S&P500 edges higher

US stocks posted their second straight day of gains overnight, bouncing back after a selloff at the opening bell.

All three US stock market benchmarks rose – the Dow Jones up by 0.41%, the S&P 500 by 0.3% ,and the tech heavy Nasdaq by 0.47%.

Big tech stocks rose again after Senate Republicans said they’d support a temporary extension of the US fiscal debt ceiling to avoid a technical default.

In other markets, US energy secretary Jennifer Granholm said the government would consider opening access to its emergency oil reserves if supplies become too constrained.

Crude oil prices eased back towards US$80/barrel overnight overnight, in another volatile session for energy which saw UK gas prices briefly surge by 40% before the market settled.

Markets are edging higher this week amid lingering concerns inflation will prove more permanent that previously forecast.

In crypto, Bitcoin extended its barnstorming rally overnight and is now trading above US$55,000, up from lows near US$40,000 one week ago.

ASX to follow Wall Street

The local market is on track to edge higher at the open, with ASX 200 futures up 0.3% earlier this morning.

A higher close will snap a two-day losing streak, as the broader market fell again yesterday after APRA flagged a new round of macro-prudential lending restrictions for the housing market.

After a sharp selloff on Tuesday, ASX tech stocks bounced back yesterday with steady gains across the BNPL sector.

Set to list at 1pm EST is WA-based explorer E79 Gold Mines (ASX:E79) which on listing will have around 683km2 of highly prospective ground in the Yilgarn Craton.

5 ASX small caps to watch today

BNPL company OpenPay (ASX:OPY) said it’s secured a US$271.4m warehouse financing facility, backed by Goldman Sachs and Atalaya Capital Management. Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed but OPY said they were “attractive”, giving it the capital base to fuel its push into the US market with financing for American consumers at “affordable rates”.

Delecta Ltd (ASX:DLC) said assays from the recent exploration program at its REX uranium project in Colorado were rejected by ALS Global in Reno Nevada, “due to radiation limits exceeding laboratory thresholds”. The assays will now be sent to ALS Global Vancouver, which has the processing ability to measure elevated levels of NORM uranium samples.

Managing director Malcolm Day said “visible uranium and vanadium mineralisation has been observed” at the project. DLC “considers the small delay in lab samples to be a net positive in the context of expected higher-grade assays”, Day said.

Southern Cross Electrical Engineering (ASX:SXE) provided a trading update where it said it had been awarded around $30m of new contracts in NSW and the ACT. Subsidiaries of the Perth-based company have won work on three deals — a Sydney CBD tower, the Queanbeyan Civic and Cultural Precinct in Canberra and an 18-storey mixed use tertiary education facility for the University of Western Sydney.

Pacific Nickel Mines Limited (ASX:PNM) has completed an initial JORC (2012) mineral resource estimate for its Prospecting Licence PL 01/18 (Jejevo tenement) on Isabel Island, Solomon Islands. The estimate was carried out by independent consultant Mining One Pty Ltd. PNM said the total JORC mineral resource estimate at Jejevo is 14.42 million tonnes at 1.29% nickel, at a 1.0% nickel cut off.

Global Energy Ventures Ltd (ASX:GEV) said key consultants have now been appointed, which will allow for the commencement of the Export Feasibility Study at Province Resources’ (ASX:PRL) HyEnergy Zero Carbon Hydrogen project. The objective of the study is to “demonstrate the technical feasibility and commercial advantages of GEV’s compressed hydrogen shipping solution”, the company said.