• Benchmark set to end the day down about 2.0%
  • Geopolitics and overseas rate-raising spree weigh heavily
  • A couple of late bolters bring some small comfort, but really… 

Another Friday, and another entirely sub-par experience for anyone watching the markets today – and, as if to make matters worse, if there was ever an argument as to why Australia should never be given a mid-week public holiday ever again, today’s market results are definitely the show-stopper.

Showing a complete disregard for the fact that we are A Nation In Mourning™, Wall Street’s opening act overnight consisted of two knock-knock jokes and a dirty limerick, leaving Aussie investors with nothing to work with at all.

It was like the benchmark had no choice but to take a dive, shedding 0.9% at open to be down around 1.6% as we pulled over for lunch, before losing even more value to arrive at the end of a sleepy and moribund Friday afternoon 2.0% less happy than we were yesterday.

Consumer Discretionary (-4.69%), and Real Estate (-3.73%), and InfoTech (-4.30%) were hardest hit over the course of the day.

Utilities (-3.12%), Communication Services (-2.67%) and Energy (-2.20%) were also singing the tune of a slow, ungracious and inglorious glissando, leaving Materials (-0.60%) to try oh-so-hard but fail mightily in the role of unlikely defender.

There were no Big Cap winners today – but there are certainly some taking big hits today.

Block Inc (ASX:SQ2) has fudged out a 9.0% drop this morning, bringing its trading price down to $84.30, a fall of nearly 23% over the past 10 days. The slide was arrested somewhat during the later parts of the day, stemming the losses around 8.8%.

Huge improvement. Fantastic work, everyone. Let’s try harder next time, but, yeah?

 

THINK GLOBALLY, ACT POORLY

Because we’re doing our best to blame today’s domestic bed-pooping on “The US”, it’s only fair to let you know why – markets there got thoroughly pantsed by the US Fed’s widely anticipated 75bp rate hike that US investors had supposedly already priced in.

Looks like someone missed the memo. The S&P dropped -0.84%, the Dow fell -0.35% and the Nasdaq dumped -1.37%.

The rate hike in the US is part of a broader series of hikes as national policymakers around the world fight galloping inflation rates.

The Bank of England increased its rates by 50bp, the Swiss National Bank by 75bp, Norway by 50bp, and Canada is expected to hike by 50bp.

In fact, it’s rate hikes all the way down, except for a few outliers including Japan, China and Russia. Most notable though is Turkey, which very recently cut its rate as inflation hit a massive 80.2%.

We could go on and on about other factors – in fact, we will, because it’s interesting and fun.

News that Russia is set to call out ~300,000 more recruits into active service for its “small operation” in Ukraine – and that President Putin is refusing to rule out dropping a few nukes if things go any further south – is, evidently, extremely alarming.

Oil prices have eased somewhat since this morning, down 0.3% while natural gas have jumped 2.27%. Gold eased further this afternoon (-0.11%), silvers up 0.12% and copper dug in deeper, down -0.68%,

In Asian market news, Japan’s closed for a public holiday, Hong Kong is down 0.81% and Shanghai is also lower by -0.49%.

 

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
A brief look at the charts this afternoon shows that it’s Legacy Minerals Holdings (ASX:LGM) most likely to win the game of “Who’s on Top at the End of the Day” among the small caps, up 30.4%. LGM has dropped and and then regained $0.035 over the past four days on no particular news.

For action that’s easily explainable, though, we turn to Apollo Tourism & Leisure, which went into a trading halt very briefly today before announcing that the New Zealand Commerce Commission has today provided clearance for the proposed merger with Tourism Holdings Limited (NZX:THL). This news was very well received by local investors, with ATL trading 26.2% higher once the halt was lifted.

Digital-Place-Based and Location Intelligence media company Motio (ASX:MXO), was up 20.5% this morning on news that “IBM Cognos with Watson users the opportunity to positively impact their business intelligence experience through the use of its MotioCI tool which is now fully supported whether using it on-premises or in the cloud”.

It’s great news for investors, and terrible news for anyone who would like to be able to pop down to the shops for two bottles of fruit-flavoured vodka, a pack of rubber gloves and a tube of KY without IBM’s computers wondering what kind of weekend you have planned. THe climb eased to 11.7% by day’s end.

 

ASX SMALL CAP LAGGARDS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks:

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

Wordpress Table Plugin

 

TRADING HALTS

Inventis (ASX:IVT) – There’s an acquisition in the works, more details later.

Link Administration Holdings (ASX:LNK) – The Dye & Dunham Saga continues, despite Link knocking them back a few days ago.

Belararox (ASX:BRX) – Cap raise.

DC Two (ASX:DC2) – Cap raise.

Eastern Resources (ASX:EFE) – Cap Raise