Wall Street rallies higher

Confidence has returned to US markets, following the US Fed’s policy update on Wednesday night.

All three US stock market benchmarks climbed overnight, with the Dow Jones rising by 1.48%, S&P 500 by 1.21%, and the tech heavy Nasdaq by 1.04%.

It was the biggest two-day rally for the Dow in more than six months, following the 1% rise the previous day.

Equity markets climbed, despite US jobless claims increasing to a one-month high of 351,000.

Meanwhile, the saga at Chinese developer Evergrande continues to unfold, as news circulated that it won’t make payment on a US$83m bill due today. The company has a 30-day grace period to pay the bill, but has reportedly stopped paying some staff and suppliers.

In other markets, global oil prices lifted by 1.5% overnight, where Brent crude was trading at its highest level since October 2018.

Thermal coal climbed 3%, while spot iron ore rose 1%.

In crypto, Bitcoin is bouncing back to US$45,500 at 8:00am AEST this morning, from US$43,300 yesterday.

All Twitter users are now able to tip each other in Bitcoin through the Lightning Network, and it might be helping push Bitcoin’s price up.

Read all about it here.

ASX 200 to open higher on Friday

The ASX 200 looks set to open higher his morning, with futures markets (December contracts) pointing up by 0.10% at 8:30am AEST.

Yesterday, the Aussie benchmark closed 1% higher at 7,370 points, a level that saw it nearly recoup losses made earlier this week.

5 ASX small caps to watch today

Novatti Group (ASX:NOV)

The fintech company’s partnership with Ripple has now expanded to Thailand, and is starting to generate revenue. Ripple is a well-known provider of enterprise blockchain and crypto solutions for cross-border payments. The company is the creator of digital asset, XRP, a top 10 global cryptocurrency currently valued at more than USD$40 billion.

Paradigm Biopharma (ASX:PAR)

Paradigm has received Australian ethics approval for the Phase 3 clinical trial of its drug PARA_OA_002, for treatments of patients with knee osteoarthritis pain. Paradigm also expects to receive a response from the US FDA before end of this month, for its Investigational New Drug (IND) application to begin the US arm of the study.

Red Dirt Metals (ASX:RDT)

RDT has now completed its 100% acquisition of Mt Ida Gold, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ora Banda Mining (ASX:OBM). The Mt Ida Gold Project comprises 19 tenements in the historical Mt Ida gold mining district, located 100km north-west of Menzies in the WA goldfields.

Balkan Mining and Minerals (ASX: BMM)

BMM has signed a Marketplace Platform Agreement with Puro.earth, to kick-start the market for carbon negative lithium and borates. Puro.earth is the world’s first B2B marketplace focused solely on carbon removal, BMM said.

Under the deal, BMM and Puro.earth will work bilaterally to secure a long-term purchase agreement with appropriate verified suppliers of CO2 Removal Certificates.

Megado Gold (ASX:MEG)

The company provided an update on its drilling progress at its Chakata Gold Project in Ethiopia. Assay results from a diamond drill include: [email protected]/tAu from 22m, and [email protected]/tAuf rom 23m.