ASX to slip as Wall Street, Europe stocks fall

Local shares are set to open lower this morning as US and European equities fell overnight.

Eurozone headline CPI was at 5.8% year-on-year in February, the highest since the inception of the Euro. This led to sharp falls in the FTSE, CAC 40 and Dax indexes of around 2% each.

Wall Street was a bit more subdued but all three major US benchmarks still closed in the red – the S&P 500 was down by 0.53%, the Dow by 0.29% and tech heavy Nasdaq by 1.56%.

The Ukraine invasion by Russia, which now enters its ninth day, has intensified as a second round of ceasefire talks in Belarus ended without accord.

The Australian dollar is heading up once again, and is now trading just above 73c. This came as iron ore prices rose back above US$150, with the spot iron ore price now trading at US$153/tonne.

Oil prices have eased a little overnight, down by around 1%, but natural gas has hit a new record in Europe amid supply concerns.

The benchmark gas price for Europe jumped overnight in Amsterdam to trade at US$221.

Meanwhile, Bitcoin is lower by 4% at 8.30am AEDT this morning, changing hands at US$42,023.

The Ukraine invasion and the Fed’s inflation-combatting screw tightening is a two-pronged force suppressing the crypto markets in waves for the moment.

Here’s Coinhead’s roundup of the current state of the play.

ASX 200 to open lower Friday

The ASX 200 is set to open lower this morning, with the March futures pointing down by 1.2% at 8.30am AEDT.

Yesterday, local shares posted a steady gain of 0.49% with two clear standout sectors; energy and resources.

Both indexes once again posted gains well north of 2%, as investors chase what’s shaping up as a broader dislocation in commodity markets stemming from the ongoing battle.

5 ASX small caps to watch today

Wiluna Mining (ASX:WMC)
Wiluna announced that, in light of the current military action in Ukraine, it will immediately suspend shipments of gold concentrate from its Wiluna Mining Centre to Russia. During this period, Wiluna has arrangements in place to sell and ship all its concentrate to alternative destinations, and will continue the situation in Ukraine.

Infomedia (ASX:IFM)
The SaaS platform provider for the auto industry has a new CEO. Jens Monsees, a 20 year veteran known for driving digital transformation, innovation, and strategy across a range of industries including automotive and technology, will become its new CEO starting 23 May.

Sayona Mining (ASX:SYA)
Sayona completed a Mineral Resource estimate update for the North American Lithium and Authier projects in Canada totalling 119.1 metric tonnes @ 1.05% Li2O, which is double the previous estimate. Fellow ASX lister Piedmont Lithium (ASX:PLL) owns 25% stake in the project.

Black Cat Syndicate (ASX:BC8)
The Resource at Jones Find has increased 67% to 1.3Mt @ 1.3 g/t Au for 55koz, since the maiden Resource estimate. This includes a 47% upgrade of the Resource to Indicated category (532kt @ 1.5 g/t Au for 26koz).

Aldroro Resources (ASX:ARN)
Assay results received for three drillholes at VC1 at the Narndee Project include 4.26m at 1.22% Ni in NDD0014.

At Stockhead we tell it like it is. While Wiluna Mining is a Stockhead advertiser, it did not sponsor this article.