Wall Street drops as retail sales weaken

All three main US benchmarks fell overnight, as US retail sales fell by 1.1% in July — more than predicted by analysts.

The Dow Jones fell by 0.79%, S&P 500 by 0.71%, and the tech heavy Nasdaq by 0.93%.

US retail stocks fell, with Home Depot falling by 4% and Lowe’s by 6%.

Later tonight, the US Fed will release its meeting minutes and give guidance on its asset purchases tapering plan.

In other markets, global oil prices fell by 1% overnight, while iron ore was also down by 1.8%.

To cryptos, where Bitcoin is also falling, and trading at US$44,700 level at 8:00am AEST, from US$45,800 level on Tuesday.

Galaxy Digital, run by former Goldman Sachs man Mike Novogratz, has become the latest crypto-focused investment firm to submit a Bitcoin Futures Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) application with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).


ASX 200 to open lower on Wednesday

The ASX 200 looks set to open much lower his morning, with futures markets (September contracts) pointing down by 1.32% at 8:30am AEST.

Yesterday, the ASX 200 finished lower for the second consecutive day and fell by 0.94%. The  Emerging ASX Emerging Companies Index (ASX:XEC) also dropped by 2.15%, its biggest fall since March.

In large caps news that was released after the closing bell yesterday, BHP (ASX:BHP) will merge its gas and oil business with Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) to create Australia’s biggest publicly listed energy company.

The merged entity will be 52% owned by Woodside shareholders, and 48% by exisiting BHP shareholders.

This morning, Woodside also reported an increase in full year profit to $317 million, from a $4.1 billion loss the previous year.


5 ASX small caps to watch today

Renergen (ASX:RLT)
The natural gas and helium producer has agreed to supply Consol Glass with LNG starting in January 2022, shortly after the commissioning of its Virginia Gas Project’s Phase 1. The contract is for 5 years, and will carry a price which will be linked to the floating LPG price in South Africa.

Province Resources (ASX:PRL)
The company has appointed global consultant PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to provide key services to progress its green hydrogen project. PwC will provide its expertise and experience to PRL’s HyEnergy Zero Carbon Hydrogen Project.

Ironbark Zinc (ASX:IBG)
The company says it has lodged a loan application with EXIM Bank to finance initiatives for its Citronen Zinc-Lead Project in Greenland. The IBG Board is of the view that EXIM Bank’s funds will unlock wider financial support for project development in the future.

Talon Energy (ASX:TPD)
The company says that Maiden Independent Prospective Resource assessment for its Gurvantes XXXV coal seam gas project in Mongolia has been completed. The company said that with a best case concentration of 12.4BCF/km2 for the prospect area, Gurvantes would be one of the most prolific and resource intensive coal seam gas provinces in Mongolia.

Atomos (ASX:ATM)
The video equipment company reported a record full year revenue of $78.6m, up 77% on previous corresponding period (pcp).The strong growth was was driven by rapid adoption of ProRes RAW and new product launches.