• The ASX 200 finishes the day up by 0.26% after last-second slump
  • The ASX 200 finishes 2022 down more than 5.0%, because of reasons
  • Energy sector wins the year, up more than 40%. Well played.


As trading wraps up for 2022, the market is going to end the year roughly 5.0% lower than it started, which is weak and pathetic and has brought shame to the whole family.

And not even the somewhat conciliatory offering of a last-minute +0.26% buzzer beater gain is going to put even the faintest glimmer of a shine on that particular turd.

It’s like bringing someone a box of chocolates to say “sorry I backed over your cat… every day for the past 12 months” – a nice gesture, but really… who does the market think it’s kidding?

Still, it’s at least a glimmer of positivity to carry in our pocket, while you’re sipping champagne, watching the fireworks and trying desperately to explain to your former father-in-law that the reason you don’t want to give him any ‘hot stock tips’ is because, frankly, he’s the only thing on the planet more volatile than the market.

But even that’s a hard joke to explain to someone whose last brush with the stock market was when they bought Dutch East India shares for a ha’penny a dozen, and an extremely unhappy 10-year-old had to ride his bike over from the stockbroker’s office with actual paper certificates in a messenger bag.

But I digress…



Aussie markets didn’t exactly “go out with a bang” today – and the way the day ended is just so emblematic of the overall theme of 2022, it’d be poetic if it wasn’t so annoying.

The ASX 200 was on track to end the year with a nifty 0.6% gain for the day – right up until about 15 minutes before the bell rang, everyone went berserk for some reason, the benchmark sh-t the bed, and the day closed out just 0.26% higher instead.

Honestly, WTF?

Still, a +0.26% gain is not that bad a performance, considering that everyone with half a brain managed to get their Annual Leave requests in early enough to make sure they’re on holidays between Christmas and New Years, leaving just idiots (like your humble correspondent) the only dumb bums left manning the watchtowers.

Aussie tech stocks reacted happily to a deep and well-timed goosing by the NASDAQ overnight, surging 2.15% in the wake of the 2.5% rise by their cousins in the US.

Energy stocks also did pretty well today, up 1.53% despite ongoing and increasingly hysterical concerns that all of China’s lungs are about to explode due to Covid, which could – just maybe – dampen demand for crude oil and other stuff that people like to burn.

And Health Care stocks performed well, up 0.92% in anticipation of Australia’s traditional New Year’s Eve spike in Balcony Fall and Still-on-the-Trailer Jet Ski injuries.



A quick and angry look back at a few key stats, because Oasis is a terrible band and the Gallagher brothers should just stick to making excellent 80s-era arcade games instead of giving out horrendous life advice.

Overall, the ASX 200 retreated 5.08% over the course of 2022. Not great.

The winner of Best Sector for 2022 is Energy, which climbed by 40.58% over the past 52 weeks, beating out Utilities – up 24.8% for the year – and Materials, which climbed 5.26%.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that everything else bricked it over the past 12 months… none more so than InfoTech, which collapsed by 33.8% and put paid (hopefully) to any and all claims that ThE RoBotS ArE GoiNG tO TaKE AlL Our JobS, or whatever other hippy-dippy nonsense people are bleating about on Twitter.

The Real Estate sector fell by 23.44%, because there’s no safer investment than good ol’ bricks and mortar, as grandma used to say. Joke’s on her, though – she’s long dead, and sold her home to buy wine. #WiningAtLife

Consumer Discretionary shed a similar percentage (-22.9%), as cost of living expenses put paid to everyone’s plans of buying themselves something a little bit fancy on a whim, and Telcos fell 13.3%, probably because everyone hates them.



Whatever happened in the US overnight is really a moot point at this late stage of the year – but, for what it’s worth, a rally on Wall Street overnight helped get Australian stocks in the mood for a bit of a kiss and cuddle before we all sing Auld Lang Syne.

The NASDAQ finished up 2.59%, the S&P 1.75% higher and the Dow up a more modest 1.05% – and with slightly-promising unemployment data trickling out of the US, hopes are rising that America’s inflationary kettle just might be ready to come off the boil.

In Japan, a 0.34% tickle was all the Tokyo markets could muster today, despite Starbucks Japan unveiling its New Year’s Eve celebratory beverage, the Matcha Genmai Mochi Frappuccino, which features whipped cream, three different kinds of green tea, and looks like someone forced The Hulk to provide a “DNA sample”.



In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng is up 0.82% and in Shanghai, the market has enjoyed a more modest 0.61% gain.



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks:

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

Wordpress Table PluginThere’s been a last-minute Small Caps bolter at the end of the last trading day for 2022. Carbon Revolution (ASX:CBR) has come out of absolutely nowhere, on absolutely no news, to go thundering up the charts since lunchtime on a collision course with a +52% gain for the day.

Likewise, Focus Minerals (ASX:FML) has given the market a last-minute jolt, soaring 20% off the back of a quarterly report that gave investors something to read on an otherwise quiet afternoon.

And WA1 Resources (ASX:WA1) also emerged from nowhere since lunchtime to tack on 18.8% on reasonable volume and precisely zero news.



Here are the least best performing ASX small cap stocks:

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

Wordpress Table Plugin



If you two don’t stop fighting, this holiday is over!

The War for Warrego™looks set to roll over into Q1 2023 as spicy as ever, after Warrego (ASX:WGO) set out its response to both the Hancock and Strike offers that are on the table for WGO investors to choose from.

The document from WGO reveals that there’s a split among Warrego board members on which way shareholders should jump, with Managing Director Dennis Donald, Non-Executive Director Mark Routh and Independent Non-Executive Director Michael Atkin all on record as standing behind the Hancock offer, which is currently $0.28 per share.

Annnnd in the Blue Corner, there’s Warrego Chairman and Independent Non-Executive Director Greg Columbus, who has thrown his considerable weight behind the offer coming from Strike, which is for “1 new Strike Share per Warrego Share”, which works out to an implied value of something like $0.30 per share, based on a three-month volume weighted average WGO price.

(That’s provided you’re not an “Ineligible Foreign Warrego Shareholder or Small Warrego Shareholder” – the little / overseas investors will have their shares ”allotted to a sale nominee for sale” at some point, according to the document from WGO.)

As it stands, the battle lines are drawn and it’s shaping up us a likely quite bruising encounter for the month of January – Strike’s offer isn’t even going to be official and live until around 06 January – but shareholders are able to tip with their vote on which way to move pretty much any time they want.

In terms of troop numbers, Team Strike is claiming that it’s locked up votes to the value of a 20.5% interest in the company – and last time I checked (which was a while back), Team Hancock reckoned “at least 15.84%” of the company was behind its offer.

Indeed, when the Hancock offer went unconditional two days before Christmas, the Warrego board was unanimous in recommending shareholders accept the $0.28 offer.

It’ll certainly give any WGO shareholders on the fence something to think about as the cacophony of fireworks ring in their ears this New Years Eve – and we’ll be back once the smoke has cleared to see if there’s been any further movement in early 2023.


Copper calls the coppers after ransomware attack

Elsewhere, some hugely not-very-fun news has emerged from Copper Mountain Mining (ASX:C6C), after it was hit with a ransomware attack a couple of days after Christmas.

The company says that it “has isolated operations, switched to manual processes, where possible, and the mill has been preventatively shutdown to determine the effect on its control system”, and it’s IT solutions people are “continuing to assess risks and are actively establishing additional safeguards to mitigate any further risk to the Company”.

C6C is also looking into how (and possibly why) the company is being targeted, calling in relevant law enforcement agencies to assist with that particular branch of enquiry.

At the time of writing, there are “no reports of safety or environmental incidents as a result of the attack” – but it’s still a colossal ball-ache of a situation for C6C as it works to unpick whatever damage may have occurred as a result of the attack.



There are precisely zero new trading halts today – so I’m calling one on my work for the year. 2022 is over, so I’m off for a nap.

Thanks so much for reading everything, we do hope you’ve enjoyed it – and we’ll see you in the New Year.