• The ASX will open lower today as Wall Street was closed overnight
  • Meta will introduce new subscriptions in Australia this week
  • Bitcoin’s rally could be bound by a technical range: expert


The ASX looks poised to open lower on Tuesday ahead of a busy day of reporting. At 8am AEDT, the ASX 200 March futures contract was pointing down by 0.40%.

Companies that will report their earnings today include Coles, BHP, Tabcorp, and Judo Bank.

Overnight, the US markets were closed for President’s Day, and stock markets in Europe were treading water in thin trade amid a light economic calendar and the US holiday.

When the markets reopen, Walmart and Home Depot will report earnings and provide a picture on the American consumer who seems to remain on spending-spree mode despite inflation.

Equity markets in both Europe and the US also remain in a surprisingly strong position despite the uncertain outlook and rising interest rate expectations.

This is partly due to the bullish case for the Chinese economy which remains solid and could even be super-charged over the next couple of months if the CCP goes through with its planned stimulus.

“While other areas of the market appear to have adopted a more defensive position, equity investors remain undeterred,” said Oanda analyst, Craig Erlam.

“It would appear it’s going to take a lot more than a few nasty economic releases to put a dent in their optimism.”

Sick of Twitter hogging the headlines, Meta introduced a subscription service for Instagram and Facebook of its own which allows users to purchase blue badges that mark them as verified.

Known as Meta Verified, the service will launch in Australia and New Zealand this week and hit other countries soon.

In commodities markets, oil prices bounced back 1% overnight after sliding last week from recent highs.

Spot iron ore was up +1.8% to $US128.75 a tonne, and gold traded flat at US$1,841.15 an ounce.

“Gold traders do not share the eternal optimism that equity and crypto traders possess, and recent weeks have highlighted that perfectly,” said Erlam.

Bitcoin rallied 1% in the last 24 hours to US$24,812.

Technical chartists say that BTC’s rise to a multi-month high suggests its rally could be showing some signs of fatigue as it tests a tough hurdle.

“Bitcoin could continue to remain in the recently well-established range 21,350-25,250 in the interim,” said Manish Jaradi, chart analyst at IG.

Looking ahead to today, economics data look thin but the RBA will release its minutes from the February 7th meeting.


5 ASX small caps to watch today

Peter Warren (ASX:PWR)
Revenue for the half rose 28% on pcp to $999m. Bottom line profit before tax was $43.2 million, up 27% on pcp. PWR’s order book was up on previous periods, and showed a 61% increase from Dec 2021, and 4% increase from June 2022. The company declared an interim dividend of 11 cents per share, fully franked.

Perenti (ASX:PRN)
For the half, Perenti delivered a 21% increase in revenue on pcp to $1.4b. NPAT also grew by 75% on pcp to $61m. The company increased its EBIT margin by 260bp to 9.4%, and sits on a free cash of $70m.

Genmin (ASX:GEN)
Genmin has signed a long term, 15-year bulk logistics agreement with Owendo Mineral Port for the provision of rail and port services utilising existing and operating rail and port infrastructure. The agreement is an integrated mine to ocean going vessel transport solution on a send or pay basis for a guaranteed 5 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) with provision to scale capacity to 15Mtpa over the 15-year term.

A2B Autralia (ASX:A2B)
The payments solutions company saw its revenue increase by 21% on pcp for the first half to $72.3m. Underlying EBITDA was $9.3m, up from an $1.7m loss in thepcp. A2B says it’s on track to achieve FY23 guidance of $18m EBITDA as previously provided.

Shaver Shop (ASX:SSG)
Total sales were up 3.8% on pcp to $131.9m, a new first half record. Bottom line NPAT was $13.7m, up 4.5% on pcp. The company declared an interim dividend up 4.4% to 4.7 cents per share, fully-franked.