On Stockhead today:

The launch of bullion-backed ETFs shot gold into the stratosphere. Could SEC approval do the same for Bitcoin?

We also have some FDA catalysts to keep an eye on in 2024.


But first …

Welcome to 19 January, 2024 – a bittersweet date in motoring history, as it was on this day in 1978 that the last European-built Volkswagen Beetle trundled off the production line in Emden, Germany.

The Beetle – or ​​Volkswagen Type 1, as absolutely no one actually refers to it – has a long and storied history, making its debut in 1938 after Adolf Hitler had one of his signature Big Brain Ideas, and hit automotive designerer Ferdinand Porsche with a stick until he drew a car that looked as awesome as a Porsche 911, but was afflicted with developmental and physical growth delays.

A five-seat, family car that was cheap to build and even cheaper to run, with the early Beetle delivering on all fronts, thanks to the rear-mounted four-cylinder air-cooled 1100cc engine that was capable of pumping out a roaring, lusty 18.6 kW of power capable of moving the vehicle forward, but unlikely to ever produce enough grunt to pull a sailor off your sister.

I know precisely how godawful those 1100cc engines were, as I’ve owned a couple of them over the years – one that my old man gave me (I suspect) to annoy my mother when I was about 13 years of age, which I used to learn how to drive a manual in the carpark of our local Westfield in the dead of night.

The other one I owned for about five hours, buying it from ‘a guy up the pub’ for $250 (no questions asked) one Saturday morning, before realising what a colossal mistake I’d just made and selling it for twice what I paid to an extremely drunk guy called ‘Marty’ that very afternoon.

About three weeks later, ‘Marty’ returned to that same pub and tried his best to put me in hospital, screaming semi-coherently about “that total sh-tbox”, “no brakes” and how I owed his neighbour a new front fence, and him some new front teeth.

Oh, how we laughed, for Marty was very much a dumbarse… and also pretty handy when armed with a pool cue.

But as wretched and clearly anti-semitic as I found the old Beetles to be, it remains one of the most enduringly and bafflingly popular cars in history, holding a world record through the sheer audacity of how many were built – 21,529,464 of the bastards.

15,444,858 of those were born in Germany, and the rest of them were built in Brazil, which makes perfect sense because there were a lot of very well-connected former-German business people in that part of the world after WWII.

Production of the Beetle in South America continued until 2003, finally grinding to a halt when even the lowliest of that continent’s perennially malnourished and underpaid population reached the conclusion that life there was already shitty enough, without adding “owning a Beetle” to their laundry list of woes.

Looking ahead, to a world where the cars are much nicer and don’t rely on Nazi technology to get you and your kids from Point A to Point B (and occasionally back to A again), and one thing is readily apparent…

And that’s how much better it feels to be a part of the brilliant Stockhead machine, when compared to the way it feels to drive the very best of 1950s German engineering.

We’ve been busy, as always, writing stuff for you to read – plus, down below, there’s all the data and digits and bits and bytes and blobs and bastards that are grist to the moneymaking mill of the ASX Small Caps market.

Lap it up while it’s still fresh, my friends… it’ll be all but useless a few hours from now.



Gold: US$2,032.70 (+0.12%)

Silver: US$23.03 (+0.02%)

Nickel (3mth): US$15,819.80/t (-2.02%)

Copper (3mth): US$8,439.32/t (-0.26%)

Oil (WTI): US$72.33 (+0.11%)

Oil (Brent): US$77.71 (+0.12%)

Iron 62pc Fe: US$140.52/t (+0.25%)

AUD/USD: 0.6699 (+0.23%)

Bitcoin: US$45,749.20 (-0.81%)



Reubs has been digging around in the Canadian dirt again, to bring you all the hot goss and maple syrupy action from the Toronto exchange this week. Check it out, hosers!




Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks:

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Osmond Resources (ASX:OSM) has joined the growing list of mining minnows to come screaming out of the woodwork with news about a uranium find, after the company undertook “a review of historical exploration results” for its South Australian Fowler project, which has identified “the potential for large-scale uranium (U3O8) mineralisation.

Osmond had, at the time of writing, piled on a 29% gain on the strength of that release which – just so we’re clear – basically says that the company has cracked open the spreadsheets from long-finished exploration, and now there’s “potential” for uranium in there somewhere.

Meanwhile, Helix Resources (ASX:HLX) is leading the ladder for the day so far, up around 50% despite having no fresh news to titillate investors with today – the last we heard from Helix was on 15 January, when the company announced that it has hit decent, very shallow copper mineralisation at its Bijoux prospect in teh Cobar-Nyngan area of central NSW.

Melodiol Global Health (ASX:ME1) has also lurched round 50% today, again on no fresh info since the company dropped news of a 51% spike in revenue YoY, and that it had raised a handy $215,000 following a placement at $0.001285 per share.

And a bumpy day for Woomera Mining (ASX:WML) yesterday appears to have been re-routed into something of a happy ending, with the company up 50% as well.

Wednesday was not an ideal day for Woomera, after it got shoved into a trading pause, which then blossomed into a full-blown trading halt a couple of hours later – which wasn’t lifted until quite late in the day, once Woomera revealed that it did, in fact, have news.

The news was that Woomera had completed a 26-hole / 2813m RC drill program at its Ravensthorpe projects located in SE Western Australia, and spotted peggies from eight of those holes to boot.

And Sabre Resources (ASX:SBR) has swung into the uranium news business, with an announcement that the company has launched a new exploration program at the Dingo Uranium Project within the Company’s 1,100km2 Ngalia Basin tenement package in the Northern Territory.

Sabre says the new program is set to build on the discoveries it’s already made at the site, inclding high-grade sandstone hosted uranium targets boasting numbers up to 5,194ppm eU3O8.



Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks:

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FBR (ASX:FBR)pending an announcement in relation to the results of a proposed capital raising.

Toro Energy (ASX:TOE)  – pending the release of an announcement regarding a proposed capital raising.

Mayur Resources (ASX:MRL)  – pending an announcement in relation to a funding and development partner, and the securing of development funding for Mayur’s Orokolo Bay Industrial Sands Project.