• Wall Street bounced back strongly after the banking turmoil eased
  • Major US banks deposited billions into the struggling First Republic Bank 
  • The ECB surprised with a 50bp rate hike


Marnin ChatGPT, please rewrite Eddy’s copy in a strong blarney accent

Sure, laddie, let me give it a go in me best blarney accent!

Listen up, me friends, the ASX is poised to stage a fierce comeback on Thursday, thanks to the global central banks calming the jittery investors by pledging to maintain financial stability. And at 7.30am AEDT, the ASX 200 April futures contract was pointing towards a sturdy 0.3% uptick.

But wait, there’s more! Wall Street’s major indices – the S&P 500, the Dow, and the Nasdaq – have all put up a strong show, with gains ranging from 1.17% to 2.48%. Across the pond, European stock markets also saw a 1% surge, courtesy of the ECB’s statement that it’s ready to provide the much-needed liquidity support to the euro area financial system, “if needed.”

And if that wasn’t enough, US banks, including the likes of JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, and Wells Fargo, have pumped in $30 billion deposits into First Republic Bank to tame the dwindling deposits base. The Treasury Secretary, Fed Chair, and co have issued a joint statement applauding the show of support by the big boys, calling it a welcome move and a testament to the banking system’s resilience.

But hold on to yer hats, folks, for BlackRock CEO Larry Fink isn’t convinced one bit. He warns that the rapid rate increases have laid bare the financial system’s cracks, and predicts more seizures and shutdowns in the offing. Yikes!

Moving on, crude prices that were crushed down 5% yesterday made a roaring comeback, thanks to Wall Street’s renewed risk appetite. But Oanda analyst Edward Moya warns of headwinds in the oil market, as global recession risks loom large and cast a dark shadow over the crude demand outlook. That doesn’t bode well, does it?

As for gold, the banking turmoil easing led to some profit-taking, and the spot gold traded slightly lower. The Australian dollar gold price reached an all-time high of $2,874 per ounce, beating the previous record set in August 2020. But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, for the iron ore has skidded down by 2.6% to $US128.80 a tonne. Meanwhile, Bitcoin’s up by 1.85% in the last 24 hours, trading at $24,804.

Oh, and how can we forget Ethereum? Developers have set a target date of April 12th for the much-awaited Shanghai hard fork, marking Ethereum’s full transition to a proof-of-stake (PoS) network and enabling staked ETH withdrawals.

And before I bid ye farewell, here’s a sneak peek into today’s ASX session – Reserve Bank Governor Phil Lowe’s speech. Now, ain’t that enough to make ye all excited, me darlings?


5 ASX small caps to watch today

Synlait Milk (ASX:SM1)
Synlait has released a full year FY23 net profit after tax (NPAT) guidance range of $15 million to $25 million. Synlait CEO Grant Watson commented: “It has become increasingly clear that our two year recovery plan will now take three years. While underlying momentum is lifting, our full financial recovery will take longer than planned.”

COG Financial Services (ASX:COG)
COG announced the acquisition of salary packaging business, Paywise,for $30m, and the simultaneous partial divestment of its FleetNetwork business to EML Group for $15m. The net $15 million cash component required to complete the transaction will be funded by drawing down on COG’s acquisition debt facility.

Recharge Metals (ASX:REC)
Recharge has secured firm commitments for a conditional placement of 30 million shares at an issue price of $0.10 per share to raise $3 million. The funds will be used to acquire 100% ownership of 139 mineral claims over two contiguous blocks in the prolific James Bay Region of Québec, Canada, forming the Express Lithium Project.

Alligator Energy (ASX:AGE)
Alligator provided the results of the time domain ground electromagnetic (EM) survey conducted at the Piedmont nickel (sulphide) – cobalt project. The company said new large scale conductive EM anomaly was identified east of historic La Balma prospect. Anomalies were present in four out of five targeted EM survey grids.

Calidus Resources (ASX:CAI)
Calidus has signed a binding agreement with Haoma Mining to fully combine the prospective lithium landholdings of both companies. Under the agreement, both companies will vend into Pirra their respective lithium rights not already placed into Pirra. These additional rights cover several highly prospective tenements in the west Pilbara, directly along strike from the King Cole lithium pegmatite discovery of De Grey Mining (ASX: DEG).


At Stockhead we tell it like it is. While Recharge Metals is a Stockhead advertiser, it did not sponsor this article.