• Financials dragged the ASX 200 lower on Friday
  • Cathie Wood snapped up more Block Inc shares amid Hindenburg-fulled selloff
  • ASX gold shares continue ascent


Financials dragged down the ASX today after sector heavyweight Block Inc (ASX:SQ2) crashed almost 20% following a scathing report by short seller, Hindenburg Research.

At the close of Friday, the ASX 200 index was down by 0.2% and 0.6% for the week.

Overnight, parent shares of dual-listed Block Inc fell by 15% on NYSE after Hindenburg claimed that Block allowed criminal activity to flourish on its platform due to lax internal controls.

The short seller also claimed the platform has been overrun with scam accounts and fake users, and as a result has “wildly overstated its genuine user counts, and understated its customer acquisition costs.”

Cathie Wood’s ARK Invest fund has snapped up 338,000 more Block shares after the plunge, according to its daily trading data.

Meanwhile, gold shares on the ASX continued to climb as spot gold lifted another 1% overnight.

The global banking crisis has sent gold prices past $3000/oz in Australian dollar terms for the first time in the past week.

Fitch this week became the latest analyst to predict a strong 2023 for gold stocks, with predictions of stronger safe haven gold investing this year prompting it to lift its year forecast from US$1850/oz to US$1950/oz.

Now read: How Low Can You Go?: Where will the newest ASX gold mines land on the global cost curve?


In other developments…

Oil edged lower in Asian hours with WTI trading at US$69.86, dragging the ASX Energy sector lower.

Terraform Labs founder Do Kwon was arrested in Montenegro overnight and charged by US prosecutors with orchestrating a years-long crypto fraud that wiped out at least $40 billion in market value.

“Web3 is not a law-free zone,” said Manhattan-based US Attorney Damian Williams. “Fraud is fraud, whether it occurs on the blockchain or on Wall Street.”

Twitter is about to remove legacy verified marks from user accounts next week, and allows only paid subscribers of approved organisations have that status.

Closer to home, Japan’s CPI rose 3.1% in February from a year earlier, government data showed this afternoon.

On the ASX, Brickworks (ASX:BKW) dived 4% after warning investors that earnings are likely to face significant headwinds from FY24 as a result of the economic slowdown.



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

Code Name Price % Change Volume Market Cap
AGL AGL Energy Limited. 7.435 5.76 3,346,010 $4,729,413,048
BGL Bellevue Gold Ltd 1.2175 4.51 3,421,425 $1,315,445,863
PRU Perseus Mining Ltd 2.33 4.02 2,989,062 $3,063,117,373
CXO Core Lithium 0.7875 3.62 10,722,434 $1,409,812,763
PLS Pilbara Min Ltd 3.55 3.50 16,478,964 $10,283,186,370
RRL Regis Resources 1.8625 2.90 3,213,657 $1,366,596,924
EVN Evolution Mining Ltd 2.945 2.61 4,597,464 $5,266,496,836
OCL Objective Corp 12.56 2.36 41,584 $1,168,682,138
LFS Latitude Group 1.1975 2.35 117,374 $1,215,883,700
LTR Liontown Resources 1.4625 2.27 9,013,712 $3,143,790,125
SLR Silver Lake Resource 1.125 2.27 4,748,142 $1,022,718,766
WordPress Tables Plugin

Gold Road (ASX:GOR) rose 1.6% after reaching an agreement to restructure arrangements surrounding its Yilgarn Exploration Ventures portfolio with Sensore.

Collins Food (ASX:CKF) rose modestly after announcing that CFO Nigel Williams plans to leave in July.



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

Code Name Price % Change Volume Market Cap
SQ2 Block 88.21 -19.07 812,920 $3,366,861,642
BKW Brickworks Limited 22.80 -4.04 218,589 $3,617,333,953
CRN Coronado Global Res 1.54 -3.75 2,344,863 $2,682,325,968
SNZ Summerset Grp Hldgs 7.79 -3.35 772 $1,879,911,716
HLS Healius 2.93 -3.30 1,570,497 $1,725,671,988
CIA Champion Iron Ltd 6.61 -2.87 2,292,088 $3,516,913,257
APM APM Human Services 2.01 -2.67 317,274 $1,889,394,809
CHC Charter Hall Group 10.77 -2.67 1,168,401 $5,231,349,021
PNV Polynovo Limited 1.77 -2.34 3,598,665 $1,252,046,443
BFL Bsp Financial Group 4.78 -2.25 4,254 $2,284,705,697
HMC HMC Capital Limited 3.59 -2.18 178,637 $1,103,852,122
LOV Lovisa Holdings Ltd 22.70 -2.11 94,831 $2,500,620,903
CGF Challenger Limited 6.13 -1.92 876,801 $4,297,587,256
NAB National Aust. Bank 27.10 -1.92 4,621,894 $86,721,301,074
WordPress Tables Plugin

Ship builder Austal (ASX:ASB) fell slightly despite announcing the delivery of a 115m high-speed catamaran passenger ferry to Danish company, Molslinjen.

Coal stock New Hope (ASX:NHC) fell 0.5% after the Supreme Court of NSW judged that action initiated against NHC by Northern Energy Corporation and Colton Coal liquidators be dismissed, with agreed settlement terms. NHC says it has been adversely impacted by around $38.5m.

Medibank (ASX:MPL) dropped over 1% after announcing the departure of Technology & Operations exec John Goodall after more than 6 years with the company.