US recession fears: ASX down 0.2% at noon

US markets fell lower over the weekend, with the Federal Reserve’s continual rising of interest rates adding to fears that a recession is coming.

In the latest Twitter saga, Elon Musk has asked users to vote on whether he should step down or not, stating “I will abide by the results of the poll.” This all comes as Twitter continues to spend cash and faces large interest payments on its debts.

On the ASX, Warrego Energy (ASX:WGO) says it will consider Strike Energy’s (ASX:STX) new off-market takeover bid against Hancock Energy’s offering. Strike’s new implied offer price is 33.5 cents per Warrego share, representing a 19.6 per cent premium to Hancock’s revised offer of 28 cents per share.

Overall, at noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.2 per cent lower at 7134.

The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 9 points.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Materials, up 0.68 per cent. The worst-performing sector is A-REIT, down 1 per cent.

The best-performing large cap is Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST), trading 5.16 per cent higher at $11.21. It is followed by shares in Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) and Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC).

The worst-performing large cap is James Hardie Industries (ASX:JHX), trading 3.12 per cent lower at $28.56. It is followed by shares in Reece (ASX:REH) and Ampol (ASX:ALD)

Asian news

Asia-Pacific markets are set to trade mostly lower as investors struggle to shake off recession fears. Stocks on Wall Street have marked their second consecutive week of losses for the first time since September.

In China, officials vowed to stabilise the economy in 2023 and maintain ample liquidity in financial markets in order to meet key targets, according to a statement following the annual budget-setting Central Economic Work Conference last week, Reuters reported.

Shanghai announced it will shut most schools again Monday as the number of Covid cases surged.

Company news

BBX Minerals (ASX: BBX) has announced that there Bioleaching test work has continued to show excellent results, with the pilot plant testing to begin shortly. The goal of this investigative test work was to demonstrate how the Três Estados complex mineralisation responds to EcoBiome’s patent pending microbial technology. BBX’s Technical Manager Edmar Medeiros said: “After the initial studies of noble metal extraction tests using the bioleaching technique, BBX and EcoBiome continued with the tests aimed at improving the technology for recovering noble metals present in the BBX ore from Brazil.” Shares are trading 21.92 per cent higher at $0.089.

PolarX (ASX:PXX) has announced that Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST) subscribed for approximately 10 per cent of the company’s issued capital post raise, after PolarX issued a Placement and Shortfall Placement. PolarX has now raised approximately $3.63 million since 30 November 2022 as drilling continues at the Humboldt Range Project in Nevada. Shares are trading 25 per cent higher at $0.015.

Purpose-driven instalment payment platform, Sezzle (ASX:SZL), has announced to the market an update on key financial metrics for the month ended 30 November 2022. The company posted a new high in total revenue, which drove positive results in Net Income and Adjusted EBTDA. Sezzle’s Chairman and CEO Charles Youakim said: “We believe we are the first in our segment to reach profitability, but one month does not make a trend. Our goal for 2023 is to achieve positive Net Income and Adjusted EBTDA.” Shares are trading 2.94 per cent higher at $0.525.

Australian medical technology company LBT Innovations (ASX:LBT), through its wholly owned subsidiary Clever Culture Systems, is pleased to announce the appointment of Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc (Thermo Fisher) as exclusive distributor for the APAS® Independence in Europe. LBT CEO and Managing Director, Brent Barnes said: “Our experience in the United States has shown the benefit of having a full distribution partner with the brand reputation and sales reach of Thermo Fisher. We have learnt from our first year working together, and this established relationship is expected to accelerate our commercial success with customers in Europe.” Shares are trading flat at $0.05.

Warrego Energy (ASX:WGO) (Warrego) notes the announcement by Strike Energy (ASX:STX) this morning that it intends to make an off-market takeover offer to acquire all of the shares in Warrego that it does not already own for a consideration of 1 new Strike share for each Warrego share (the Strike Takeover Offer). Strike has indicated that it expects to lodge its Bidder’s Statement in respect of its offer prior to the end of calendar year 2022. There would then be a 14 day period before Strike can open the offer, followed by a minimum offer period of one month. Shares are trading 10 per cent higher at $0.33.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1803.10 an ounce.
Iron ore is 0.4 per cent lower at US$112.70 a tonne.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a 2.7 per cent fall.
One Australian dollar is buying 67.01 US cents.