564,190
DC2 Dctwo 0.04 14% 495,370 $3,610,155
WFL Wellfully Limited 0.017 13% 1,200,340 $5,867,223
MLX Metals X Limited 0.385 13% 4,621,701 $308,470,463
RVS Revasum 0.13 13% 10,008 $12,180,415
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In the last round of lunchtime Small Caps news for 2022, thin volume is making it hard to pick a clear winner from the pack. There’s a smorgasbord of Penny Dreadfuls being blown around in the wind, with Future First Technologies (ASX:FFT) technically at the top of the pile on a 26% gain.

But that’s on precisely zero news, and about $13k worth of volume, so it’s anyone’s guess why it’s there.

Worth a mention though is Canyon Resources (ASX:CAY), which has been on a spurt since the week before Xmas, and has piled a 17.9% gain on top of its recent good fortunes to see it at $0.066 – up 57.1% for the month.

Also on the rise today is Total Brain (ASX:TTB), climbing 17.5% to $0.047 a pop, following yesterday’s news that shareholders are being asked to approve a capital return from the company, valued at $0.0475 per share. #WhatACoincidence.

And rounding out the contractually-obligated third spot on the list, it’s GreenX Metals (ASX:GRX), up 14.8% to claw back a surprise dip yesterday, helping the company to maintain its very, very solid +164% rise over the course of the year.

 

ASX SMALL CAP LOSERS

Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for December 30 [intraday]:

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

Code Company Price % Volume Market Cap
XST Xstate Resources 0.001 -33% 200,000 $4,822,772
ARE Argonaut Resources 0.0015 -25% 307,836 $12,723,743
REY REY Resources Ltd 0.135 -25% 82 $38,146,957
DCL Domacom Limited 0.052 -24% 33,333 $29,614,121
CAV Carnavale Resources 0.004 -20% 1,009,268 $13,667,759
RDN Raiden Resources Ltd 0.005 -17% 1,147,029 $9,927,495
NFL Norfolk Metals 0.13 -16% 1,253,251 $4,622,874
CMX Chemxmaterials 0.16 -16% 67,996 $8,904,564
MPR Mpower Group Limited 0.016 -16% 452,184 $5,580,362
BCT Bluechiip Limited 0.029 -15% 480,200 $20,351,169
GMN Gold Mountain Ltd 0.006 -14% 21,388,629 $11,047,044
NZS New Zealand Coastal 0.003 -14% 66,625 $3,944,518
AYT Austin Metals Ltd 0.007 -13% 227,000 $8,126,997
IMB Intelligent Monitor 0.14 -13% 1,580 $20,912,047
HOR Horseshoe Metals Ltd 0.022 -12% 261,164 $13,798,572
ANR Anatara Ls Ltd 0.03 -12% 40,007 $3,776,076
FRS Forrestaniaresources 0.12 -11% 33,093 $8,220,326
AXP AXP Energy Ltd 0.004 -11% 685,003 $26,211,063
SFG Seafarms Group Ltd 0.008 -11% 63,171 $43,529,393
TOE Toro Energy Limited 0.008 -11% 365,375 $39,229,989
EPN Epsilon Healthcare 0.025 -11% 25,712 $8,409,912
RVT Richmond Vanadium 0.225 -10% 480 $21,551,952
ASP Aspermont Limited 0.018 -10% 488,607 $48,621,743
3DA Amaero International 0.145 -9% 7,858 $66,473,634
EMT Emetals Limited 0.01 -9% 1,703,899 $9,350,000
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… and so it is, with a tear in my eye and a spring in my step, that I sign off on the final Lunch Wrap for 2022… and while I don’t have anything in writing yet, I think it’s safe to say that Lunch Wrap will be back again in the New Year, at least 25% Lunchier than before.

Look for it in the freezer section of your local supermarket and, as always, if pain persists, you’re putting it in the wrong hole. #OuttaHere.