• The ASX is set to pull back on Thursday, tracking the selloff on Wall Street
  • NY Fed Chair William sank risk appetite with his comments
  • Google’s embarrassing error of its new AI chatbot


The ASX is set to pull back this morning, tracking movements in New York. At 8am AEDT, the ASX 200 Feb futures contract was pointing down by almost 0.50%.

Overnight, the S&P 500 was down 1%, the Dow Jones by 0.5%, and tech heavy Nasdaq by 0.15%.

Wall Street sold off after Fed Chair of New York John Williams provided the pushback that everyone thought Jerome Powell should have given.

Williams sank risk appetite when he reminded investors that if financial conditions loosen, higher rates may be needed.

“We still have work to do on raising rates,” Williams said.

“That still seems a very reasonable view of what we’ll need to do this year in order to get supply and demand in balance, and bring inflation down.”

Williams also reiterated that if the situation changes, the Fed can move faster than 25bp moves.

In stock news, Alphabet shares fell 8% after its new AI chatbot Bard delivered a wrong answer in an online advertisement.

Reuters was first to point out the error in Google’s advertisement for chatbot Bard, which debuted Monday, about which satellite first took pictures of a planet outside the Earth’s solar system.

The error was discovered just before the presentation by Google at its Mountain View, California headquarters.

Microsoft meanwhile rose 0.5% after saying it was revamping the company’s Bing search engine with AI, a move that’s expected to reignite a dormant battle with Google’s search engine.

Zoom fell 6% after the company swung the axe on 15% of its workforce, or 1,300 people. CEO Eric Yuan said the “uncertainty of the global economy” was partly to blame, but he also admitted the company “made mistakes.”

Oil’s prices could go to US$100 a barrel in the second half of the year, according to Iran’s OPEC official, citing China’s emergence from Covid lockdowns.

Brent crude was trading close to US$85 a barrel overnight.

Gold prices edged lower after Fed William’s comments, trading at US$1,874.90 an ounce.

“Gold’s primary driver remains the next big move in yields, but it should start to become a safe-haven again if the strong stock market start to the year ends up being a bear market rally,” said OANDA analyst, Edward Moya.

Bitcoin was down 1.4% in the last 24 hours to US$22, 890.

Meanwhile, the self-proclaimed author of the Bitcoin white paper has lost his copyright claim after a UK judge ruled that the Bitcoin blockchain can’t be protected by copyright.

Craig Wright, who told people that he was in fact Satoshi Nakamoto, had sought to block the operation of Bitcoin because they breached his intellectual property rights.

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5 ASX small caps to watch today

Argenica Therapeutics (ASX:AGN)
Preclinical data has shown that ARG-007 significantly inhibited one of the main causes of Alzheimer’s disease. The study indicates that ARG- 007 can inhibit human recombinant Amyloid-Beta (Abeta) aggregation in a preclinical (in vitro) model of Alzheimer’s Disease. Abeta aggregation is thought to be one of the main causes of Alzheimer’s Disease, with the Abeta accumulation in senile plaques causing memory loss and confusion.

DiscovEX Resources (ASX:DCX)
All composite assay results have been returned from a total of 188 AC holes completed at the Spartan Prospect, part of an 80:20 joint venture with Gateway Mining Limited (ASX:GML). Significant intersections within weathered bedrock include: [email protected]/t Au from 82m within [email protected]/t Au from 82m.

Zenith Minerals (ASX:ZNC)
Zenith reported a major new lithium geochemical target at its Split Rocks Lithium Project in WA. Assays have now been received for 6,076 samples, with a further 2,475 samples awaiting assays. Zenith says the geochemical sampling program has been successful in defining a major new geochemical anomaly that exceeds the size of the geochemical anomaly surrounding the Rio lithium pegmatite.

Doctor Care Anywhere (ASX:DOC)
DOC advised that Mark Taylor has stepped down as Interim CEO due to ill health. Ben Kent has been appointed, and will act as Interim CEO in his place. Kent has worked in the health sector for the past 18 years, in the UK and internationally, for Bupa and Simplyhealth, and was COO and CFO of Doctor Care Anywhere in 2020-21, working on DOC’s listing on the ASX.

Critical Resources (ASX:CRR)
CRR says high grade and low impurity, premium spodumene concentrate has been produced from Mavis Lake. First tranche of metallurgical test work delivered concentrate results up to 6.42% Li2O. CRR believes high lithium grades coupled with extremely low impurities (0.37% Fe2O3) demonstrates excellent potential for Mavis Lake to produce premium quality concentrate.