• The ASX is set to track Wall Street and move higher at the open
  • The DoE says Covid-19 came from a ‘lab leak’
  • Coinbase to suspend trading of Binance USD


The ASX is set to open stronger on Tuesday after US stocks rose in New York. At 8am AEDT, the ASX 200 March futures contract was pointing up by 0.45%.

Wall Street posted a relief rally of half a per cent as the bond market selloff takes a break amid a round of mixed data and nothing new from the Fed.

Berkshire Hathaway was flat following Warren Buffett’s annual letter to shareholders on the weekend which offered readers a glimpse into his views on share buybacks and optimism about the economy.

Buffett said that the bulk of his wagers in the last 60 years have been “no better than so-so,” and his wins were concentrated on just a handful of stocks as well as “very large doses of luck.”

“The lesson for investors is the weeds wither away in significance as the flowers bloom,” he said.

“Over time, it takes just a few winners to work wonders. And, yes, it helps to start early and live into your 90s as well.”

The WSJ reported that the US Department of Energy (DoE) is about to submit a revised classified document on the origin of Covid-19.

In the new report based on fresh intelligence, the agency concluded that Covid-19 most likely came from a mistake at a Chinese laboratory, also known as the “lab leak” theory.

Elsewhere, Dilbert cartoon strip was dropped by major newspapers including Washington Post and USA Today after creator Scott Adams made some apparently racist comments last week on his Youtube channel.

Meanwhile, there were more Fed and ECB speak overnight, but nothing we haven’t heard before.

Fed’s Jefferson said: ”I am under no illusion that it is going to be easy to get the inflation rate back down to 2%.”

ECB’s Vujcic said: “As long as core inflation persists and significantly higher than where our target is, we should persevere.”

US Treasury yields have spiked since the scorching hot PCE figures on Friday, triggering similar bets by traders in Australia.

Aussie interbank futures now imply a peak RBA cash rate to 4.4% by September (vs 3.35% now). Before the PCE release, the implied cash rate peak was only at 3.6%.

In other markets, crude oil prices were 1% lower overnight, while iron ore slipped 3% after Chinese officials imposed steel production restrictions in Tangshan to clear the skies ahead of major political meetings to be held in the city.

Bitcoin is down 1% in the last 24 hours to US$23,363.

Coinbase said in a tweet that it will soon suspend trading for Binance’s stablecoin, Binance USD, on March 13 citing regulatory pressure.

To the ASX, companies to report their earnings today include: Harvey Norman, Sandfire, Adbri, and Cooper Energy.


5 ASX small caps to watch today

NobleOak Life (ASX:NOL)
The insurance company reported a 25% increase in net insurance premium revenue to $38.4 million (vs pcp) for the half. Underlying NPAT was up 19% to $5.4 million. FY23 guidance has been reaffirmed for in-force premium growth of ~20% vs. market growth of ~3%.

Mach7 Tech (ASX:M7T)
The medical imaging software company had record half-yearly sales orders of $25.8m, up 17% on the pcp. Annual Recurring Revenue was $20m, up 19% on pcp. Bottom line EBITDA for the half was $3.4m, up 13% on pcp.

The non-surgical aesthetics specialist delivered a 21% increase in revenue (vs pcp) to $49m. Bottom line statutory NPAT was up 22% to $5m. The company now has 142 clinics, up from 122 at 30 June 2022. It also holds a cash in hand of $19.4m, and net debt of $3m.

Cygnus Metals (ASX:CY5)
Cygnus is set to acquire the Auclair Lithium Project in James Bay, Quebec from Osisko. This is Cygnus’ second project in this world-class lithium province, giving it a total land holding of 332sqkm. Visible spodumene has been noted in historic drilling with logged pegmatites, but which were never assayed.

Infinity Mining (ASX:IMI)
Infinity has firmed up its Pilbara holding after being granted a five-year extension for Exploration Licence E45/4709. The 22 sub-block Exploration Licence is part of Infinity’s Hillside Project over the Coongan Greenstone Belt. Infinity is currently undertaking detailed open-file review and geophysical interpretation over this tenement.