Good morning everyone, and welcome to 22 January, 2024 – a date on the calendar that’s very important to the people of Finland, as it was on this day in 1156, a peasant by the name of Lalli murdered a Christian missionary on the ice of Lake Köyliönjärvi… which is pronounced exactly like it’s spelled.

The tale itself may be a little on the Shaggy Dog apocryphal side of things, but it is a belter of a yarn that has survived as a mainstay of Finnish mythology for nearly 900 years.

The legend says that Christian missionary Bishop Henry was born in England, but took off for Sweden in search of Eurovision song contest glory in 1153.

That wasn’t quite the longshot that it sounds like – Henry was famous enough that he was able to get around with everyone just knowing him by his first name, like Madonna or Ye.

But his music career didn’t pan out, so instead he joined forces with the King – Saint Eric of Sweden – roaming the countryside being all churchy at everyone and basically making a nuisance of himself in the fine Christian tradition.

This, understandably, ticked a few people off, and things came to a boilover when a filthy, godless yokel known as Lalli was told by his missus that the Bishop, who had been staying at their house, had gotten a bit hands-on with the lady of house, while in the process of stealing food, cake and beer.

Lalli, the legend says, “went and got his skis”, to pursue the Bishop and confront him over the accusations. The argument turned physical, and ended when Lalli used his trusty axe to cleave the Bishop’s scone in twain.

The fight and eventual murder is immortalised in an epic poem called Piispa Henrikin surmavirsi, which translates directly as “The Death-Lay of Bishop Henry” but is disappointing in that it is nowhere near as weirdly  X-rated as the title suggests.

The axe-wielding peasant, gleeful in victory, stole ol’ Henry’s bishop hat and wore it around the place for a while, and that proved to be his undoing. According to legend, when Lalli trie to remove the hat, he found it stuck firmly on his head – so when he eventually tugged it free, it tore his scalp from his skull. #ouchies.

That horror show was seized upon as one of 11 “miracles” that have been attributed to Bishop Henry, which paved the way for him being made a full-on saint many years later.

The other miracles included someone finding the Bishop’s severed finger a year later, a few people who were sick got better and Henry helped at least one local find his car keys or something… I’m not sure, my Finnish is really rusty, so that last bit might not be correct.

If there’s a moral in the story, it’s one that is very much open to interpretation, depending on whether you’re Team Lalli or Team Henry – but the legend does end up revealing that the claims from Lalli’s wife were bogus.

Henry had his head split open, because Lalli was acting on bad intel – which is never a good idea.

The lesson, (he says, drawing a very long bow), is clearly about making sure that if you’re about to make a life-changing decision – such as investing your life savings, or putting an axe through a clergyman’s skull – make sure your information is correct before you commit.

To help you in that endeavour (the investing one, not the murdery one) the team here has written more things for you to read, including Josh’s chat with John Forwood on how to find a 10-bagger, and our very own Christian Edwards has more than likely gone and made China mad at us. Again.

Plus, down below, there’s all the usual bite-sized bits of highly nutritious, protein-rich market data for you to slowly digest, while the ASX rodeo clowns get the chairs and tables set up for the start of the week.

Get it while it’s fresh.

 

COMMODITY/FOREX/CRYPTO MARKET PRICES

Gold: US$2,021.39 (-0.09%)

Silver: US$22.69 (-0.26%)

Nickel (3mth): US$15,870.10/t (+0.69%)

Copper (3mth): US$8,188.35/t (+0.17%)

Oil (WTI): US$74.13 (+0.11%)

Oil (Brent): US$78.99 (+0.04%)

Iron 62pc Fe: US$135.79/t (-0.71%)

AUD/USD: 0.6578 (+0.00%)

Bitcoin: US$41,119.80 (-0.33%)

 

WHAT GOT YOU TALKING

Everyone loves coal. Here’s all the proof you’ll need to figure out why I’m 100% right about just how popular Australia’s burny black rocks really are.

 

 

YESTERDAY’S ASX SMALL CAP LEADERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks:

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Friday’s Small Cap Winners included:

The likes of Pivotal Metals (ASX:PVT), Mount Burgess Mining (ASX:MTB) and Genesis Resources (ASX:GES) were moving about quite a bit on decent volume, despite little or nothing in the way of news to the market.

Labyrinth Resources (ASX:LRL) was moving nicely on a double-shot of happy news that has identified the company as the hottest ticket in town for anyone who loves great big steaming piles of cash in the bank.

Week before last, Labyrinth told the market that its sold off the Labyrinth and Denain gold projects in the Abitibi region of Quebec, Canada for US$3.5 million in cash money.

And on Friday morning, the company was rolling in it again after the Canadian tax office sent it a cheque for CAD $415,453, a rebate against expenditure incurred by Labyrinth hunting for resources last calendar year. Bravissimo!

Market minnow Mantle Minerals (ASX:MTL) was moving quickly as well early in the day, after delivering a resource upgrade at the Highway nickel deposit, within the Pardoo Ni-Cu Project, located in the Pilbara region of northern Western Australia.

Later on, not a whole heap had changed. Mesoblast (ASX:MSB) announced that the US FDA has granted its allogeneic cell therapy Revascor (rexlemestrocel-L) a Rare Pediatric Disease (RPD) Designation following results from the randomised controlled trial in children with a potentially life-threatening congenital heart condition called hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS).

 

YESTERDAY’S ASX SMALL CAP LAGGARDS

Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks:

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TRADING HALTS

Evolution Energy Minerals (ASX:EV1) – pending an announcement in relation to a proposed investment in Evolution by BTR New Materials.

European Lithium (ASX:EUR) – pending an announcement in connection with an update on the NASDAQ merger transaction…

Sacgasco (ASX:SGC) – to allow for security holders to vote on a resolution to approve the divestment of the Company’s main undertaking, as identified in the Notice of Meeting dispatched 15 December 2023.

NeuRizer (ASX:NRZ) – pending release to the market of an update to its Appendix 5B released to the market yesterday.