Didi ban and Kaseya ransom

Wall Street was closed on Monday due to the extended Independence Day long weekend.

Chinese regulators ordered app stores in China to block ride-hailing Didi app from being downloaded, just less than a week after its mega IPO in the US.

China’s internet regulators cited “illegal collection of personal data” as the main reason for the ban. Didi’s shares dropped by 5% on Friday.

Meanwhile, ransomeware hackers, believed to be Russians, have demanded $90 million in Bitcoin from Kaseya after claiming they have compromised more than 1 million computers.

Kaseya is a software company that allows companies to remotely manage servers, desktops and mobiles , all from a central console.

In cryptos, Bitcoin is currently trading at US$34,00 level at 8am AEST, from the US$35,700 level on Monday.

According to Kraken, survey results indicate four million Aussies are likely to buy crypto in the next 12 months.

ASX 200 set to open higher ahead of RBA meeting

The ASX200 is set to inch higher at the open this morning, with futures markets (September contracts) pointing up by 0.03 per cent at 8:30am AEST.

Yesterday, the index closed higher by 0.09 per cent, with industrials and energy the best performing sectors, gaining 4.93% and 2.03% respectively while the worst sector was tech, which lost 0.98%.

The RBA will meet today and make a decision on the next stage of its bond buying program. The central bank has already committed to two $100 billion rounds of quantitative easing.

5 ASX small caps to watch today

XRef (ASX:XF1)
The human resources tech company reported an $800,000 profit for the quarter, after unaudited sales increased by 140 per cent to $6.4 million. Cash flow has also strengthened during the quarter, with a surplus of $2.05 million.

Opthea (ASX:OPT)
The biotech company was granted FDA fast track designation to expedite the OPT-302 Phase 3 clinical program, and subsequent potential approval process. Opthea’s OPT-302 is currently being tested in combination with anti-VEGF- A therapy for the treatment of patients with neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Etherstack (ASX:ESK)
The wireless communications tech company reported a 76 per cent increase in H1 FY21 revenue to USD $4.2m, higher than its previous guidance predicting a range of between USD $3.5m to US$4.0m.

SRG Global (ASX:SRG)
The engineering company is expecting FY21 EBITDA to be at the top end of previous guidance of $45m – $47m. The company also said FY22 EBITDA is expected to be ~15% higher than FY21 EBITDA result.

Calix (ASX:CXL)
The materials tech company has executed a MoU deal with with Tarmac, for co-development of a Calix calciner for lime production with CO2 capture, for a site to be determined in the UK. The project is framed around a two-phase approach to a Final Investment Decision (FID) on the plan, with commercial terms still to be agreed between the parties for on-going licensing of the technology.