Market Highlights and 5 ASX Small Caps to watch on Friday
The ASX 200 is set to open much lower this morning, following a broad selloff on Wall Street. At 8am AEDT, the ASX 200 June futures contract is pointing down by more than 1.50%.
Overnight, Wall Street wiped out all the gains made yesterday with all three major indices plunging heavily – the S&P 500 by 3.56%, the Dow by 3.12% and tech heavy Nasdaq by a blood-curdling 4.99%.
It was the worst day for US stocks in 2022, as investors reassess the effectiveness of the Fed’s plan in tackling inflation announced on Wednesday.
The US Fed chairman Powell increased the Fed cash rate by 50bp on Wednesday, but ruled out the possibility of a 75bp hike anytime soon, telling the FOMC members that it “wasn’t something the committee was actively considering.” His comments sparked a 3% rally in US stocks.
But all that was wiped out as major US tech stocks tumbled in a brutal session for Nasdaq – Tesla was down 8.3% Apple 5.6%, Amazon -7.6% , and Meta -6.8%.
Bitcoin, which has been pretty much correlated with the Nasdaq, also plunged 8% to trade at US$36,475 at 8am AEDT – its biggest fall since January.
Back home, the market is awaiting a statement by RBA governor Philip Lowe on monetary policy at 11am AEDT.
It’s expected that Lowe will provide more context on his decision to lift rates by 0.25% last Tuesday, and also give the market some guidance on what’s to come.
Meanwhile, Block Inc (ASX:SQ2) disappointed the market with its quarterly earnings last night, as it reported a 22% decline on its revenue to o $US3.96 billion for the March quarter.
Afterpay made a contribution to Block’s gross profits for the first time of US$92 million, for the months of February and March.
Block Inc’s share price plunged over 10% after the release, and it would be interesting to see how other ASX-listed BNPL stocks would react today.
Calidus Resources (ASX:CAI)
Calidus has poured the first gold at its 100% owned Warrawoona Gold Project located in the Pilbara. The project has now entered the ramp-up phase, with the elution circuit currently commissioning, paving the way for the first bar sourced from the leach circuit to be poured next week.
Opthea Ltd (ASX:OPT)
Opthea announced that its clinical data was presented at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) 2022 Annual Meeting. The company presented on the potential utility of lead drug OPT-302 combination therapy to treat patients with PCV lesions.
Thor Mining (ASX:THR)
Electromagnetic survey has commenced over Nickel Gossan at Thor’s 100% owned Ragged Range Project located in the Eastern Pilbara. A high-powered fixed loop electromagnetics (FLEM) ground geophysics survey has been put into action, extending over the untested nickel gossan located in the western portion of the tenure. The survey is designed to detect conductive anomalies at depth that may indicate the presence of nickel sulphide mineralisation.
Seafarms Group (ASX:SFG)
Seafarms announced that Mick McMahon will step down as CEO and Executive Chairman effective immediately. Ian Trahar will replace Mr McMahon as Non-Executive Chairman, and an announcement regarding the new CEO will be made in due course.
Enero Group (ASX:EGG)
Enero has announced the sale of two of its businesses, The Leading Edge and The Digital Edge, to further align the group’s portfolio of complementary brands and services across the globe. The creative technology company has sold both companies to market research company FitftyFive5 for a total of $1.35 million.