Australian markets have opened 0.6% lower this morning, tracking losses on Wall Street overnight where the market turned in a lamentable -1.5% effort, drooping like the dangling jowls of a sweaty, purple-faced Harvey Weinstein in the midst of deciding who gets to star in his next movie.

Dear God, what a horrifying thought to have this early on a Tuesday. Sorry.

I’ve got goblins on the brain this morning, because of news that the Oxford Dictionary has decided that its super-important Word of the Year is: “goblin mode”.

There’s a bit to unpack here, so bear with me. The first thing you need to understand is that this is the first time the Oxford Dictionary has thrown it open to a public vote to decide.

So, straight off the bat, we should all be hugely thankful that we didn’t end up with something aggressively stupid, like “Wordy McWordFace” – because given half a chance, the world’s population will just fall back on whatever lame recyclable gag it can dredge up in its collective memory and flog it to death like it’s running second by a mile in the Melbourne Cup.

The dictionary people probably saw that coming, so they wisely gave the public a shortlist to choose from.

And the winner, “goblin mode”, took the title by an absolute mudslide with 318,956 votes, which was 93% of the total.

That’s about as emphatic a win as you could hope for, but hardly surprising when the other two contenders were #IStandWith, which garnered a grand total of 8,639 virtue-signalling votes, and – thank your stars this one failed to win – “metaverse” with 14,484 votes.

How “metaverse” even ended up on the list is a mystery, considering the word itself is:

  1. An advertisement for that horrid thing Facebook has burnt billions of dollars making, and;
  2. Synonymous with a product so resoundingly crap that not even the people who made it want to use it.

So “goblin mode” it is – and if you’re out of the loop on what it means, it’s fairly straightforward: “a type of behaviour which is unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy, typically in a way that rejects social norms or expectations”.

“Goblin mode” now joins such lexicological luminaries as “vape” and “😂” and other things that future generations will roll their eyes at and wonder aloud at how helplessly daggy we were in the olden days.

But enough about living life on a pile of dirty laundry – let’s take a look and see if anyone’s airing their own skiddy undies on the markets today.



The ASX has slumped to a 0.6% dip, almost the instant the doors were flung open for business today – but since then the push has been on to try to get its head back above the waterline, and as lunchtime approaches, it’s barely submerged at just 0.2% down.

It’s InfoTech that’s weighing heaviest on local markets this morning, probably just sad about the whole “everyone hates ‘metaverse’” thing. Whatever the reason, it’s down by 1.3% so far today.

Energy and Materials have also teamed up to drag things down, slumping 0.56% and 0.44% respectively.

But putting on a smile and trying to tapdance on the bar to help make people happy are Telcos (+0.46%) and Industrials (+0.29%), pushing hard but not enough to get past the surface of the swamp today.

Up the pointy end of the plane this morning is Yancoal (ASX:YAL), the only jolly billion-dollar market cap passenger on the charts today, outperforming its Energy sector stablemates with a solid 3.65% rise.

That’s mostly due to surging coal prices, which potentially might end up being capped in the near future, after the PM told Australia’s state governments this morning to adopt a federal plan that includes short-term interventions on supply and price for coal and gas.

Naturally, there’s going to be pushback from NSW and Queensland, which are both quite fond of the massive royalties that flow from coal producers in their respective boundaries, so the haggling over compo is most likely going to kick off in earnest later today.

And there’s a bit of Current Affairs news from the losing side of the ledger this morning: Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) has slumped 5.4% this morning on news that the engineering, procurement and construction contractor at BPT’s Waitsia Stage 2 project has been placed into voluntary administration.

West Australian contractor Clough collapsed just four weeks after a takeover deal struck with Italian mob Webuild fell through – and Beach Energy’s not the only one feeling the pain over the issue.

The federal government’s Hydro 2.0 expansion was to be a JV between Clough and Webuild, and The Australian reports that the takeover has failed, with Clough “owing its joint venture partner about $88m at the end of June, from a previously undisclosed $167m loan dating back to the 2021 financial year”.

It’s probably the last thing BPT needs right now, as it’s in the middle of a tilt at buying Warrego (ASX:WGO).

Maybe things are better overseas… so let’s take a look.



The Chief Himself was on the early riser desk this morning, and reports that the US has inched closer to a fall in the increase of interest rates when the Fed next meets to decide just how hard it’s prepared to gouge America.

“Stronger than expected economic data flowed in the form of a surprise rise in US services industry activity in November,” Stockhead’s very own Peter “The Supreme Leader” Farquhar copied from somewhere else on the internet.

“Coupled with strong employment data last week, it saw US markets fall overnight on expectations of a rate rise at the Fed’s next meeting on December 14 with the probability of a 75bp rate hike dropping from 21.8% to 20.6%.”

Because of (or in spite of… it’s hard to tell) all that, US markets tanked: “If you need a definition of ‘sea of red’, 95% of companies traded lower.”

The Dow Jones was down 438 points (-1.40%), and at one stage was down 583 points. The NASDAQ fell 1.73%, and the S&P 500 -1.79%. #FreeFallin’ #TomPettyRulez

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei has edged up 0.15% in early trade despite its national team crashing out of the Soccerball Cup, losing 3-1 to Croatia in a penalty shoot-out.

It’s an inglorious end to a surprisingly strong campaign, and the whole event will almost certainly end up being a far filthier affair, after smiling Japanese fans were caught on camera spreading garbage in the grandstands.



We jest – the footage has obviously been reversed – but it’s funny, so we’re running it. #ItsAPrankBro #FakeNews

In China, authorities have issued an unusually blunt warning to PM DJ Albo, saying he’s “playing with fire” by allowing a bunch of freeloading Members of Parliament to suck a chunk of our hard-earned tax dollars for a free “working holiday” to Taiwan.

Local Communist Party propaganda rag The Global Times pulled precisely zero of its punches in its assessment of the situation.

“Considering Albanese’s vague and cop-out remarks which will undoubtedly encourage the arrogance of anti-China forces and pro-Taiwan secessionist forces in Australia, there is a big question mark hanging over Australia’s sincerity on improving its relations with China.”

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng has dipped 0.24%, while in Shanghai things are 0.18% gloomier in early trade.



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for December 6 [intraday]:

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Leading the winners in Small Caps this morning is graphite miner Sarytogan (ASX:SGA), after the company reported a breakthrough in the metallurgical test work for the Sarytogan Graphite Deposit in Central Kazakhstan.

The company says low-temperature alkaline roasting improved to 99.70% Total Graphitic Carbon (TGC), alongside an alternative chemical purification process which separately achieved 99.70% TGC.

A combination of both alkaline roasting and chemical purification achieved 99.87% TGC – a cracker of a result, but one that the company is confident it can build on further as it refines its refining process further.

With a trading price surge of 27.8% this morning, it’s clearly a “very nice” result. #HadToSayIt. #BoratEtc.

Meanwhile, Wellfuly (ASX:WFL) has come out of a trading suspension with a response to the ASX about why its price collapsed for no apparent reason on 29 November – alongside an announcement that it has executed a Memorandum of Understanding with target company The Brandbase.

Under that MoU, Wellfully is set to merge with The Brandbase – a group of private companies consisting of Natural Mojo GmbH, Skingood Garden UG and IG Group Services, currently under the ownership and control of Capital D, not a DJ but actually a London-based private equity firm.

Local investors seem to think that’s a grand idea, and Wellfully’s trading 21.4% higher this morning as a result.

And rounding out the Top Three for the morning is K-Tig (ASX:KTG), up 17.6% on news that it has  been awarded a research project under the US Navy’s National Shipbuilding Research Program to demonstrate the suitability of K-TIG technology for the repair and sustainment of US warships.

It’s a big deal for K-Tig, which will see it partner with Fincantieri Marinette Marine (FMM) and the Edison Welding Institute (EWI) to demonstrate that the K-TIG process meets the relevant US Navy codes for fixing war boats when they turn up with holes in them, which happens with alarming regularity, especially when there’s been people shooting at them.



Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for December 6 [intraday]:

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

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