Market Highlights and 5 ASX Small Caps to watch on Monday
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US stock market were mixed on Friday, despite stronger than expected employments figures in the US.
The Dow Jones rose by 0.41%, S&P 500 by 0.17% – both closing at record highs – while tech heavy Nasdaq fell by 0.40%.
The US economy added 943,000 jobs in July, but delta variant fears are still the main concern.
In other markets, oil prices declined further on Friday, dropping by another 1% on COVID-19 concerns.
The crypto market meanwhile, has been rallying, and Bitcoin is currently trading at US$44,500 level at 8:00 am AEST, from the US$40,900 level on Friday.
Some other notable double-digit gainers in the altcoins as of Saturday include: Dogecoin (DOGE) +23.6%; Qtum (QTUM) +22.5%; and the Aussie-founded, play-to-earn battler Illuvium (ILV), up 15.3% at the time of writing, having hit another all-time high today of US$379.92.
The ASX 200 looks set to open higher his morning, with futures markets (September contracts) pointing up by 0.74% at 8:30am AEST.
On Friday, the benchmark edged higher by 0.36% at the close. Those gains were comfortably outpaced by the small end of town, as the microcap Emerging Companies index closed more than 1% higher.
In big caps news this morning, Suncorp (ASX:SUN)’s full year net profit climbed 13% to $1.03bn, as it declared a final divided of 40c a share, plus a special dividend of 8c a share. SUN’s stock price closed at $11.86 on Friday.
The solar tech company announced it has demonstrated a proof-of-concept with its world’s first proprietary RPCVD tunnel junction laser diodes. The novel laser diode prototypes will enable higher power and more efficient lasers for use in commercial applications such as 3D printing and industrial welding.
The biotech company has signed a collaboration agreement with the US government’s peak cancer agency, the U.S. National Cancer Institute. The collaboration will look into aggressive cancers including brain cancer pancreatic cancer, specifically on how ‘helper’ signals from surrounding healthy tissues play a role in the growth of cancers.
Regis Healthcare (ASX:REG)
The aged care provider said it might have underpaid employees to the tune of $40 million, due to input errors into the system. The company said it has commenced a review, looking back six years.
Vection Technologies (ASX:VR1)
The 3D virtual reality company said it has added around $2.2 million in TCV (total contract value) for FY22, with expanding adoption across multiple verticals and industries. Enterprise Sales TCV for FY22 are now updated to around $4 million.
Lithium Energy (ASX:LEL)
The company says geophysical equipment has arrived as it gears up to commence its major lithium exploration programme at the Solaroz Project in Argentina. Solaroz is located within South America’s ‘Lithium Triangle’ in North-West Argentina in the Salar de Olaroz basin, and is directly surrounded by two Lithium brine projects.