ASX to rise as global equities rebound

Wall Street and European stocks rebounded strongly overnight after Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he was open to compromise on some of Russia’s demands to end the war.

At the close, all major US stock indices finished higher – the S&P 500 by 2.57%, the Dow by 2%, and tech heavy Nasdaq by 3.59%.

In Europe, the DAX and CAC 40 were up by over 7%, while the FTSE was up 3.25%.

One of the demands Russia sought was for Ukraine to stop its pursuit of NATO membership, to which President Zelensky said:

“I have cooled down regarding this question a long time ago after we understood that NATO is not prepared to accept Ukraine.”

Oil prices plunged by more than 10% after the UAE said it will call on fellow OPEC members to increase their output faster.

Brent is now trading at US$112.84 a barrel, while gold fell back below US$2k, trading at US$1,993 an ounce.

After the historic short squeeze on Tuesday that saw nickel rise by 100% to US$100k a ton, nickel price is back to around US$82k a tonne.

The Wall Street Journal fingered the potential trading losses incurred by Tsingshan on its contracts at US$8 billion, a number also reported in Chinese media, where founder Xiang has spoken publicly to try douse some of the flames. Read the rest of that story here on Stockhead.

Bitcoin has surged by 7% to US$41,745 at 8.30am AEDT, on the back of what’s being interpreted as an innovation-friendly executive order on crypto from the Biden administration.

Meanwhile, investors’ eyes will be on on the key US inflation figure to be released later today (US time). The last US CPI reading was a record 7.5% year-on- year.

ASX 200 to open higher on Thursday

The ASX 200 is set to open higher this morning, with the March futures pointing up by 0.30% at 8.30am AEDT.

Yesterday, local blue chips were up 1.04% as risk appetite picked up.

The Tech sector was the best performer, but Nickel Mines (ASX:NIC) plunged by 22% and its shares were halted after the big nickel short squeeze the previous night.

Later today, the ABS will release the weekly payroll jobs and wages data.

5 ASX small caps to watch today

Immutep (ASX:IMM)
Immutep said it has received positive feedback from the US FDA regarding its clinical development program for lead product candidate, alpha (efti or IMP321), in metastatic breast cancer. The FDA has supported Immutep’s view to continue exploring the development of efti in a new registrational trial.

Tombola Gold (ASX:TBA)
Assays from grade control holes at Shamrock at the Mt Freda Gold Complex have confirmed gold grades of up to 89.8g/t Au. Results include: 54.1g/t Au from 0m including 2m @ 89.8g/t Au from 0m.

Carawaine Resources (ASX:CWX)
Latest assay results from Hercules include the highest gold grade and one of the best intervals returned to date. Results include: [email protected]/t Au from 239m, including 1m@137g/t Au from 239m.

Panoramic Resources (ASX:PAN)
Assays have been returned from the new zone drilling intersection at Savannah North. Results include: 5.7m @ 1.47% Ni, 0.63% Cu and 0.07% Co from 3.3m, with grades similar to the overall Savannah Mineral Resource.

Invictus Energy (ASX:IVZ)
Invictus has executed a drilling rig contract with Exalo Drilling SA to drill the Muzarabani-1 exploration well, and an option for an additional exploration well for the basin opening drilling campaign, scheduled to commence in June.