Another year, another round of upgraded Apple products — but this one just might be the strangest yet.

The company unveiled new MacBrook Pro models, new AirPods, a HomePod Miin smart speaker and…a US$19 “polishing cloth”.

At first glance there’s little difference to it and other cloths, except for the Apple logo.

But Apple says the product is “made with soft, non-abrasive material” and that it cleans any Apple display for any device – including nano-texture glass – safely and effectively.

Pic: Apple

And arguably most prestigious of all, it’s made by Apple.

It may not have prompted the big gains from new Apple product releases of years gone by, but shares in the tech giant still rose by 1.18% overnight.

On the ASX, local stocks climbed into midday trade following another steady session on Wall Street overnight.

The gains were led by a notable move in tech stocks, as the ASX 200 Information Technology index bounced back from yesterday’s falls.

With all eyes on the energy market, coal prices are ripping higher again while Brent crude oil has edged back below US$85/barrel.

So far, markets are still digesting the rates outlook as inflationary pressures bring the timeline for global interest rate hikes forward.

In that context, investors were on the lookout for any possible changes in the RBA minutes this morning, from the central bank’s October meeting.

However, the minutes showed the RBA is still committed to its current mantra — no rate hikes until 2024.

That outlook is now diverging widely from what the market thinks, with the first rate hike now priced for August 2022.

“Aussie rates are screaming out that the RBA is going to move on its forward guidance, any day now – will the RBA stick to their resolve?”, Pepperstone analyst Chris Weston asked this morning.

He added the market would “not be surprised to hear a small tweak in a statement or even a journalist close to the RBA prime the market for a change” in the weeks ahead.

ASX SMALL CAP WINNERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for October 19 [intraday]:

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Stocks highlighted in yellow made market-sensitive announcements

Goldie Lode Resources (ASX:LDR) rose after its latest exploration update in which it reported the intersection of multiple sulphides.

$8m food exporter EVE Investments (ASX:EVE) rose after its latest sales update in which it reported substantial sales growth – 66% in the last quarter in Australia and over 200% in the USA.

Singular Health (ASX:SGH) won funding from the CSIRO Kick-Start Program to undertake a research project with the CSIRO in the development of an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based tool to automatically design replacement cranial implants.

 

ASX SMALL CAP LOSERS

Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks for October 19 [intraday]:

Swipe or scroll to reveal full table. Click headings to sort:

Stocks highlighted in yellow made market-sensitive announcements

Skin Elements (ASX:SKN) dropped as it re-entered the ASX after being suspended for several months.

Living Cell Technologies (ASX:LCT) dropped thanks to a capital raising.