• The ASX 200 looks set to open 0.90% higher today
  • Trading volume is lighter, but it could lead to outsized moves
  • The new year could bring a bit of a revival


The world breathed a sigh of relief yesterday as U.S. markets closed higher, with the S&P 500 gaining 1.7% led by the tech sector.

And it could spark a rally for the ASX today – our market is expected to open 0.9% higher.

Trading volume is likely to be light this week, as investors are away from their desks around the year-end holidays – which can sometimes lead to outsize moves in markets as investors contend with thinner liquidity.
“As you get closer to year-end, you see less volume and are subject to more volatility,” said Adam Phillips, managing director of portfolio strategy at EP Wealth Advisors. 

“Many were hoping to end the year on a positive note.”

European stocks closed broadly lower, amid choppy trade ahead of the new year, but the new year could bring a revival.

“There’s certainly a strong sense of holiday trade to the markets today, with light news flow combined with lower liquidity creating choppy but ultimately insignificant moves,” Oanda’s senior market analyst, U.K. & EMEA, Craig Erlam said.

“It very much feels like we’re now just drifting into 2023 at which point I expect things will quickly pick up again.”


5 ASX small caps to watch on the ASX today

Cinema software/data stock Vista Group (ASX:VGL) has updated its revenue guidance for FY2022 to between $131 million – $135 million (up from $123 million – 128 million).

It also managed to claw back some of the monies owed by bankrupt cinema chain, Cineworld Group, which will also continue to use Vista’s software and services under the terms of its existing agreements while its works through the Chapter 11 process.

Cineworld Group is one of the largest cinema circuits globally, operating more than 750 cinema sites across 10 countries under the Cineworld, Regal, Picturehouse, Cinema City and Yes Planet cinema brands.

Copper Mountain Mining (ASX:C6C) reports that IT systems at its Copper Mountain mine and corporate office were subject to a ransomware attack late on December 27, 2022.

“The company quickly implemented its risk management systems and protocols in response to the attack,” it says.

“The company has isolated operations, switched to manual processes, where possible, and the mill has been preventatively shutdown to determine the effect on its control system.”

Warrego Energy (ASX:WGO) — the subject of two off-market takeover bids by Hancock Energy and Strike Energy — recommends that shareholders accept the all-cash Hancock offer “in the absence of a superior proposal”.

But the recommendation by the board is not unanimous; one of four directors on the board believes the all-scrip Strike offer is superior.