ASX to fall as Russia ups the ante on Ukraine

European stocks and US equity futures fell sharply overnight, as Russian President Putin addressed his nation on national TV and formally recognised two breakaway regions in Ukraine.

Experts said the move is a pretext for moving his troops into Ukraine territory, as French President Macron called for an immediate “targeted European sanctions” against Russia.

Wall Street was closed for Presidents Day, but US stocks futures were all trading much lower, down by almost 2%.

European stocks also fell hard on the news – the SXXP by 1.30% , the DAX by-2.07%, and French CAC by 2%.

Investors moved back to the safety of gold, pushing the precious metal above US$1,900 once again to US$1,904/ounce.

Oil prices also rose around 2%, with Brent now trading at $US95.33 a barrel.

Meanwhile, Bitcoin has held its ground and is trading at US$38,300 at 8.30am AEDT.

And while it may not be as interesting as GameFi or cartoon apes that sell for $500k, crypto taxation is an important topic for investors in this space to get their heads around.

Coinhead’s Rob Badman breaks down how to prepare your crypto tax with specialist H&R Block Australia.

ASX 200 to open lower on Tuesday

The ASX 200 index looks set to follow European stocks lower this morning, with futures markets (March contracts) pointing down by 1.16% at 8:30am AEDT.

Yesterday, local shares began in negative territory but rallied when the news broke out of a potential Biden-Putin summit, finishing the day 0.27% higher.

Later today, ANZ and Roy Morgan will be releasing their weekly survey on consumer sentiment, while the Commonwealth Bank will be issuing weekly credit and debit card spending data.

In large caps this morning, Coles Group (ASX:COL) said its first half earnings were hit by COVID-19 disruptions. Coles’ revenue rose just 1% (on pcp) to $20.8 billion for the half, while  profit declined 2% to $549m.

Regis Resources (ASX:RRL) reported an underlying net profit of $44m for the half,  on the back of an  18% increase in revenue to $488.8m. The gold miner also said it expects a stronger second half, as increased gold grades at its Duketon mine come into production.

5 ASX small caps to watch today

Alloggio Group (ASX:ALO)
The short term rental accomodation company delivered a record first half, with revenue up by 111%t (on pcp) to $10.1m and EBITDA up by 115% (on pcp) to $4.1m. The company also released guidance for the full year: FY22 revenue of $21.5m (+90%) and EBITDA of $8.6m (+85%).

Peter Warren Automotive (ASX:PWR)
The company’s underlying Profit Before Tax was $36.3m, up 35% on prior year. The company also declared its inaugural interim dividend of 9 cents per share, fully franked.

Whispir (ASX:WSP)
The cloud SaaS provider posted a record first half revenue of $39.4m, up 70.4% (on pcp). Annualised Recurring Revenue (ARR) was $60m, up from $47.4m on pcp, a 26.6% increase.

Step One Clothing (ASX:STP)
Revenue for the half was $38.1m, a 11.7% growth on pcp. Its website visits exceeded 7.1 million, up 41.8% on pcp with 6.3% conversion rate.

Doctor Care Anywhere (ASX:DOC)
DOC said its agreements with AXA Health have been varied such that its share of revenue generated from this service will be paid directly to Doctor Care. From the effective date of 1 April, this change will result in materially improved revenue and margins for DOC, whilst also accelerating the timing of cash inflows, it said.