• The ASX is set to open more than 1% lower today as Wall Street plunges overnight
  • Tech stocks led the selloff in the US
  • Bitcoin is set to be regulated as a commodity by the US SEC

The ASX is poised to open more than 1% lower this morning, as Wall Street tumbled for the second consecutive day this week.

All three major indexes in the US fell heavily – the S&P 500 by 2%, the Dow by 1.5% and tech heavy Nasdaq by almost 3%.

It’s been the worst start to the year for the S&P 500 in 50 years, with the index falling by 20% so far in 2022.

Big tech stocks like Amazon, Tesla and Apple were sold off by 3-5% as investors brace for a possible recession.

The US consumer confidence fell sharply in June, with the index dropping to 98.7. By contrast, the latest ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence index in Australia released yesterday jumped 3.7% to 84.7 points.

There will be more anxious times for the market this week as the European Central Bank (ECB) convenes for a forum later tonight in Portugal. Fed’s Powell, ECB’s Lagarde, and BOE’s Bailey are all expected to speak.

Oil prices have spiked up once again overnight, up by another 2% as Brent crude rises back to US$1117 a barrel.

“Even sanctions being lifted on Iran and Venezuela can’t do much against that backdrop. It may well take a recession to return oil prices to sustainable levels any time soon,” says Oanda market analyst Craig Erlam.

Meanwhile, the inevitable regulation of the cryptocurrency market is “a significant step closer” due to comments made by US SEC chairman, Gary Gensler.

Speaking to CNBC’s Jim Cramer, Gensler said that Bitcoin is now to be labelled as a commodity.

“The comments from Gary Gensler clears up years of debate. One of the world’s most influential regulators has now confirmed that it views Bitcoin as a commodity, in much the same way gold is, and not a security,” says deVere’s Nigel Green.

“As a commodity in the US, Bitcoin would fall under the oversight of The Commodities Futures Trading Commission.”

BTC has dropped by 2% in the last 24 hours to trade at US$20,385 at 8.30am AEST.

5 ASX small caps to watch today

The metals tech company has signed a $190K manufacturing purchase order with ExxonMobil to create the world’s largest 3D metal printed commercial pressure vessel. The 8-tonne pressure vessel will be 8m in length by ~1.5m across, and printed from AML3D’s higher strength metal feedstock.

SRG Global (ASX:SRG)
SRG Global has secured specialist building contracts in the defence sector. The contract is valued at $20m with Lendlease, and will involve works at the HMAS Stirling and Henderson Facilities in WA.

Invex Therapeutics (ASX:IVX)
Invex has received an approval from the UK’s MHRA to commence its IIH EVOLVE Phase III clinical trial in the country. The trial will study patients with Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (IIH), and they will be randomly treated with Presendin versus placebo once weekly over 24 weeks.

Solstice Minerals (ASX:SLS)
Drilling program at the Hobbes Gold Prospect in WA in which the company holds an 80% interest has commenced. The planned program comprises up to 5,935m of reverse circulation (RC) drilling and 2,205m of diamond drilling. It is estimated that the program will take approximately two months to complete.

Hazer Group (ASX:HZR)
The graphite and hydrogen focused company will have a new CEO, Glenn Corrie, to start on October 10. He will replace current CEO Geoff Ward. Hazer says Corrie has over 25 years of international energy industry, private equity and investment experience, and a track record of successfully leading large listed and private equity backed companies.