• ASX looks set to fall after Wall Street fell on Friday
  • Iron ore continues to fall with Macquarie downgrading BHP
  • Tech stocks experience widespread falls on Wall Street

The ASX looks set to fall to start the week.  The S&P/ASX200 index futures contract was down 13 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 7659 points on Monday morning. The benchmark closed lower on Friday, March 15, down 43.30 points or 0.56% to 7,670.3 points.

A big week of central meetings lies ahead. Investors will closely monitoring the Reserve Bank of Australia’s interest rate decision on Tuesday, along with upcoming meetings from the Bank of Japan, the US Federal Reserve, and the Bank of England also this week.

The RBA last raised rates in November by 25bps to 4.35%, a 12-year high.  The rate rise was the central bank’s 13th rate rise since May 2022 as it works to get inflation back to its 2-3% target.

Australian CPI came in at 3.4% YoY for January, much lower than economists’ consensus of 3.6%. The figure remains the lowest annual inflation since November 2021, raising hopes of an interest rate cut later this year with consensus the RBA will keep rates on hold at tomorrow’s meeting.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 ended Friday’s session down  0.7% decline, while the technology-focused NASDAQ index closed nearly 1% lower, and the Dow Jones dipped by 0.5%.

Tech stocks experienced widespread declines, with Amazon and Microsoft each dropping more than 2%. Both Apple and Google-parent Alphabet also saw decreases in their share prices.

Leading chipmaker Nvidia  fluctuated significantly last week as traders expressed concerns about the stock’s valuation and opted to secure profits in this high-performing asset. While closing closed slightly lower for the day, Nvidia gained ~0.4% for the week.

International ride sharing platf0rm Uber has reached a settlement of $271.8 million with legal representatives of more than 8000 taxi and hire car drivers, operators, and license holders, regarding claims of lost income and license value.

The class action, initiated in 2019, was centred on Uber’s purported aggressive expansion into the Aussie market.  Maurice Blackburn lawyers Principal Michael Donelly described the settlement as historic, following a challenging five-year legal dispute.


Iron Ore continues to fall

Focus will be on iron ore miners including BHP (ASX:BHP), Fortescue (ASX:FMG) and Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) with the price of iron ore continuing to track downwards and with the spot price of the steel making material closing in Singapore below US$100/tonne over the weekend.

Macquarie Equities has downgraded BHP from outperform to neutral with a $42 a share target with the broker taking account of its latest commodity price forecasts.

Iron ore is currently trading down 2.84% to US$102.50%/tonne.

Oil prices are slightly up with the global benchmark Brent crude $US85.39/barrel and the US WTI $US81.09/barrel, both up 0.06%.

Gold is down 0.05% to $US2155/ounce, while copper has fallen 0.01% to US$4.10lb.

US 10-year bond yields are at 4.31%.

The Aussie dollar is trading around US65.60c. Bitcoin is up 2.01% to US$68,392 but below its highs of above US$73,000 seen last week.


Shares to watch on Monday

ADX Energy (ASX:ADX) says  Welchau-1 well has intersected 115m of liquids rich gas within the primary target Steinalm Formation from a measured depth of 1,452m. The well is being drilled using the RED E200 drill rig in the ADX-AT-II exploration licence in Upper Austria.

Toro Energy (ASX:TOE) says planning  is well advanced to start a near-term drilling program that will deliver potential uranium ore to the pilot plant currently in design for Wiluna. Drilling will consist of large diameter sonic core to deliver sufficient core from the potential ore zone to the pilot plant in Perth.

American Rare Earths (ASX:ARR) says the board has unanimously recommended its the Halleck Creek project in the major mining hub of Wyoming in the US advance to the next phase of development following positive results of the Halleck Creek Scoping Study Technical Report compiled by Stantec Consulting Services Inc


At Stockhead, we tell it like it is. While ADX Energy is a Stockhead advertiser, the company did not sponsor this article.