The Australian sharemarket is set to open higher this morning, with the ASX 200 July futures pointing up by 0.12% at 8am AEST.

The ASX closed last week nearly 8% lower, suffering one of its worst weeks since the onset of the pandemic.

The index is inching closer to bear market territory, having fallen by 15% since its most recent high in April. By definition, a fall of 20% from this high signals a bear market.

On Wall Street, major indexes also fell by around 5% last week. Energy was the worst performing US sector on Friday, as oil and other commodities declined amid concerns of a global recession.

For the week, Brent has fallen by 6.5%, while base metals like copper and iron ore also saw declines as investors anticipate slowing demand globally.

A speech by RBA governor Philip Lowe on Tuesday could offer a glimpse into the central bank’s current state of thinking, and whether he expects a recession to materialise in Australia.

“Rising interest rates are making it more expensive for companies and consumers to borrow money, signalling that the period of ‘cheap money’ that followed the Great Recession of 2008-2009 is finally coming to an end,” Nathan Stovall, analyst at S&P Global Market Intelligence said.

“The biggest companies and wealthiest consumers are expected to weather the more expensive environment without significant distress.

“Recessions hit households with lower incomes harder than they do more affluent households,” Stovall added.

Rising interest rates are also hitting cryptocurrencies hard, with Bitcoin plunging by 40% over the past month.

However, BTC has climbed back 10% in the last 24 hours, and is now trading at US$20,688 at 8.30am AEST.

For the week, there are no major events on the economic calendar, except for US Fed speak on Wednesday (US time).

5 ASX small caps to watch today

Smart Parking (ASX:SPZ)
The company provided a year-to-date update up to May. Total sites were at 816, up 32% compared to June last year. SPZ says it’s targeting 1,500 sites by June 2025. SPZ also says it’s well capitalised to fund further strategic acquisition opportunities in new territories.

Pointsbet (ASX:PBH)
Pointsbet has received a significant equity investment from SIG Sports, a member of the Susquehanna International Group of Companies (SIG). SIG is one of the largest proprietary financial trading firms in the world. SIG Sports will now become PointsBet’s largest shareholder, representing 12.8% of the company’s issued shares following a new cap raise.

Duratec (ASX:DUR)
The engineering company says it anticipates a record second half revenue for H2 FY22. Forecast revenue for the full year is expected to be in the $305m to $315m range. EBITDA is forecast at between $18m to $20m (1H FY22 actual was $5m).

Riedel Resources (ASX:RIE)
Riedel has returned more high grade gold and silver assays from the Tintic zone at Riedel’s Kingman Gold Project in the US. Results include: 3.8m @ 18.1g/t Au and 201g/t Ag from 85.3m.

Coda Minerals (ASX:COD)
Coda reported further significant assay results received from drilling at the Emmie IOCG1 prospect, part of its flagship 100%-owned Elizabeth Creek Copper Project in South Australia. The drill-holes have returned a best intercept of 16m @ 2.66% Cu and 37.5g/t Ag from 812m.