Good morning. France is down 1.08%… and one World Cup. #JeSuisArgentina.

And possibly the ASX on open – SPI Futures are pointing 0.38% down (-27 points) this morning after a flaccid run to the close in the US on Friday and some more hawkish sentiment from the Fed. The FTSE and STOXX 600 both fell in Friday trade (-1.27% and -1.20%).

It was rate rises around the world after the US led the way, ignoring a soft CPI reading and raising 50bps. Both the ECB and BoE followed suit with 50bps rises. That helped sink the Aussie Dollar another 0.21% and it’s now hovering around the 66.87c mark.

US 2-year bonds were down 6.0bps; 10-years rose 3.4bps but finished down 4bps for the week.

News out of the US includes a note from Goldman Sachs that it’s prepping to cut 4000 jobs “to navigate a difficult economic environment”.

China is seeing a surge in Covid cases since lifting its severe restrictions earlier this month, and health officials are predicting a “triple wave” of Covid infectiosn to hit the country through winter.

And FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, currently banged up in a very unpleaseant cell in the Bahamas, has decided not to contest his extradition. #BahamianRhapsody

The crypto market crumbled over the weekend, shedding 50-odd billion bucks in trepidation as it’s mega exchange Binance’s turn to face some scrutiny.

5 ASX small caps to watch today

Solstice Minerals (ASX:SLS) has hit massive sulphides in nickel drilling at its GSP within the wholly owned Ringlock Dam Licence, logged over the interval 101.8–103.85m in hole GSPDD0005. It’s the fifth hole in a planned 2,030m diamond drilling program designed to confirm the historical drill assay data from the 1960s and 1970s. The veins were also logged in the first four holes. Solstice Minerals’ Executive Director, Mr Alastair Morrison said the observation of remobilised massive sulphide at GSP “is a significant step in confirming the nickel mineralisation indicated by the historical drill intercepts. We look forward to the assay results and follow-up DHEM surveys early next year.”

Graphite developer Evion Group (ASX:EVG) – formerly Blackearth Minerals (ASX:BEM) – will supply 15,000mt of graphite concentrate from its Maniry operation in Southern Madagascar to US graphite technology group Urbix. Urbix has a goal to “end the Chinse battery grade graphite dominance” and claims its process uses “less than 5% of the energy required by the Chinese process”. The non-binding deal covers some 40% of Maniry’s forecast production.

Findi (ASX:FND) has noted the rollout of its 1000th ATM in India under its contract with Central Bank of India. It’s on track to meet its goal of 2500 ATMs live and transacting by the end of March 2023. When completed, Findi expects the contract to deliver revenue of $25-30m per year, with an EBITDA of $11-$13m per year.

Invictus Energy (ASX:IVZ) has reported “multiple zone encountering elevated gas shows and fluorescence” from its sidetrack Mukuyu-1 well in its 80% owned licence in Zimbabwe’s Cabora Bass Basin. Managing Director Scot Mascmillan says the results are “relatively consistent” with the original Mukuyu-1 well. A full wireline logging evaluation is planned across the entire hole section, and is anticipated to take 2-24 days depending on conditions.

Alicanto Minerals (ASX:AQI) is reporting high-grade drill results confirming “significant mineralisation” at its prospect near the historic Falun mine in Sweden.

Intersections include:
• 5.3m @ 6.8% Zn eq (84g/t Ag, 0.5% Cu, 3.3% Zn, 1.2% Pb)
• 2.9m @ 14.7% Zn eq (194g/t Ag, 0.1% Cu, 4.9% Zn, 7.6% Pb)
• 6.8m @ 9.7% Zn eq (114g/t Ag, 0.5% Cu, 5.5% Zn, 1.0% Pb, 0.13g/t Au)
• 3.9m @ 11.3% Zn eq (20g/t Ag, 0.2% Cu, 9.5% Zn, 1.5% Pb)

Mineralisation includes native silver assays of up to 744g/t Ag, copper mineralisation up to 1.9% Cu, and anomalous gold values up to 0.65g/t Au within broader zones of zinc (assays up to 32.4% Zn). Diamond core drilling will now be undertaken along key target areas of the 3.5km prospective mineralised limestone horizon that hosts the famed Falun mine.