• 2023 off to a bit of a dismal start, down 1.3% on the opening day of trade
  • GreenX soaring after rumblings from Poland over $1.3 billion payday
  • Chinese markets gain before the rest of the trading world gets back from holidays


For about 10 minutes this morning, everything looked fantastic. For the rest of the day, however, it’s looked pretty much as you’d expect things to, provided you’d unexpectedly found yourself at the bottom of a large metal bucket that had “human waste” stencilled on the side.

“Grim” is a word that I’d use to describe the market today. “Stoic”, on the other hand, is not… nor are “positive”, “buoyant” or any of the other words that might suggest anything other than nasty things to say.

The first 10 minutes were great – things were up 0.5%, precisely in line with the ASX 200 Jan futures contract prediction – but from there it’s been like watching Sri Lanka tap out a tenuous win on a rapidly-failing mid-2000s pitch at Galle.

What little bounce there was in the market’s pitch today happened at 1:10pm, with the market down 1.9%. But I’d hardly call it a recovery, as the benchmark struggled to make headway past -1.3%.

What a way to start the new year… and while many of us thought about trying to fix it by turning the market off and back on again, apparently that’s a “no no” and is frowned upon.

Pretty much every sector had a hand in dragging the market down today – Financials performed the worst at -1.98% overall, followed by Health Care (-1.78%), Staples (-1.57%) and InfoTech (-1.48%).

The single glimmer of green on the board came via Consumer Discretionary – a paltry +0.14% that barely rates a mention.

Neuren Pharmaceuticals (ASX:NEU) is the only Large Cap in the winners circle for the day, adding a sterling 8.30% despite having nothing at all to say to the market.

There are some big names shedding value, though – mostly the usual suspects who are at the mercy of international energy prices and / or exposed to the somewhat mercurial nature of the lithium market.

In no particular order, they were Whitehaven (ASX:WHC), New Hope (ASX:NHC) and Liontown (ASX:LTR), down around 6.0-8.0% for the day – more than enough to give the rest of the Resources sector some moderately serious heartburn.



Looking overseas, and everyone who’s sensible either hasn’t started trading yet, or is still on holidays… so there’s no market news from the US or Japan.

That’s not to say that either of those places is inherently sensible – it’s more that they’re just smart enough today not to get caught up in the general negative pie fight that has beset the Australian markets today.

Hong Kong is open, and doing quite well, up 1.31% this afternoon, with Shanghai tailing along behind it on +0.56% – which is great for them, but at this point is starting to feel like they’re just rubbing it in our faces.



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks:

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

Wordpress Table Plugin

Rumblings from the Polish press pack about possible leaks ahead of the outcome of proceedings from Aussie small cap miner GreenX Metals (ASX:GRX), which has taken on the might of the Polish Government over the failure of two coal mines from going into production.

The payday on the table for GreenX is – in a wording – freakin’ massive… a staggering $1.3 billion payout from Poland is on the cards, and the company that GreenX partnered with to handle the legal proceedings has been kicking more than a few goals lately.

The rumours and rumblings have combined to give GreenX a 28% boost on an otherwise news-less day for the company – and provided the company with enough of a reason to get the ASX watchdogs a workable reply to the speeding ticket it received.

Also rising, but this time for a reason, was Mach7 Technologies (ASX:M7T), which has climbed 19.3% today after announcing a $16.7 million sales deal with a new client, NASDAQ listed outpatient radiology service provider Akumin Inc.

“The agreement with Akumin involves Mach7’s entire Enterprise Imaging Platform including its Vendor Neutral Archive (VNA), eUnity Diagnostic Viewer and Workflow Applications to provide a true cloud-based, enterprise-wide imaging and informatics solution,” the company says.

And it might be time to fire up the ol’ Mystery Machine again – a late bolter this afternoon has seen a lot of volume around penny-priced Melbana Energy (ASX:MAY), with the Cuba-focussed gas explorer burping up a sector-defying 17.4% jump on no news since the middle of December.



Here are the least best performing ASX small cap stocks:

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

Wordpress Table Plugin



We mentioned it earlier in the day, but it’s worth mentioning here today, because Invictus Energy (ASX:IVZ) has been murdered today, down 53.45% after a shocking run of technical difficulties at its Mukuyu-1 well that is currently being drilled in its 80% owned SG 4571 licence in Zimbabwe’s Cabora Bassa Basin.

A series of equipment failures and some rather expensive bits and pieces getting stuck down the well hole have set Invictus’ drilling plans back significantly, and the market has responded with an horrific sell-down which seems a bit disproportionate, but it is what it is.

The other news of the day is that the Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) off-market takeover bid for Norwest (ASX:NWE) is officially off and running, with Minres offering Norwest shareholders one fully paid ordinary share in MinRes for every 1,367 of their Norwest Shares held as at the register date of 7:00pm Sydney time on 19 December 2022.

That works out to about $0.06 per Norwest share, 33% over the closing price of Norwest Shares on 15 December 2022 when the details were first mooted, and 11% over the 52 week high of $0.054 for Norwest Shares on 30 August 2022.

Minres went into the takeover bid with 19.9% of Norwest already in its back pocket, and no minimum acceptance condition on the endeavour.



Gold Mountain (ASX:GMN) – Halted pending an announcement in relation to further reconnaissance rock chip sampling results from Gold Mountain’s lithium JV projects in Brazil.

Lindian Resources (ASX:LIN) – Halted pending an announcement regarding significant drill assay results from the Kangankunde Rare Earth Project.