• Aussie shares to slump once again after heavy selloff on Wall Street
  • Traders are wary of developments in the Middle East
  • Magnificent Seven to report their earnings this week


Aussie shares are poised to open lower again after another selloff on Wall Street. At 8am AEST, the ASX 200 index futures was pointing down by -0.9%.

In New York, the S&P 500 tumbled by -1.26%, the blue chips Dow Jones index was down by -0.86%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq crashed by -1.53%.

Traders sold out of their positions on Friday amid fears the war in Middle East could escalate over the weekend. Tensions are reportedly soaring not only in Gaza, but also in the West Bank which sits on the border with Lebanon.

US 10-year treasury bond yields eased to 4.91% after earlier breaching the 5% level on Thursday, a level last seen in 2007.

Most bank stocks were sold off and credit card company American Express languished by -5% despite a Q3 earnings beat.

SolarEdge Tech plummeted more than 27% after the solar firm said it experienced “substantial unexpected cancellations” from its European distributor.

ARM shares fell -4% despite getting an Overweight initiation coverage from KeyBanc analysts.

Looking ahead this week, Magnificent Seven megacap tech stocks – Apple, Alphabet, Amazon, Nvidia, Tesla, Microsoft and Meta Platforms – will report their earnings.

Back home, the Australian government confirmed over the weekend that China would undertake an “expedited” review on its wine tariffs which affect exports worth $1.2 billion.

Meanwhile, the all-crucial Australia Inflation (CPI Q3) will be released on Wednesday.


Aussies retire well, but make this mistake

According to data from Natixis Investment, Australia was once again in the top 10 countries for retirement security, coming in at number seven.

The top five countries were Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Ireland and Luxembourg. The Netherlands was ranked sixth, followed by Australia, New Zealand and Germany with Denmark rounding out the top 10.

But the data shows that Australians are retiring later than their global peers: the median retirement age across all countries surveyed was 61, in Australia it is 65.

Natixis’ research revealed that the top five challenges threatening retirement security are: inflation, interest rates, public debt (hence tax), an  ageing population which means less pension benefits, and big expectations and bad assumptions.

On the latter, Natixis says many individuals do not realise how long they will live in retirement, which can mean underestimating what is needed to ensure a financially secure retirement.

Investors also overestimate the returns they will receive from investments, on average assuming investment returns of 12.8% above inflation over the long-term.

This is significantly higher than the 9% above inflation returns global financial advisers expect investments to make.


In other markets …

Oil prices eased -0.3%, with Brent now trading at US$92.16 a barrel.

Gold price keeps climbing and is inching back towards the US$2k level. On Friday, spot gold posted another increase, up +0.3% to US$1,981.43 an ounce.

Iron ore futures slipped by -0.3% to US$118.65 a tonne.

The Aussie dollar fell slightly by -0.1% to US63.29.

Bitcoin meanwhile jumped 3% on Friday to over US$30k, but was down -0.75% in the last 24 hours to US$29,814.


5 ASX small caps to watch today

Horizon Minerals (ASX:HRZ)
Horizon Minerals entered a deal with Northern Star Resources(ASX: NST) for NST to purchase 62 tenements within Horizon’s eastern Kalgoorlie project area. The payment terms are based on the following: Northern Star paying Horizon $3.1m in cash at completion. Additional potential deferred payments including: Discovery Payments of $20/ounce for any JORC compliant Mineral Resource located on the Tenements, capped at 2 million ounces, and also a Net Smelter Royalty of 0.5% on all metals and minerals extracted from the tenements.

Medallion Metals (ASX:MM8)
A pre-feasibility study (PFS) has demonstrated technical and commercial viability of the Ravensthorpe Gold Project. This includes 92koz per annum AuEq production, pre-tax cash flow of $85 million per annum, over a nine-year mine life.

Immutep (ASX:IMM)
Immutep says Efti in combination with KEYTRUDA has generated excellent overall survival benefit in patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer. Median Overall Survival reaches 35.5 months in first-line treatment of metastatic non-small cell lung cancer patients expressing PD-L1 (TPS >1%), 23.4 months in patients with low PD-L1 expression (TPS 1-49%), and has not been reached in patients with high PD-L1 expression (TPS >50%), exceeding expectations.

Propel Funeral Partners (ASX:PFP)
Propel confirmed that it has received inbound interest regarding a potential takeover from multiple parties. The nature of this interest has been unsolicited, preliminary, highly conditional and non-binding. PFP’s board has determined the interest received to date has not been compelling, and has, therefore, elected not to engage with any party. No action is required by shareholders at this time.

Riversgold (ASX:RGL)
Maiden drilling has intersected lithium up to 2.44% immediately east of Wesfarmers/SQM Covalent Lithium’s Earl Grey Deposit, Mt Holland. Results include 4m at 1.27% Li2O from 97m (MHRC 005), including 1m at 2.44% Li2O from 98m at RGL’s Earl Grey East Prospect. Drilling was temporarily suspended pending assays and proof of lithium in the pegmatites intersected.


At Stockhead we tell it like it is. While Riversgold is a Stockhead advertiser, it did not sponsor this article.