• The ASX is set to open lower on Friday, tracking Wall Street
  • Tesla fell the most since January after Elon Musk’s analysts call
  • The EU has released new regulations on cryptos


The ASX is poised to open lower on Friday, tracking moves in New York. At 8am AEST, the ASX200 May futures contract was down 0.5%.

Overnight, major US stock indexes fell around half a per cent as Tesla slumped by almost 10%.

Tesla shares were sold after Elon Musk told analysts in an earnings call that he will keep cutting prices in order to prioritise sales growth ahead of profits.

“We’ve taken a view that pushing for higher volumes and a larger fleet is the right choice here, versus a lower volume and higher margin.

“It’s better to shift a large number of cars at lower margin and harvest that margin in the future as we perfect autonomy,” Musk told analysts.

Telco stock AT&T was the biggest loser last night, falling by 10.5% after reporting a 20% drop in revenue in Q1.

Global chip giant TSMC rose 2% despite posting mixed results for Q1, and guiding the market to a weaker outlook.

SpaceX’s Starship rocket exploded less than four minutes after rising from the launchpad in Texas, but Musk was unfazed, stating it achieved its main goals of launch, separation and keeping the launchpad intact.

Economic data also came into focus overnight, with a report showing that 245,000 jobless claims were filed in the US during the week, versus consensus of 240,000.

The US labour market seems to be softening, but nowhere near levels that will alleviate wage pressures.


In other markets …

Crude prices are getting crushed, with WTI slumping by almost 3%, as Wall Street starts to get ready for a steady stream of disappointing outlooks.

But downside for oil prices should be limited to the gap made from the OPEC+ production cut announced earlier this month.

Gold was up 0.5% to US$2,004 an ouce.

“Risk aversion is starting to run wild, and safe-haven flows are once again coming gold’s way,” said Oanda analyst, Edward Moya.

Moya added that gold has major resistance around the US$2050 region, but if earnings and the outlooks continue to deteriorate, a record move could be eyed.

Iron ore slipped -1.9% to $US115.10 a tonne.

Bitcoin slipped 3% in the last 24 hours to US$28,331, on the news that Coinbase might end up leaving the US stock market if it doesn’t get any regulatory clarity.

BTC was also sold after the European Parliament approved the world’s first comprehensive rules on crypto, including a rule that protects digital wallets and making crypto exchanges liable if they lose investors’ crypto assets.

Back home, Optus is facing a class action from customers whose data were stolen in the cyber attack in September last year.

Law firm Slater and Gordon is lodging the class action in the Federal Court on behalf of more than 100,000 plaintiffs.


5 ASX small caps to watch today

Equatorial Resources (ASX:EQX)
EQX has entered into a conditional agreement to acquire the Nimba Alliance Iron Ore Project in Guinea, West Africa. The project was previously owned by an international consortium of major mining companies, including BHP. It has one of the largest landholdings in Guinea’s prolific Nimba Iron Ore Corridor, and comprises majority ownership of two permits: 100% of the Nimba West permit covering ~300km2; and 56% of the Nimba North permit covering ~183km2.

Invex Therapeutics (ASX:IXC)
Invex nnounces the approval to commence the IIH EVOLVE Phase 3 clinical trial in France, for patients with Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (IIH). The IIH EVOLVE trial is a randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial that will randomise 240 patients with newly diagnosed IIH to determine the efficacy and safety of Presendin versus placebo.

Acrow Formwork and Construction (ASX:ACF)
Acrow has secured an order for the sale of formwork and scaffold equipment to Clough Engineering (recently acquired by Webuild) for $3.7m. Acrow has also upgraded its FY23 earnings guidance, with full year underlying NPAT now expected to be between $27.5m – $28.5m (versus $25.5m – $26.5m in the previous guidance).

Top End Energy (ASX:TEE)
TEE said the Phase I natural hydrogen assessment has been completed, including interpretation of source potential, migration, leakage and retention over key permits in the Northern Territory. Key systems elements interpreted to be present for natural hydrogen are also encouraging for the exploration of helium. TEE says there is an opportunity to conduct on-ground surveys tailored to natural hydrogen and helium on the back of Greater McArthur Basin licence awards.

PharmAust (ASX:PAA)
PAA reported that the Phase 2 trial in canines with B-cell lymphoma has continued, with two dogs having had a partial response (>30% decrease in cancer tumour) and eight others enjoying a stable disease response. One dog surpassed 280 days with stable disease and continued excellent Quality of Life (QoL), as attested by dog owner testimonials.


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