Market highlights: More boring records for Wall Street and 5 ASX small caps to watch

  • ASX 200 points to lower start
  • NVDA adds another 2% as more Wall Street records fall
  • Base metals fell mostly overnight

Australian markets may be forced to dip into the red for a while this morning, despite Wall Street hitting new record highs last night.

At 08:35 AEST, the ASX 200 (SPI) futures contract was down 41 points, or about 0.52%.

In New York, trading was tight on Tuesday and possibly even more tepid than Monday – yes, records continue to be broken, but from increasingly modest heights.

Both the S&P500 and the Nasdaq Composite rose about 0.1%, while the blue chip Dow Jones continued to limit its gains, falling again about 50 points, or 0.1%.

We are still watching inflation in the US. Last night, Fed Chairman J. Powell gave high-quality testimony to a bored-looking Congressional committee, giving little away as he had indicated in his briefing.

JP said the Fed is moving closer to a rate cut and sounded somewhat optimistic about cooling US inflation, but not too optimistic:

“More good data would strengthen our confidence that inflation is moving towards 2% in a sustained manner.”

That didn’t give traders much room to maneuver as the cuts have already been baked deep into portfolios and the real big moment comes this Wednesday in New York, when a market-moving report on US consumer price inflation (CPI and PPI) will provide some clarity on the bank’s next considerations on interest rates.

US banks were the driving force behind some gains in the financial sector as some big names report earnings on Friday.

Overnight winners – Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and Bank of America – all rose about 2% or more.

In terms of monster technology, Nvidia added 1.2% and Microsoft gave away the same.

In Europe, stock markets fell on Tuesday, recouping gains made last week ahead of the political confrontation in France.

The STOXX Europe 600 lost 0.9%. Germany’s DAX fell 1.2% to 18,236.19 and France’s CAC 40 fell again, losing 1.6% to 7,508.66.

In London, where commodities and energy companies posted mixed results, Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 53 points, or 0.7%.

In Europe, they are keeping an eye on Beijing, where next week’s Third Plenum offers some hope for economic stimulus measures.

Among miners, Rio Tinto rose 0.25%, while Glencore fell 0.6%.

Energy companies followed the fall in oil prices, with BP the worst off, falling more than 4% after the post warned of lower profits as refining margins tightened.

On the commodities front, base metal prices were generally lower.

Copper futures fell 1% from last month’s high, and aluminum futures fell 1.5%.

Spot gold was trading at around US$2,363 an ounce at the close.

Via TradingEconomics

Looking forward…

There are no major data releases scheduled for today, although in Funnyland the Reserve Bank of New Zealand will drop a decision on interest rates. The Kiwi official cash rate (OCR) is expected to remain at 5.5%.

In Beijing we have figures on consumer and producer inflation (CPI and PPI) for June.

In other markets…

The price of gold remained relatively flat at $2,363.57.

Oil prices –Brent crude fell nearly 1% to $84.89 and West Texas fell 0.85%.

US Treasury Bond results were mixed, with the 2-year yield remaining unchanged at 4.63% and the 10-year yield rising to 4.30%.

The proceeds on Australian 2-year government bonds fell by 4.19%, while the 10-year yield also fell by 4.34%.

The Australian dollar stood at 67.40 US cents, up slightly from the previous closing price of 67.39.

The iron ore price fell 1.15% to US$111.15 per tonne.

Finally, Wednesday morning in CryptolandBitcoin and Ether are on the rise. BTC rose by about 2.3%.

5 ASX small caps to watch today

Larger than the usual small cap, but be careful Incitec Pivot (ASX:IPL) on Wednesday. The fertilizer, explosives, chemicals and mining services conglomerate said it has pulled the plug on negotiations with PT Pupuk Kalimantan Timur (PKT) for the sale of its fertilizer business, Incitec Pivot Fertilisers (IPF). IPL said the decision follows “careful consideration of how to maximise shareholder value while balancing the risks of completing the transaction within a reasonable timeframe.”

Clinical stage biopharmaceuticals Neurotech (ASX:NTI)NTI, Inc. says it has identified “further favorable improvements” following a new analysis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) patients enrolled in NTI’s Phase II/III clinical trial for patients receiving NTI164 (as assessed by the Clinical Global Impression – Severity of illness Scale (CGI-S). Tough to measure, you might think, but NTI says there was a 36% improvement from week 8 to week 12 and a 56% improvement from baseline (day 0) to week 12. “Overall, ASD symptoms were present but barely noticeable at 12 weeks for recipients receiving NTI164 (borderline) versus significant impairment observed at baseline (definitely impaired).”

Catalyst Metals (ASX:CYL) reports that the group’s FY24 gold production (which includes the first 12 months of Plutonic production under Catalyst ownership) delivered an annual total of 110koz. Plutonic produced 85koz for the FY24 year compared to 60koz in FY23 – an increase of 41% – with only an $11 million increase in costs. As a result, Catalyst ended the year with $37 million in cash and bullion on hand and $45 million in available liquidity, while reducing debt to $8 million from $36 million.

WhiteHawk (ASX:WHK) has secured its first ASX100 contract for cybersecurity services. Chairman Terry Roberts says WHK has secured a contract Tabcorp Holdings (ASX:TAH) for an annual AI-Based Cyber ​​Risk Program subscription. “While the revenue from Phase 1 of this contract is $70,800, there is a built-in opportunity to add additional fee-based services over the life of the contract. This is a significant contract that gives us material visibility into the Australian market.”

GreenTech Metals (ASX:GRE) reports that infill soil sampling at Kobe South has confirmed a “persistent lithium soil trend over a distance of 5.5 km.” GRE says results from an extensive infill soil sampling program involving 1,635 samples, which aimed to build on the results of previously reported reconnaissance sampling conducted in the region in 2018, also show the lithium trend at Kobe South with peak determinations of 200 – 467 ppm Li2O in soils
GreenTech’s Executive Director, Tom Reddicliffe, said: “We are pleased to see that well-defined lithium soil anomalies continue to exist along the extent of our Ruth Well and Osborne JV projects. These results are supported by the discovery of additional pathfinder features consistent with other anomalies associated with a nearby lithium-bearing pegmatite.”