Global stock markets dipped

Stock markets dipped globally on fears over a potential third lockdown in Europe. Wall Street has seesawed throughout the week, as European shares hit a two-week low.

Dow Jones was down 0.01%, S&P 500 fell by 0.55%, while tech heavy NASDAQ also fell 2.01%.

On the NASDAQ, Tesla fell by nearly 5%, and FAANG stocks dropped around 2% each.

In other markets, oil surged by almost 6% overnight as a large container ship ran aground and blocked the Suez canal passage. The canal is a narrow passage between the Mediterranean and Red Sea. This follows a drop of 6% in oil prices yesterday.

10-year US treasury is down again to 1.62%.

Bitcoin is trading steady at USD$54,100 at 8am AEDT.

Closer to home

Insurance group, Suncorp (ASX:SUN), says it has received a lot of claims related to the recent flooding. It has received just over 5,400 claims across all three states – NSW, QLD, and VIC. Of the total claims received to date, around 80% are in NSW, and over 85% of total claims relate to property damage. It expects claims numbers to rise over coming days.

5 ASX small caps to watch today

ECS Botanics (ASX:ECS)
The cannabis play announced that it has signed an agreement with Melbourne-based Releaf Dispensaries, to supply the company with premium trimmed and dried cannabis flower. ECS says the agreement will generate approximately $590,000 revenue over its 18-month term.

MedAdvisor (ASX:MDR)
The medtech company reported that a global pharmaceutical company (without naming it) has extended its health program deal for an estimated three months, worth US$4.7 million. This is an extension of the previously announced five-month deal for a US$3.4 million program.

Singular Health (SHG)
The medtech company announced that a collaborative research project conducted with CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, has successfully concluded with the development of an artificial intelligence model capable of automatically segmenting spinal vertebrae from CT scans. The AI model will eliminate hours of tedious manual segmentation by medical practitioners, allowing surgeons and radiologists to edit output and ensure 100% compliance with their interpretation of the image, in a short period of time.

Respiri (ASX:RSH)
Another medtech company, Respiri, announced the appointment of Dr Andrew Weekes as a strategic advisor to the Respiri board, effective 15 March 2021. Dr Weekes is currently the Country Medical Director, Australia for GlaxoSmithKline, and has led a number of major initiatives at GSK, including being the first pharmaceutical company in Australia to introduce a new framework for its medical education program and interactions with healthcare professionals.

Starpharma (ASX:SPL)
Starpharma has signed a sales and distribution agreement for its VIRALEZE antiviral nasal spray with LloydsPharmacy, one of the largest pharmacy groups in the UK, with around 1,400 pharmacy stores across the country. VIRALEZE will be available online next week and is expected in store in April.


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