Good morning everyone, and welcome to 30 January, 2024 – A day in history most remarkable for the fact that it was on this day in 1661 that people were so angry with a guy called Oliver Cromwell, that they dug him up after two years in the grave so they could cut off his head. Here’s why…

Cromwell was a bit of a dick. He rose to prominence during a tumultuous time in England, which saw intense infighting between England and Ireland, and between those loyal to the monarchy, and those – such as Cromwell – who wanted it abolished.

There are dozens of reasons for all the shenanigans, but neither you nor I have the time or patience required to go through all of them, so as a catch-all (but still accurate) reason for all the warring and killing, I’m simply going to say “religion”.

Cromwell featured heavily in all of this as he was leader of the anti-monarchists, emerging at the head of forces loyal to Parliament that were taken on a rampage around the British Isles, pausing briefly to kick the sh.t out of anyone who dared stand up to them.

It started with an internal conflict between armies of King Charles I and Cromwell, which the latter won in 1645 and which, in turn, led to King Charles surrendering to Scottish forces.

Coincidentally – or perhaps not, now that I think about it – it was on this day in 1647 that, after nine long months of negotiations, King Charles I was ransomed back to the English by Scottish Presbyterians, for the eye-watering sum of 100,000 pounds.

According to an online calculator built by Eric Nye from the Department of English at the University of Wyoming, that 100 grand is worth about 24.8 million quid in today’s money.

Anyway – that proved to be a bit of a mistake. Negotiations for power sharing that year collapsed, and Cromwell once again took troops to the battlefield in 1648, but by this time he’d had the kind of epiphany that has been the undoing of many, many people over the centuries.

Cromwell believed that he had been personally appointed by God – a highly improbable scenario for several reasons, most of which centre around the fact that God seems to appoint lots of people to similar roles, and it never, ever ends well for them.

There was lots of fighting, Cromwell’s guys fought best and in the end, King Charles I was arrested and had his head removed. Nasty business, that.

That’s around the time the wheels came off Cromwell’s mental health. He led an army into Ireland in 1649 and waged a brutal, race-driven program against the locals, slaughtering them in their thousands as he went.

Three years later, Catholicism was banned, all Catholic owned land had been seized and portioned out to Protestants, and Ireland slid into a prolonged period of serious depression.

There was a brief uprising among the Scots in 1650, when they began parading Charles II – son of the recently beheaded Charles I – as the true ruler of England… which didn’t match up with Cromwell’s vision that he, as Lord Protector, was in charge.

So, he marched on Scotland, gave them a spanking and in 1651 brought parliament back into session to establish a united government over England, Scotland and Ireland.

That didn’t work, and when his beloved parliament tried to debate constitutional reform that he wasn’t a fan of, Cromwell pulled the plug on it again in 1655, gave things a couple of years to calm down and tried again in 1657.

Cromwell was still at the helm of the whole sordid mess in 1658, when he developed kidney stones, got an infection in his pee pee and died of a diseased prong, which wasn’t all that uncommon at the time.

Cromwell’s replacement was George Monck, who wasted very little time re-establishing the monarchy, paving the way for Charles II to be crowned king, effectively rendering all of Cromwell’s anti-monarchist murdering a complete waste of time.

Which is why, on the 12th anniversary of the beheading of Charles I, they dug up Cromwell’s dead body and cut off its head in a ceremonial execution, putting his rotting bonce on display on a pole outside Westminster Hall for more than 20 years, which is just gross, really.

So, there you have it – the historical reason why Australia is still a constitutional monarchy, and why Malcolm Turnbull is actually quite lucky that bits of him aren’t currently on display outside King Charles III’s place to this day.

But you didn’t come here to learn all that – you came to visit us because we have more urgent things to tell you about… such as Josh Chiats chat with Dale Henderson about what’s been happening at Pilbara Minerals, and Eddy Sunarto’s weekly scan of broker types about what they like this week.

Plus, there’s a bunch of words and numbers down below to help you get an idea of the shape of the market before the action kicks off later today.

 

COMMODITY/FOREX/CRYPTO MARKET PRICES

Gold: US$2,027.07 (+0.44%)

Silver: US$22.93 (+0.57%)

Nickel (3mth): US$16,531.50/t (+1.06%)

Copper (3mth): US$8,446.15/t (-0.37%)

Oil (WTI): US$78.49 (+0.33%)

Oil (Brent): US$84.03 (+0.41%)

Iron 62pc Fe: US$135.55/t (+0.01%)

AUD/USD: 0.6589 (+0.19%)

Bitcoin: US$42,255.30 (+0.53%)

 

WHAT GOT YOU TALKING

Looks like copper is back in the good books again, with the market bulls all clamouring for action in that sector.

 

 

YESTERDAY’S ASX SMALL CAP LEADERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks:

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

Wordpress Table Plugin

 

Yesterday’s Small Cap Winners included:

Avira Resources (ASX:AVW) was nominally on top of the winner’s list early, boasting a 100% jump to $0.002 per share, as local investors took a low-cost punt on the company’s recently-completed Phase 2 drill program at the Puolalaki Ni-Cu-Co-Au Project.

Copper prices are in the midst of a little boom at the moment, gold prices are holding above US$2,000 an ounce and it’s probably best we don’t talk about cobalt – but three outta four ain’t bad, and Avira’s got assay results due to market in the coming weeks.

Next best was Mako Gold (ASX:MKG), up 33% early in the wake of a due diligence update from the company about its flagship Napié Gold Project, where the company has been beavering away with a low-cost geological mapping and rock chip sampling at the Tchaga Nor target.

Mako boss Peter Ledwidge says the company is focussing its efforts on the western greenstone granite contact at Tchaga North and on new structural trends at the site, while progressing due diligence on a proposed “accretive transaction” with Goldridge, with negotiations there expected to recommence shortly.

The alarmingly-named Sacgasco (ASX:SGC) pumped its way into third place early, up 30% on news that three directors have bought into the company a little deeper, snapping up half a million shares each for a smidge over $4,500.

Adisyn (ASX:AI1) – the company formerly known as DC Two – banked a handsome climb in the afternoon off the back of a positive quarterly, and BlackWall (ASX:BWF) is up modestly after releasing an amended Appendix 4G and Governance Statement to the market late last week.

 

YESTERDAY’S ASX SMALL CAP LAGGARDS

Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks:

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

Wordpress Table Plugin

 

TRADING HALTS

Arovella Therapeutics (ASX:ALA) – pending the release of an announcement regarding a licensing agreement.

European Lithium (ASX:EUR) –  pending an announcement in connection with an update on a NASDAQ merger transaction and the timing of the special meeting of Sizzle shareholders.

Haranga Resources (ASX:HAR) – pending the Company examining whether a cleansing prospectus should be issued or whether, in the circumstances, it should seek order from the Court in relation to its inadvertent failure to lodge a Cleansing Notice in relation to shares issued by the Company on or about 7 December 2023, within 5 business days of the issue of the shares. Due to an oversight, a Cleansing Notice for this issue was not lodged within the required timeframe for the share issue.

Galan Lithium (ASX:GLN) – pending the release of an announcement in respect of a capital raise.

Harvest Technology Group (ASX:HTG) – pending an announcement in relation to a capital raising.

Venus Metals (ASX:VMC) – pending an announcement to the market regarding update on the Youanmi Lithium Project.

Manuka Resources (ASX:MKR) – to allow the Company the time necessary to secure commitments from sophisticated and professional investors in relation to a proposed capital raising.

Amaero International (ASX:3DA) – pending an announcement by the Company or the commencement of trading on Wednesday, 31 January 2024, whichever is earlier.