Market highlights and 5 ASX small caps to watch on Thursday
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US stocks rose to record highs again after the US Federal Reserve decided to keep rates at near zero until 2023.
Fed chairman Jerome Powell said that he expected growth for 2020 to be 6.5 per cent, compared with the previous forecast of 4.2 per cent.
He also expected the US inflation rate to reach just 2% by 2023, and wants to keep interest rates where they are at least until then.
Guided by the speech, both the Dow Jones and S&P 500 closed at their highest levels ever.
The Dow lifted by 0.58%, while the S&P closed 0.29% higher.
Tech-heavy NASDAQ also gained by 0.4%.
After chairman Powell’s speech, the yield on 30-year Treasuries spiked its highest level since 2019 at, while the 10-year was steady at 1.68%.
Bitcoin is currently trading at US$57,950 at 8am AEDT, after hitting record levels of US$61,000 last weekend.
Bill Gates again voiced his concern about the amount of electricity needed to mine the crypto, singling out renewable energy as the answer.
Shipbuilder Austal (ASX:ASB) said that it has delivered its ninth patrol boat to the Australian Department of Defence, which is set to be gifted to the Papua New Guinea government.
And it’s Afterpay Day, the four-day online sales blitz organised by the BNPL giant.
Amplia Therapeutics (ASX:ATX)
The cancer drug company announced a contract with Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney. The two will collaborate on a research and clinical development program focused on the use of Amplia’s FAK inhibitor, AMP945, to treat patients with pancreatic cancer.
Green packaging company SECOS announced the expansion of its bio-based manufacturing capacity in Malaysia, and has secured a 3-by-2 year lease for an established 4,200 m2 factory close to its existing Port Klang operations. The expansion will increase its bag-making and bioresin capacity.
Playside Studios (ASX:PLY)
Announced the global launch of its second title in the Warfare franchise “Toy Warfare”. The follow up to Animal Warfare is now available in over 170 countries on both the Apple Store and Google Play Store. Animal Warfare is PlaySide’s most successful original IP title to date with over 7.7 million downloads.
Hydrogeological company Vysarn updated its term of contract with Fortescue, to a term of 36 months and the option of a two-year extension. The scope of work has also been amended to include the provision of dual tube flooded reverse drilling services.
Mining and infastructure services company, Decmil, secured a ~$25 million contract from the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads to upgrade a stretch of the Bruce Highway from Gin Gin to Benaraby. Decmil will undertake road widening works and safety improvements on the highway.