Wall Street rises despite strong US inflation data

All major indices in the US closed higher on Thursday, even as US May consumer prices data rose more than forecast.

Headline US CPI rose by 5% on a year-on-year basis for May.

Investors are betting that the Reserve Bank will still maintain its stimulus and low interest rates, even in the face of rising consumer prices.

The Dow Jones rose by 0.05%, S&P 500 by 0.47%, and tech heavy Nasdaq by 0.78%.

Major tech stocks like Amazon, Microsoft and Tesla all rose on the CPI news.

In other markets, oil rose slightly after the US lifted sanctions on some Iranian officials.

A ruling on cryptos by the Basel Committee came into place for a “new conservative prudential treatment” of crypto assets that would force banks to put aside enough capital to cover 100% of potential losses. The Basel Committee is a group made up of the world’s bank regulators.

Despite that development, Bitcoin is holding steady at US$36,800 at 8am AEST, after trading at US$36,700 level on Thursday.

ASX at record high

The ASX 200 closed nearly 0.44% up on Thursday at 7,302 – its highest ever level.

Energy was the sole sector in negative territory, while tech and property trusts were the biggest winners with both gaining over 2 per cent.

In big cap news this morning, Shawn Johnson, a former State Street Global Advisors managing director, has been named as the new head of AMP Capital. AMP (ASX:AMP) is also expecting its new CEO, Alexis George, to start duties on 2 August.

5 ASX small caps to watch today

Avita Medical (ASX:AVH)
The company announced that the FDA has approved the expanded use of its RECELL System in combination with meshed auto-grafting for the treatment of acute full-thickness thermal burn wounds for both pediatric and adult patients.

iSelect (ASX:ISU)
The healthcare services company announced that its Australian subsidiary has executed a distribution agreement with Bupa. It is the first time the Bupa brand has joined iSelect’s range of health insurance providers, with iSelect now representing brands from Australia’s nine major health insurers.

Brainchip (ASX:BRN)
In an investor presentation this morning, the AI-based microchip said the edge-AI market is set to boom in the next few years. The company predicts that total number of device connections worldwide will grow by 13 per cent to 41 billion connections by 2025, and will be worth $60 billion.

The welding tech and robotics company announced that an Australian patent has been granted for its WAM process – a method of manufacturing a metallic part in any weldable metal by solid freeform fabrication, enhanced by an atmospheric protection device and synergic heating and cooling apparatus.

Oilex (ASX:OEX)
The oil and gas company announced that the agreement to acquire 55 per cent of GSPC’s participating interest in Cambay in India has now been executed. The acquisition will provide Oilex with 100% PI in Cambay, which has a proven gas accumulation in the EP-IV tight siltstone reservoir.