• ASX up 0.5% led by Banks, Tech and Discretionary stocks
  • Crypto market alight after BTC ETFs approval last night
  • Worley in the middle of corruption allegations


The Aussie stock market lifted 0.5% on Thursday following a strong session in New York overnight.

The big four banks led, up by around 1%. Discretionary and Tech stocks also lifted after the softer than expected CPI number yesterday bolstered hopes of an RBA rate cut.

In the Discretionary sector, JB Hi-Fi (ASX:JBH) was the best performer today, up over 3%.

Metals miners like South32 (ASX:S32), Northern Star (ASX:NST) also featured in the top 10 winners list.

The market focus, however, was on the crypto market after the US SEC approved 11 spot Bitcoin ETFs overnight: Bitwise, Grayscale, Hashdex, BlackRock, Valkyrie, BZX, Invesco, VanEck, WisdomTree, Fidelity and Franklin.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin was trading at US$46,618, which was up 1.5% from 24 hours ago.

“BTC will have to be bought on market to fill the ETFs. As a long term investor if you know there are buyers coming, why sell before they have to buy?,” wrote Magnet Capital’s co-founders, Egor Sidelska and Benjamin Celermajer.

Across the region, Asian stock markets also advanced ahead of the US inflation report due later tonight, which should help clarify the path ahead for Federal Reserve policy.

“Ultimately, core CPI inflation will likely prove sticky above the Fed’s 2% average inflation target through 2024, even as the pace of housing inflation slows,” wrote Bloomberg Economics.



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Asset manager and services company, Pinnacle Investment (ASX:PNI), rose today after providing a market update.

The company said nine affiliates have crystallised performance fees for the six months ended 31 December 2023 (1H FY24) totalling approximately $41.9 million at 100% gross in aggregate.

Pinnacle’s net share of these performance fees, after tax payable by the affiliates on this revenue, is in the order of $12.3 million.

Additionally, PNI said its Principal Investments (PI) totalled approximately $136 million at 31 December 2023, compared to $164 million at 31 December 2022.

However, the company has issued this warning:

“It is too early in the process of finalisation of half year results to have any certainty of their outcome, and it would therefore be imprudent at this time to comment in any detail on the likely net result.”



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Global engineering group Worley (ASX:WOR) dropped almost -4% after coming out of trading halt, amid allegations of corruption by Worley’s employees in the US made by Ecuador.

Worley denied that its employees and management  acted corruptly or in bad faith, following an international tribunal ruling in Ecuador that the company bribed foreign government officials linked to contracts to rebuild Ecuador’s oil and gas industry.

As a result of the tribunal finding, Worley said it will have to pay Ecuador approximately US$6 million, which it said is not material to Worley’s FY2024 results.

The company also confirmed that a net receivables amount owed to Worley of $58 million will remain outstanding.


Strike Energy (ASX:STX) fell almost -5% on the back of an announcement by Triangle Energy (ASX:TEG).

Triangle has revealed that it has uncovered promising new oil and gas opportunities in its Perth Basin acreage. Triangle’s interpretation of the Bookara 3D seismic Block L7 and EP 437 has revealed 12 new oil prospects.

Eleven prospects in block L7 have summed best estimate Prospective Resources of 36 million barrels of oil (MMbbl).

Triangle has farmed out a 50% interest in L7 and EP 437 to Talon Energy (now owned by Strike Energy) and New Zealand Oil and Gas (25% each).