Former antiquities minister and renowned Egyptologist Zahi Hawass has assured punters that a string of unfortunate and tragic events in Egypt – including the Suez Canal blockage – has nothing to do with the ‘Curse of the Pharaohs’.

Egypt is preparing for the Pharaohs Golden Parade, which involves transferring 22 mummies to a new museum in April.

Some have speculated that the plans triggered an ancient curse. Social media users have fixated on an inscription allegedly written on the tomb of famous boy king Tutankhamun – “Death will come on quick wings for those who disturb the king’s peace”.

Hawass says there are no such thing as curses and it was probably germs which had killed all those archaeologists who had excavated tombs in the past.


 

To Markets …

US and European banks dragged markets down amid warnings of potential losses after US-based hedge fund Archegos defaulted on margin calls.

A margin call occurs when the value of an investor’s margin account – typically containing securities bought with borrowed money — falls below the broker’s (lenders) required amount.

If a margin call is issued and the investor is unable to bring their investment up to the minimum amount, the broker can sell off the positions.

On Friday, the selloff wiped $35 billion from the market. Shares in Chinese tech companies Baidu and Tencent, and US media companies were sold off.

In Europe, Credit Suisse shares slumped 13.8% following a warning of ‘significant’ losses from exiting positions.

“It is unclear whether Archegos is done with its fire sales, and if it isn’t, how much it has left to unload,” Connor Campbell, an analyst at Spreadex told Morningstar.

“That also raises questions over the wider ramifications of the hedge fund’s troubles, and which companies will be the next to announce they have been stung.”

There’s still chatter as to whether or not — and which — American banks may be affected, Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial told Morningstar.

“That is a question that’s lurking. But so far, the market has taken (the news) in stride essentially,” he said.

Just good clean fun.

Global oil prices edged higher on Monday, despite the Suez Canal reopening to traffic after the Ever Given container ship was tugged free.

And iron ore lifted 3.9% to $US167.70 a tonne after Macquarie Group upgraded its average iron ore price forecast by 18% to $US130 a tonne over 2021.

he Aussie market has slipped into negative territory — with the ASX 200 down  0.31% to 6778.4 points. at midday — after being up as much as 0.54% on the open.

 

WINNERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks at 12pm Tuesday March 30:

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

 

Medtech minnow Analytica (ASX:ALT) led the winners after announcing a joint venture (JV) with two Chinese companies to manufacture and distribute its pelvic floor exercise device, the PeriCoach, in the country.

Bryah Resources (ASX:BYH) is the latest gold explorer to soar on the back of spectacular drilling results. The stock hit two-and-a-half year highs in early trade.

China focused ecommerce play RooLife Group (ASX:RLG)  provided rosy revenue guidance. It was previously forecasting $2.5 million in revenue for the current quarter but now expects $3.5 million.

And online beverage seller Digital Wine Ventures (ASX:DW8)­­­ inked an agreement with Bibendum, one of Australia’s leading fine wine and beverage distributors.

DW8 is now up 2800% over the past year.

 

LOSERS

Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks at 12pm Tuesday March 30:

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