The ASX has finally woken up with a bit of zest, zeal, pep and a few other old-timey words in its step, rising +0.5% at open – a fine way to kick off a gloriously autumnal morning in Sydney.

By lunchtime, the benchmark was at a happy 0.4% but on its way to easing somewhat, because – if past performances are anything to go by – the benchmark will undoubtedly run out of puff faster than a tubby West Coast midfield.

But first, there’s news from the US which is either hilarious or deeply disturbing, and I’m really not sure which way we’re all meant to feel about it – but I’m leaning towards finding it super-funny, because it makes US Fed supremo Jerome Powell look like a dummy.

After all, we’re a fun-loving nation which is open to the idea of public figures being pranked from time to time, as a few of my former colleagues discovered when they were arrested in Sydney a disturbingly long time ago.

Today, though, the stakes are a little higher. Jerome “The Gravedigger” Powell has openly admitted that he was fooled into an interview with a pair of Russian pranksters in January, after a video clip of the interview surfaced online.

Powell reportedly believed he was talking with Ukrainian president Vladom Voldemort Volodomir Helsinki Zelenskyy, and spent more than three minutes being alarmingly candid about the US economy and monetary policy.

But, as it turns out, Powell was actually on the line with Russian pranksters Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexei Stolyarov – who operate under the pseudonyms Vovan and Lexus, and have a significant number of runs on the board when it comes to this kind of thing.



The pair quite famously tricked Polish President Andrzej Duda into thinking he was speaking to his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron – which, to be fair, could have been achieved with a rubber mask and a few carefully chosen snippets of dialogue from Warner Bros se pest, Pepé Le Pew.

The pro-Putin pair have also pranked Britain’s Fattest Boofhead Boris Johnson in 2018, pretending to be the newly-elected president of Armenia, and nearly managed the same with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who – to her credit – was able to rumble the duo quite quickly.

Powell, however, was not quite as smart, babbling on about the US economy and dropping a few clangers on the way, including key information about medium-term plans by the Fed to hike interest rates.

That’s information that would have been handy for the general public to have… and further proof of my theory that every time Powell utters a complete sentence, another 20,000 termites are let loose to feast upon the rickety wooden framework that’s holding the US economy together.



The ASX is doing rather well this morning, snapping a five-session streak of outrageously poor behaviour and providing investors with a short burst of good cheer to see us into the weekend with a smile on our faces.

The benchmark jumped 0.5% this morning, and has held reasonably steady throughout the morning, to hit the lunch bell at +0.41%, which isn’t a bad effort at all.

It is worth remembering, though, that we’re at the opening stages of quarterly season – a time when, traditionally, rational thought goes out the window and investors get a bit gamble-happy, and will gather round to throw money at anyone who can stand on a table and shout “Good news, everyone!”.

Plus, Wall Street’s gone goo-goo over some top shelf Big Tech quarterlies, which I’ll get to in a minute… but that’s helping to push a semi-hard push for our local techies today as well.

A look at how the sectors are performing shows a mixed bag today, with InfoTech (+1.2%) and Financials (+1.0%) leading the way, while bank stocks are doing a lot of the heavy lifting; the XBK ASX 200 Bank Index is the top market segment, up 1.11%.

Languishing, however, is Health Care (-0.95%), with Consumer Staples (-0.85%) and Utilities (-0.64%) also slumped behind the wheel with one foot on the brake pedal.

At the tippy top end of town, Pilbara (ASX:PLS) has come close to reversing this week’s sorry efforts, adding 5.7% during the morning session.

Meanwhile, a tranche of solid exploration updates from goldie Emerald Resources (ASX:EMR) has seen it climbing 5.8%, with good news from its Bullseye, Memot and Snuol Prospects and the Okvau Gold Project Extension.



Overnight, Wall Street rallied as mega tech stocks surged on earnings, and fears of a banking meltdown contagion eased, Earlybird Eddy reports, leaving the S&P 500 2% higher, the Dow up by 1.5% and tech-heavy Nasdaq climbing by 2.5% by the end of the session.

It was all happening among the biggest names in tech: Meta surged by 14% following its better than expected Q1 results announced after the bell yesterday.

Amazon rose 5% but then slipped 0.5% after hours when the company reported better-than-expected quarterly sales and operating income, buoyed by its cloud computing and advertising businesses.

Intel rocketed by almost 7% post-trading after reporting a smaller quarterly loss than expected, despite it being the biggest ever quarterly loss.

All other US big tech companies also rallied, with Tesla, Apple and Microsoft showing gains of 3-4%.

Meanwhile, in the UK, UK oil giant BP has – to the surprise of absolutely no one at all – decided that it wants to keep making unfathomably large profits, and as a result has decided to slow down its transition away from sucking goo from under the surface of the Earth.

The new deadline for the transition has been pushed out until 2050, which one activist was clearly unhappy about, shouting: “2050 is far too late. You need to take action now. It’s not good enough” before – I assume – being dragged off to the dungeons to be fed to the trolls.

But it’s not like interruptions weren’t unexpected by BP, and you just know you’re potentially in for a bit of a rough day when the chair of the company opens their address by introducing themselves, and jumping directly into this kind of warning:

“And I am chairing our meeting today from the Excel centre in London. In the unlikely event of an emergency during our meeting, please follow instructions from our team of ushers and the Excel staff, who will lead you to safety.”


In Japan, the Nikkei has added 0.65% on news that the country’s cultural appropriation of All Things American has reached a new peak, after the Japanese arm of KFC unveiled its new Samurai Colonel Sanders-san.


asx winner MP1
“Beware All Who Seek to Dine upon The Dirty Bird, lest ye find thyself Firing out Both Ends when the Feast is Complete,” the statue intoned in a manner most menacing. Pic: PR Times/Japan.


The terrifying spectacle will be displayed outside selected KFC restaurants from 05 May this year, to serve as a grim warning of the multiple heart attacks and unstoppable diarrhoea that await all who ignore the Deep Fried Samurai’s gruesome warning.

Meanwhile in China, where jokes are not allowed, Shanghai markets are up 0.74% on news that nothing funny happened today, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng put on a grimly stoic 0.65%.



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for April 28 [intraday]:

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Code Company Price % Volume Market Cap
RLC Reedy Lagoon Corp 0.009 50% 7,852,708 $3,400,318
MP1 Megaport Limited 5.835 47% 7,932,999 $630,525,928
ROO Roots Sustainable 0.013 44% 607,186 $779,416
CLE Cyclone Metals 0.002 33% 500,000 $13,623,972
GCR Golden Cross 0.004 33% 117,010 $3,291,768
LNU Linius Tech Limited 0.004 33% 11,932,634 $9,689,239
VTX Vertexmin 0.13 30% 15,571 $4,572,500
AYT Austin Metals Ltd 0.005 25% 195,350 $4,063,499
CAV Carnavale Resources 0.0025 25% 563,060 $5,467,103
NES Nelson Resources 0.005 25% 567,093 $2,354,377
FFG Fatfish Group 0.0185 23% 4,493,500 $15,545,698
AVE Avecho Biotech Ltd 0.006 20% 1,798,431 $9,189,347
WEL Winchester Energy 0.006 20% 1,464,520 $5,102,110
BPH BPH Energy Ltd 0.026 18% 6,871,236 $19,307,176
W2V Way2Vat 0.013 18% 168,308 $2,421,671
ENA Ensurance Ltd 0.23 18% 117,818 $17,610,438
1ST 1St Group Ltd 0.007 17% 2,383,220 $8,121,200
INP Incentiapay Ltd 0.007 17% 14,705 $7,590,382
RXH Rewardle Holding Ltd 0.028 17% 213,250 $12,631,716
XTC Xantippe Res Ltd 0.0035 17% 3,420,165 $31,740,299
TFL Tasfoods Ltd 0.029 16% 2,310 $10,927,388
KNO Knosys Limited 0.075 15% 25,000 $14,049,015
PRS Prospech Limited 0.03 15% 450,229 $2,640,128
TSO Tesoro Gold Ltd 0.046 15% 3,993,128 $42,140,503
BAT Battery Minerals Ltd 0.004 14% 11,779,004 $11,749,298
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The market’s big winner this morning is the almost-but-not-really Small Cap Megaport (ASX:MP1), which has gone supersonic on news that the company has provided a vastly improved guidance for FY23 and FY24.

Megaport says, “as a result of various initiatives designed to improve the Company’s operating and financial performance and cash generation” it is “expecting to report Normalised EBITDA in FY23 in the range of $16M to $18M, and Normalised EBITDA in FY24 in the range of $41M to $46M”.

Previous market consensus had the company aiming for $9M in FY23 and $30M in FY24.

Next best is Fatfish Group (ASX:FFG), which has continued its climb for the week by adding a further 23.3% on news that the company has secured $1.3 million in funding through a private placement that was “entirely taken up by a strategic Asian institutional investor”.

The $1.3 million was raised through the issuance of 51,818,994 ordinary shares at an issue price of $0.025 – well above market rate – and will be put towards “general working capital, and the development and expansion of the Company’s fintech business, mainly operated through its subsidiary, ASEAN Fintech Group”.

And finally for the morning are a couple of curious movers, including BPH Energy (ASX:BPH), which has surged 18.1% on no news since it told the market on Monday that it’s got about $5.7m in the bank.

I know the company recently scored a big win in its court battle with the government, but part of me always wonders when it jumps on no news, whether some sweet dyslexic soul has fat-fingered an attempt to buy BHP (ASX:BHP) at what looks like a significant discount.

Also up this morning on no news is a bit of a sleeper which has flown under my radar until today – Rewardle Holdings (ASX:RXH) is up 16% today, but caught my eye because it’s managed to climb more than 47% this week alone (+133% since the start of 2023) seemingly without breaking a sweat.



Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for April 28 [intraday]:

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

Code Company Price % Volume Market Cap
MTB Mount Burgess Mining 0.002 -33% 743 $2,649,513
EX1 Exopharm Limited 0.013 -32% 1,550,593 $2,987,019
FAU First Au Ltd 0.004 -27% 13,075,151 $6,021,308
AHN Athena Resources 0.003 -25% 449,884 $4,281,870
MCT Metalicity Limited 0.002 -20% 298,160 $8,761,348
SIT Site Group Int Ltd 0.004 -20% 22,900,000 $6,506,226
AN1 Anagenics Limited 0.021 -19% 48,651 $9,506,119
SRX Sierra Rutile 0.22 -17% 32,252,263 $112,422,658
ATV Active Port Group 0.15 -17% 411,456 $31,780,337
ADY Admiralty Resources 0.006 -14% 2,620,006 $9,125,054
BPP Babylon Pump & Power 0.006 -14% 50,000 $17,204,399
OAR OAR Resources Ltd 0.003 -14% 2,250,000 $8,438,633
AR9 Archtis Limited 0.091 -13% 511,415 $29,965,390
PNT Panthermetalsltd 0.091 -13% 7,339 $3,228,750
CXM Centrex Limited 0.165 -13% 3,092,368 $116,607,614
CPT Cipherpoint Limited 0.007 -13% 2,182,500 $9,273,934
RMX Red Mount Min Ltd 0.0035 -13% 1,239,908 $9,087,404
RR1 Reach Resources Ltd 0.0035 -13% 8,300,000 $11,020,203
TNY Tinybeans Group Ltd 0.21 -13% 1,000 $14,732,509
NGY Nuenergy Gas Ltd 0.03 -12% 126,753 $50,352,487
BCA Black Canyon Limited 0.23 -12% 35,787 $11,659,043
WHK Whitehawk Limited 0.04 -11% 2,262,875 $11,008,477
88E 88 Energy Ltd 0.008 -11% 2,118,984 $180,970,814
MOM Moab Minerals Ltd 0.008 -11% 1,598,149 $6,137,671
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