It’s not April Fools until tomorrow but Dyson might have got their dates wrong.

The company has released a new product called the Zone which is apparently a pair of noise-cancelling Bluetooth headphones with a built-in air-purifier.

Dyson says the Zone can filter out up to 99 per cent of particle pollution – check out how it works here.

 

Mask wearing has been normalised throughout the pandemic, but it remains to be seen if this Bane-style tech could be commonplace on your commute to work…

 

To Markets …

The ASX 200 is up 27.10 points or 0.36% at midday today to 7,541.60.

Yesterday European markets fell amid ongoing concerns about rising energy prices and the conflict in Ukraine. The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.4%.

“Stocks in Europe are retreating this afternoon as investors worry about rising energy costs that will hit consumers hard,” IG analyst Chris Beauchamp says.

In London, the FTSE 100 closed up 0.6% on Wednesday thanks to rising commodity prices, which masked losses across most of the rest of the index and continental indexes, IG says. “While the FTSE 100 has escaped the losses so far today, with UK bills set to head in the same direction there are big questions about whether economies across the continent will be able to avoid a recession,” IG says.

Money managers say the risk of recession is greater in Europe than in the US, in part because of the continent’s relative reliance on Russian exports. Russia supplies around 40% of the European Union’s natural gas.

A European recession is “within our baseline scenario,” said Seema Shah, chief strategist at Principal Global Investors. In addition to the continent’s dependence on Russia for gas and other goods, Europe is also contending with significant inflation, she said.

As the month winds down, US investors are still contending with war in Ukraine, surging inflation and a Federal Reserve that has begun raising interest rates for the first time since 2018. Yet traders have continued to pile into US equities, with the S&P 500 up 5.2% for the month.

Strategists and investors say the recent rebound is fragile — especially as hopes for a speedy end to the war remain dim.

“It just seems like markets are still trying to digest the rally they’ve seen since Russia invaded Ukraine,” said Jake Manoukian, the US head of investment strategy for JP Morgan Private Bank.

 

ASX SMALL CAP WINNERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for March 31 [intraday]:

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

 

 

Siren Gold (ASX:SNG) has pulled up 2.5m grading 358g/t gold in drilling at the ‘Alexander River’ project.

MD Brian Rodan said it’s gratifying for the company to achieve a “spectactular bonanza” hit.

“The company believes this intersection provides additional credence to our long-held belief that the deeper we drill at Alexander River the more visible gold we will intersect and the same holds true for our Big River, St George, and Lyell projects,” he said.

“Siren Gold is currently progressing a significant amount of work at its Reefton gold project and with the commencement of our third rig at Big River the company certainly looks forward to exciting times ahead on our virtually untouched Reefton Goldfield tenement package.”

And Bulletin Resources (ASX:BNR) has flagged two new finds of spodumene lithium mineralisation some distance from Big pegmatite at its Ravensthorpe project which it says complements the known spodumene occurrences at Big, Deep Purple and Creek pegmatites.

Mapping and sampling is ongoing at the project.

 

ASX SMALL CAP LOSERS