Wall Street tumbles after Powell, Yellen comments

Wall Street tumbled overnight, after comments from Treasurer Yellen about future tax hikes to pay for public infrastructure spooked the market.

Blue chip Dow Jones stumbled 0.94%, S&P 500 down 0.76%, and tech heavy NASDAQ fell 1.12%.

Reserve chair Powell also told Congress that the expected post-pandemic price hikes will “not result in destructive and persistent inflation”.

In other markets, oil fell more than 6% after concerns about the slow recovery in Europe might weigh on oil demand, and 10-year US treasuries fell again to 1.64%.

The drop in oil will put pressure on ASX oil stocks today.

Bitcoin is trading steady at USD$54,400 at 8am AEDT.

Closer to home

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) has instructed Westpac New Zealand (ASX:WBC) to commission two independent reports concerning its risk governance and liquidity risk management. RBNZ will require Westpac to hold additional liquid assets until the RBNZ is satisfied that the previously required remediation work has been effective.

Grain and edible oils company, Graincorp (ASX:GNC), announced that new operating initiatives are expected to generate an additional $25 million in annualised EBITDA by 2023-24. The initiatives relate to GrainCorp’s core businesses and involve leveraging existing assets and capabilities.

5 ASX small caps to watch today

Serko (ASX.SKO)
The online travel booking platform said that it has commenced the transition of existing “Booking.com for Business” customers to the new Zeno powered platform. The majority of active users are expected to be migrated within two to three months of the start of the upgrade. The company says this is an important milestone that will be material in FY 2022.

Alcidion (ASX:ALC)
The healthtech company has signed a contract with East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, for Patientrack and Smartpage software, valued at $2.2 million over five years. East Lancashire Trust is a large, health care organisation of 8,000 staff, and Patientrack will be used by nurses as they carry out crucial observations. The Smartpage app will also be deployed in parallel to push alerts to the clinical teams.

Angel Seafood (ASX:AS1)
Angel says it has now recommenced sales, and is well positioned for the busy Easter trade period. The company says it has entered the 2021 sales season with a strong supply of oysters to cater for the increasing restaurant and retail demand. It says that pricing for its high-quality organic oysters remains steady.

Hawkstone Mining (ASX:HWK)
Announced that production of Li2CO3 at 99.8% purity has been achieved, which meets the Li2CO3 specifications of major international battery manufacturers and exceeds the Benchmark Mineral Intelligences battery grade Li2CO3 at >99.5%. The company says its Big Sandy Lithium project is ideally located in Arizona, USA, and was ranked number 1 by the 2020 Fraser Institute Survey.

Burgundy Diamond Mines (ASX:BDM)
Burgundy has secured an option to acquire Ellendale Diamond Project in Western Australia. The acquisition includes a historic producing mine renowned for high-value yellow diamonds, and a highly prospective adjoining alluvial diamond deposit. Total transaction consideration is $6.7 million in cash, and 16 million Burgundy fully paid ordinary shares.