• The ASX will open lower on Thursday
  • Crypto rout as Binance bails on FTX acquisition
  • Key US inflation report due later tonight

Local shares are set to retreat at the open, tracking proceedings in New York. At 8.30am AEDT, the ASX 200 Dec futures contract was pointing down by 0.6%.

On Wall St, the Nasdaq fell 2%. The S&P 500 was down 1.7% while the Dow finished lower 1.6%.

Crytpo-related stocks Coinbase and Robinhood led the rout,  falling 10% and 13% respectively,  after Binance bailed on its potential FTX acquisition.

Cryptocurrencies also fell across the board, with major coins BTC and Ether falling by 14% each.

EV maker Rivian was rattled 13% ahead of its earnings report to be released later today. Analysts have penned down a loss of about $1.80 per share on sales of US$550 million.

Tesla shares also fell 7% overnight, having fallen 30% in the last three months. Investors have been nervous about CEO Musk having too many things on his hands, particularly after his Twitter purchase.

Musk has sold around US$4 billion worth of Tesla shares in recent days to fund his Twitter gig.

In other news, US midterm election results are still not clear, and votes are still being counted but the Republicans look like they will get the job done, taking control of the House with a small majority.

Crude prices tumbled 4% on concerns that China is losing the battle with COVID, and after the EIA report showed stockpiles rose to the highest levels since July 2021.

“Oil’s weakness could have been much more significant if Republicans had a stronger performance last night.  A strong red wave by Republicans would have meant greater pressure to ramp up production and help make the US energy independent,” said OANDA analyst Edward Moya.

Gold prices meanwhile are softening ahead of Thursday’s US inflation report, with spot gold trading now at US$1,705 an ounce.

“Gold could consolidate around the $1700 level but if the strong dollar trade gains traction leading up to CPI day, selling pressure could target the $1685 region,” predicted Moya,

Last week, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said the Fed could slow its pace of rate hikes, but noted the Fed is nowhere near done raising rates and that it will continue hiking rates for some time yet.

“The pivot Wall Street had hoped for didn’t materialise,” said Nigel Green, CEO of financial advisory firm deVere Group.

“Powell’s tone and words last week didn’t go down well with the markets, so Thursday’s inflation data, which we expect not to be great, will be of concern right now,” says Green.

Looking ahead to today’s session on the ASX, Australian consumer inflation expectations report for November is due for release.

5 ASX small caps to watch today

Koba Resources (ASX:KOB)
Initial exploration has commenced at the Whitlock Lithium Project in Canada. Four geologists onsite are sampling and inspecting the project’s extensive network of outcropping pegmatites identified in historical mapping. Past lithium reserves in the area comprised: 7.3Mt @ 2.76% Li2O.

Mamba Exploration (ASX:M24)
The 1,500m RC drilling program has commenced at the Southern Prospect on the Calyerup Creek Gold Project. The program plans to double the strike length of the Southern Prospect discovery from 500m to 1,000m. The program will also undertake the first drilling below 50m from surface.

MinRex Resources (ASX:MRR)
MinRex commenced its maiden RC drilling program comprising approximately 40 RC drillholes for 2,700m to test outcropping pegmatites. The Moolyella North Project is located 3.5km east of Global Lithium’s (ASX:GL1) Archer Lithium Deposit (10.5Mt @ 1% Li2O).

Anova Metals (ASX:AWV)
Anova announced the upcoming appointment Mark Connelly as the company’s new independent non-executive chairman, effective 30 November. Connelly is a seasoned financial and commercial executive with extensive resource industry experience in management leadership and board roles.

European Metals (ASX:EMH)
EMH hired an experienced lithium project delivery specialist Marc Rowley to join EMH and the Cinovec Project in the Czech Republic. Rowley had previously managed the delivery of the DFS for the Goulamina Project, in Mali, West Africa for Leo Lithium.