• Wall Street closed for Memorial Day
  • European shares rose across the board as China eases lockdowns
  • Oil prices and Bitcoin jump 

Wall Street was closed for Memorial Day, but European shares advanced as China loosened its Covid lockdowns in Shanghai.

The Shanghai government has also rolled out as many as 50 stimulus measures to restart the local economy.

In Europe, the pan-European STOXX 600 index rose by 0.6%, the FTSE by 0.2%, and the German DAX by 0.8%.

Germany’s inflation rate in May was up by 8.7% vs estimate of 8%. That’s the highest level in almost half a century.

Global oil prices rose by around 2% overnight on the back of China’s easing and new EU embargoes, sending Brent crude to US$121.40 a barrel.

The 27 EU members have overnight agreed to new sanctions on Russia covering more than two-thirds of Russian oil imports to the bloc.

According to Oanda’s senior market analyst Jeff Halley, the oil price is a negative headwind that’s being completely ignored by markets.

“The world would have been flapping and wringing its hands about the end of days if we had said Brent crude above $120 a barrel a month or two or three or four ago; now it is being ignored.

“By the way, if China recovers, oil prices will as well; just saying,” Halley said.

Meanwhile, after closing out Sunday as a record nine-week loser, Bitcoin has jumped by 7% in the last 24 hours to change hands at US$31,560 at 8.30am AEDT.

With the overall crypto market cap at roughly US$1.33 trillion, up 3.9% since this time yesterday, check out Rob Badman’s current state of play among top 10 tokens.

Back home, local shares are set to open lower this morning, with the ASX 200 June futures index pointing down by 0.16%.

Ahead this week, the ABS will release Australia’s GDP data on Wednesday, while the US will release non-farms payroll on Friday.

5 ASX small caps to watch today

Lithium Australia (ASX:LIT)
Adrian Griffin will retire as CEO of LIT effective from 31 May. He will take on a newly created role as technical advisor to the company. LIT says that during the last 10 years, Griffin has repositioned the company from a junior resource exploration entity to one that sits at the forefront of the global lithium battery industry.

Shree Minerals (ASX:SHH)
RC drilling has hit multiple gold, silver, base metal lenses at the Rock Lodge Project in NSW. The deepest hole, SRLRC005, intersected four separate mineralised zones from 75m to 99m downhole (including 2m @2.13g/t Au & another 2m @2.12g/t Au).

Toro Energy (ASX:TOE)
Assays confirm that lenses of massive nickel sulphide were intersected in a thicker zone of visible nickel sulphides in diamond drill hole TED22 at the Dusty 1 Nickel Discovery in WA. Diamond drill hole TED22 intersected 7.2m of visible nickel (Ni) sulphides grading 1.05% Ni, and 0.26% copper (Cu) from 252m downhole.

Sierra Nevada Gold (ASX:SNX)
Sierra says an IP survey of its Blackhawk copper-gold porphyry project in Nevada has expanded the sulphide footprint associated with the project. SNX has defined both porphyry and epithermal systems at Blackhawk, with identified high impact targets ready to drill.

Straker Translations (ASX:STG)
The translations tech company’s revenue grew by 78.5% in FY22 to $55.9 million, from $31.3 million in the prior year. Adjusted EBITDA profit was $0.2 million for the full year, compared to a $0.2 million loss in the prior year.