• Bank and lithium mining stocks dragged the ASX more than 2% lower on Friday
  • Overnight, Wall Street also plunged 2%, spooked overnight on initial jobless claims 
  • Japan’s BoJ has maintained its negative interest rates

 

Bank stocks were rattled on Friday as the ASX tumbled by 2.2%. For the week, the index was down -1.5%.

Financials were the laggards today with the four big banks falling by around 3% each.

This follows a selloff in US banks stocks overnight, which was triggered by concerns over the solvency of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB).

SVB fell more than 50% after the lender slashed its 2023 outlook and launched a share sale, sparking a selloff in other US banks like JP Morgan, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo.

Wall Street was also spooked overnight as initial jobless claims in the US rose from 190,000 to 211,000 for the week, while the Challenger job cut report showed 77,770 jobs were cut in February.

The market will now focus on the US non-farm payroll (NFP) later tonight.

“Wall Street is hoping we are about to see a quicker cooling of the labor market, but we probably won’t see major positioning until after Friday’s NFP report,” said Oanda analyst, Edward Moya.

Apart from bank stocks, lithium stocks were also in the red today, with the likes of Allkem (ASX:AKE) and Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) falling by more than 6%.

Investors dumped lithium miners as the benchmark lithium prices hit a one-year low in China at 346,500 Yuan (around $75k) a tonne. The market has been dropping in recent months as supply growth outpaced demand, analysts and traders said.

QBE Insurance (ASX:QBE) was also down 2% today after the resignation of non-executive director Eric Smith who will be joining a US-based role.

Elsewhere, Japan’s BoJ has maintained its negative interest rate as governor Haruhiko Kuroda held his final meeting before being replaced by Kazuo Ueda on April 19. The Yen weakened against the USD following the decision.

And Bitcoin, which has become somewhat of a bellwether for risk assets, is down by 8.5% in the past 24 hours to US$19,930. BTC has now fallen to mid-January levels as Silvergate Bank’s implosion and other events shook crypto markets.

Looking ahead to tonight’s session on Wall Street, all eyes will be on key employment figures out of the US, along with other with data releases that could raise fears for economic growth prospects.

 

BIG CAP WINNERS

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Code Name Price % Change Volume Market Cap
LTR Liontown Resources 1.03 -7.40 11800466 $2,701,874,659
FBU Fletcher Building 3.70 -6.09 658295 $3,085,191,768
CSL CSL Limited 289.51 -5.08 709946 $147,343,443,385
IGO IGO Limited 6.90 -3.57 2157437 $5,414,464,863
NIC Nickel Industries 0.63 -3.46 3691387 $2,785,776,422
IFL Insignia Financial 2.23 -3.26 848886 $1,533,241,532
SGR The Star Ent Grp 0.53 -3.18 10386275 $1,577,774,482
SKC Skycity Ent Grp Ltd 1.91 -3.05 236734 $1,497,604,262
SQ2 Block 102.27 -2.78 57993 $3,731,605,362
HLS Healius 1.42 -2.75 987752 $1,056,427,548
DYL Deep Yellow Limited 1.47 -2.65 3239154 $1,154,715,624
FPH Fisher & Paykel H. 22.43 -2.61 150839 $13,448,683,596
LFG Liberty Fin Group 4.20 -2.55 30236 $1,309,394,693
CMW Cromwell Prop 0.41 -2.41 639801 $1,086,829,680
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Gold Road (ASX:GOR) and Origin Energy (ASX:ORG) rose around 3% on no news.

 

BIG CAP LOSERS

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Block Inc (ASX:SQ2) fell 6% on no news.