Wall Street rattled on reports of potential Russia-Ukraine war this week

US stock investors got the jitters on Friday as media company PBS reported that Russia could move forward with invading Ukraine this week.

There was flight to safety as investors dumped equities, causing all three major US equities benchmarks to fall.

The S&P 500 dropped by 1.90%, the Dow Jones by 1.43%, and tech heavy Nasdaq by 3.74%.

Amongst tech stocks dumped were Meta (-3.74%), Amazon (-3.59%), and Tesla (-4.93%).

Nervous investors ploughed into assets like bonds causing the benchmark 10-year US yield to tumble to 1.94% (from 2%). The Japanese yen also surged as flight to safety intensified.

Meanwhile, the US Fed has called to convene an “expedited” meeting later today (US time). The unscheduled meeting is expected to discuss interest rates, with some describing it as an “emergency meeting”, but others say this kind of meeting is a fairly “regular occurrence.”

In commodities, crude oil surged almost 4%, with Brent trading to US$94.44 a barrel, and iron ore plunged by 8% to $US120.53.

To cryptos, where Bitcoin is down slightly to trade at US$42,405 at 8.00am AEDT.

Australia’s leading cryptocurrency investment firm, Apollo Capital, is on a hiring spree after a stellar year last year, and even plans to start an investment DAO (decentralised autonomous organisation) to incubate new web3.0 projects.

Read the rest of that story here on Coinhead.

ASX 200 to open lower on Monday

The ASX 200 index looks set to open lower this morning, with futures markets (March contracts) pointing down by 0.47% at 8am AEDT.

On Friday, the ASX followed Wall Street into negative territory, down by 0.98%, as RBA boss Phil Lowe told Parliament that a rate hike in 2022 is ‘plausible’. For the week, the ASX 200 was up 1.36%.

Speaking in Australian parliament, Lowe signalled a ‘plausible’ hike in Aussie rates later this year, but reiterated that it would all depend on data.  Lowe said a 2.5% rate could be the eventual target for the central bank over the coming years.

In large cap news this morning, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank (ASX:BEN) is the latest bank to report falling net interest margins (NIM), after the Big Four reported the same last week. BEN’s profit rose 31.7% to $321.3m, but its NIM tumbled by 14 basis points.

BEN is one amongst a slew of large cap ASX-listed companies that will report earnings this week.

JB Hi-Fi, Wesfarmers, BHP, Fortescue, CSL, Telstra, Tabcorp will all release their earnings reports at various stages during the week.

5 ASX small caps to watch today

ECS Botanics (ASX:ECS)
The cannabis company has completed its first shipment of dried cannabis flower purchased by Lyphe Group, the largest distributor of medicinal cannabis in the UK, totalling US$500k. ECS is says it’s expecting further orders from Lyphe over CY2022.

Audinate (ASX:AD8)
The audiovisual tech company’s revenue jumped 31.6% (on pcp) to $20.2m for the first half, with bottom line EBITDA rising by 11% to $2m. Audinate expects further supply chain tightness in 2H22, but says it has received additional commitments from chip suppliers.

Keypath Education (ASX:KED)
The online education company delivered a 37% increase (on pcp) in the first half to US$56.9m. The bottom line however was a net loss of US$13.5m from US$3.3m in the pcp, but this includes the payment of US$5.7m in one-time stock-based compensation and long-term incentive plan cash awards.

Peak Rare Earths (ASX:PEK)
Chinese group Shenghe Resources has taken a 19.9% interest in Peak from Appian Pinnacle at $0.99 per share, which was a 24.5% premium to the last closing price of Peak shares. Peak says the transaction represents a strong endorsement of its projects, given Shenghe’s position as a leading Chinese rare earth company with a market cap ofUS$4.9 billion.

Altamin Ltd (ASX:AZI)
Altamin has lodged applications for two exploration licences (ELs) in the Lazio administrative region of central Italy. The ELs are highly prospective for lithium in geothermal brines and are located at Cesano, about 50km north of Rome.


At Stockhead we tell it like it is. While ECS Botanics and Altamin are Stockhead advertises, they did not sponsor this article.