• ASX to fall despite a rally on Wall Street
  • Nvidia reported earnings, Sam Altman back at OpenAI
  • Binance CEO CZ ousted, company fined $4.3 billion


Aussie shares are poised to open lower on Thursday despite a rally on Wall Street overnight. At 8am AEDT, the ASX 200 index futures was pointing down by -0.3%.

In New York, the S&P 500 rose by +0.4%, the blue chips Dow Jones index was up by +0.53%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq climbed by +0.46%.

Investors digested Nvidia’s Q3 earnings after the bell as the chipmaker crushed analysts forecasts. Q3 sales tripled from a year earlier to US$18.1 billion, beating forecast by a whopping US$2bn. Profit meanwhile surged 14x to US$9.2 billion.

The Nvidia share price however was down -2.5% on concerns export restrictions could impact its business with China.

Microsoft rose 1.28% after Sam Altman was re-instated as CEO of OpenAI. Microsoft is the startup’s biggest backer with a more than US$10 billion stake.

VinFast, the Vietnamese EV maker, was up 3% after Wedbush analyst Dan Ives gave the stock a Buy rating,

Meanwhile, oil prices fell -1.5% after the OPEC+ meeting that had been scheduled for the weekend (November 26th) was postponed to November 30th, raising production cut uncertainty.

To data, US consumer sentiment has fallen for the fourth straight month, with the November index coming in with a reading of 61.3, lower than October’s 63.8.

Labour data shows that 209,000 US jobless claims were filed in the week ending Nov 18, a decline from the 231,000 filed in the prior week.


Binance’s CZ ousted, and what it means for cryptos

Bitcoin was up 2.3% in the last 24 hours to US$37,851 after the U.S. Department of Justice imposed a US$4.3 billion fine on Binance.

This development coincided with the resignation of the company’s CEO, Changpeng Zhao, affectionately known as CZ.

Reports suggest that the agreement between Binance and the U.S. Department of Justice will allow CZ to retain the majority of Binance’s shares, provided he acknowledges the charges against him (money laundering) and refrains from holding any executive position in the company in the future.

According to Mohamad K. Ibrahim, Group CEO XS.com, this news, coupled with economic data indicating that inflation in the US may decrease to 1.6% in 2024, could be a strong motivator for the continued rise of high-risk assets such as cryptocurrencies.

Ibrahim believes a long-term bullish scenario for cryptos may unfold, with Bitcoin reaching US$45,000 by the end of this year.

“This is especially plausible as expectations grow that approval for a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) may occur at any time in the coming weeks or months,” he said.


In other markets …

Gold price fell -0.4% to US$1,989.69 an ounce.

The benchmark US 10-year treasury yield was flat at 4.41%

Oil prices fell -1.5%, with Brent now trading at US$81.63 a barrel after OPEC+ delayed its meeting.

Iron ore futures rose 0.2% to US$129.84 tonne.

The Aussie dollar slipped by -0.25% to US65.41c.

Meanwhile, Bitcoin was up 2.3% in the last 24 hours to US$37,851


5 ASX small caps to watch today

Close the Loop (ASX:CLG)
CLG’s wholly owned subsidiary, ISP Tek Services, has entered into a multi-year contract with global giant, HP Inc. The agreement is effective for 3 years, and will involve a revenue share model. ISP Tek is a consumer electronics life-cycle management business, and under the agreement, it will recycle HP’s products including its notebooks and monitors.

Magnetic Resources (ASX:MAU)
MAU announced an updated Mineral Resource Estimates (MRE) from its deposits in the Laverton and Homeward Bound area. Updated combined MRE for the whole project area are: 22.7Mt @ 1.69g/t Au totaling 1.24Moz of gold at 0.5g/t cutoff, and an increase of 107% of the total ounces over the 3 February ASX release. Significantly, the contained gold in LJN4 has risen from 204,000oz to 852,000oz Au (a 317% increase).

AFT Pharmaceuticals (ASX:AFP)
Total revenue for the first half was $83.61m, up 27% on pcp. Total profit for the half was $1.8m, up 17% on pcp. AFP says it saw growth in product sales and royalties across all channels and territories. Sales in international and Asian markets rose 94% during the half.

Armada Metals (ASX:AMM)
Armada signed a binding term sheet with Antares Minerais, a Brazilian exploration company, to acquire legal ownership and title over certain exploration permits and applications for exploration covering an area of 16,750.28 hectares in the eastern portion of Minas Gerais State, Brazil. The acquisition consists of 14 mineral rights divided into 4 blocks, and was for a total of $150k.

Astute Metals (ASX:ASE)
Astute said follow-up drilling has intersected more intervals of prospective claystone host rock at its 100%-owned Altair Lithium Project in Nevada, USA. Hole AL03 intersected 22.9m (75ft) of claystone and gravelly clay from 153.9m (505ft) to the end-of-hole. Hole AL02 intersected a combined 45.7m (150ft) of claystone and gravelly clays over nine zones with interbedded gravels.


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