Wall Street down for third consecutive day

All three major US stock market benchmarks have dipped lower for the third consecutive day.

The Dow Jones fell by 0.43%, the S&P 500 by 0.46%, and tech heavy Nasdaq by 0.25%.

Moderna jumped by 8% after saying that it’s developing one vaccine booster shot that could protect against both COVID-19 and the seasonal flu.

In Europe, stock markets were mixed after the ECB (European Central Bank) President Christine Lagarde said the bank would slow its pandemic bond-buying program in the coming quarter, but insisted that it wasn’t tapering.

In other markets, base metals rose overnight with aluminium gaining another 2%. Oil and iron ore prices meanwhile dropped by around 2%.

To the cryptocurrency market where Bitcoin is holding steady and and trading US$46,400 at 8:00am AEST this morning, from US$46,400 on Thursday.

Meawnhile, Afterpay (ASX:APT) has told members of the Australian Senate that using crypto could cut payments costs for merchants, and revealed it has hopes for an AUD-backed stablecoin once regulatory clarity is established.

ASX 200 to open higher on Friday

The ASX 200 looks set to open higher his morning, with futures markets (September contracts) pointing down up 1% at 8:30am AEST.

Yesterday, the Aussie benchmark finished 1.9% lower, equalling its worst performance for the year in February.

Stocks lost ground at the opening bell and kept falling throughout the day, with broad brushed selling across all eleven sectors.

Today, three stocks are expected to make their ASX debut : Culpeo Minerals (ASX:CPO), Mt Malcom Mines (ASX:M2M) and X2M Connect (ASX:X2M).


5 ASX small caps to watch today

Battery Minerals (ASX:BAT)
The exploration company said that after delays caused by unseasonably high rainfall, aircore drilling is set to resume at its Stavely-Stawell Project in Victoria next week. The 15,000m aircore drilling program will test five highly promising prospects, including three orogenic gold and two porphyry copper-gold targets for an estimated 15,000 metres of aircore drilling.

Empire Energy (ASX:EEG)
Empire’s wholly owned subsidiary, Imperial Oil & Gas, has entered into grant agreements with the Australian government which will offset 25% of the cost of seismic acquisition and drilling at its 100% owned EP187 tenement in Beetaloo, NT. Drilling approval has been received from the NT government, and is expected to begin in the coming weeks.

Province Resources (ASX:PRL)
The company has secured the first of approvals for its HyEnergy green hydrogen project, with a licence granted for a site north of Carnarvon, WA. This approval allows environmental and other on-ground project studies to commence on site which covers almost 100 sq km.

Riedel Resources (ASX:RIE)
The company is making final preparations for RC drilling at the Kingman Gold Project in Arizona after receiving drill permit. Drilling will focus on the Tintic area where Riedel has achieved numerous high-grade gold and silver drill assays results earlier this year.

Whispir (ASX:WSP)
The business solutions SaaS company has announced a new CFO, Jenni Pilcher. Pilcher spent the majority of her 25 year career in CFO and Company Secretary roles, her most recent being the Global CFO and Company Secretary of medical imaging software company Mach7 Technologies (ASX:M7T). She will be replacing current CFO Justin Owen.