• The ASX is set to follow Wall Street much lower on Friday
  • US bank stocks fell on fears of a recession
  • Bitcoin and other large cap cryptos fell by as much as 9% on Silvergate collapse


The ASX is set to fall at the open as stocks in New York took a big fall following some soft US jobs data.

At 8am this morning, the ASX 200 March futures contract was pointing down by 0.80%.

Overnight, the S&P 500 fell by -1.80%, the Dow by -1.63% and Nasdaq by -2.04%, as a weak jobs data sparked recession fears.

Initial jobless claims in the US rose from 190,000 to 211,000 for the week, while the Challenger job cut report showed 77,770 jobs were lost in February.

Bank stocks fell the most on Wall Street as SVB Financial Group plunged more than 50% after the lender slashed its 2023 outlook and launched a share sale.

This caused a contagion as other big bank stocks were also sold off – with JP Morgan, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo falling by 5%.

Signature Bank was also down 10% after its crypto-bank peer Silvergate Capital announced plans to liquidate.

Last quarter, Silvergate fired 40% of its workforce, reported a $1 billion loss, and took out billions in loans, but it wasn’t enough.

The demise of Silvergate has now left traders with the problem of finding a new services company to help make payments and other deposit-related services.

Tesla shares were down 5% as the EV car maker is being investigated over steering wheels coming off in moving vehicles, in addition to a fatal crash involving its Autopilot feature.

Shell CEO Wael Sawan told Bloomberg TV that 2023 will see record oil demand, and that oil prices are “more likely to be on the higher side than the lower side” over the coming months due to tight supply.

Crude oil slumped by 1.5% overnight to US$75.55 a barrel. Spot gold climbed 1%, while iron ore was up 0.5%.

“Decelerating growth continues to weigh on crude prices, but if fears of a hard landing for the US economy are alleviated, WTI crude could find a home above the $80 a barrel,” said Oanda analyst, Edward Moya.

Bitcoin has crumbled by 8% in the last 24 hours. Among other crypto large-caps, solana (SOL) and matic (MATIC) also fell 7-9% in the past 24 hours.

“This remains a tough environment for crypto given the fallout from Silvergate Capital, so Bitcoin could see further selling pressure test the $20,000 level,” said Moya.


5 ASX small caps to watch today

Magnum Mining and Exploration (ASX:MGU)
Metallurgical test work has confirmed that a +68% Fe product can be produced, with minimal changes necessary to previously designed plant to achieve the high grade product. The test work will feed into the currently scheduled Scoping Study to update historic CAPEX and OPEX estimates as a prelude to embarking on a Prefeasibility Study.

Swift Networks (ASX:SW1)
In addition to the recent project wins announcement of $2.06 million earlier this week, Swift has also signed subscription contracts with multiple companies including Pilbara Minerals, AngloGold Ashanti, Mineral Resources, and St Barbara. The Total Contract Value of these agreements is $2.1 million in subscription revenues over 1-3 years. The projects will be across a range of services Swift provides, including Swift Access, 24/7 remote support, on-site maintenance, and network & service monitoring.

Global Lithium (ASX:GL1)
The majority of assay results have now been received from the 2022 Manna drilling program. Results point to a large north-eastern extension of the existing Manna Deposit. Highlighted intercepts from the 2022 Reverse Circulation (RC) drilling program include: 19m @ 1.20% Li2O from 263m, and 17m @ 1.76% Li2O from 341m.

GO2 People (ASX:GO2)
Skill Hire has agreed to convert the majority of the deferred consideration agreement into GO2 ordinary shares. GO2 acquired Skill Hire in 2021, which included a deferred payment due from GO2 to the vendors of the Skill Hire business, with a current balance of $3.51 million due 30 November. The Skill Hire vendors have now agreed to accept 43% of the deferred payment(approximately$1.34million) in cash, and convert the remaining 57% (approximately $2 million) into GO2 shares at 1.2c per share.

Mineral Commodities (ASX:MRC)
MRC’s 50% owned subsidiary Mineral Sands Resources will transition to 24-hour operations. This represents a step-change in production capacity on Inland Strands ore, as 24-hour operations are required to meet the Inland Strands annualised production target of 1.2Mtpa from each Primary Concentrator (PBC-TSP) plant.