Wall Street mostly down after Fed decision

US stocks were relatively muted after the US Fed signalled it will be begin hiking rates in March.

“With inflation well above 2 per cent and a strong labour market, the committee expects it will soon be appropriate to raise the target range for the federal funds rate,” Fed chairman Jerome Powell said.

“I would say that the committee is of a mind to raise the Federal Funds rate at the March meeting.”

The central bank governor also said he won’t be making monetary policy decisions based on movements in the stock market.

“I don’t want to comment on today’s financial conditions broadly, but we’re not looking at any one market,” he said.

The US stock market benchmark indexes closed the day mostly down – the S&P 500 by 0.15%, the Dow Jones by 0.38%, but Nasdaq finished flat.

Yields pushed higher after Powell’s speech, with the benchmark 10-year up 3.5bp, and 2-year up 10bp.

Tesla, Microsoft, Nvdia all rose around 2%, and Tesla will be releasing its fourth-quarter earnings later today.

In commodities, oil prices keep moving higher, up by 1.6%, while the spot iron ore was down 0.5%.

Bitcoin meanwhile, moved slightly higher by 0.5% to $US37,050 at 8.30am AEDT.

Some pretty eye-opening crypto-related news has emerged from social media behemoth YouTube over the past 24 hours or so, including possible NFT integration and some interesting departures.

Read the rest of that story here on Coinhead.


ASX 200 to open lower on Thursday

After the Australia Day break yesterday, the ASX 200 index looks set to open lower this morning, with futures markets (February contracts) pointing down by 0.35% at 8:30am AEDT.

On Tuesday, the benchmark index fell below the 7,000 level for the first time since May 2021 after slumping by 2.68%. All eleven ASX sectors fell, with Energy, down 4%, leading the rout.

All eyes are now on the Feb-1st RBA meeting following a shock 3.5% CPI print release on Tuesday.

On the IPO front, set to list at 12pm AEDT is African gold, lithium and uranium explorer Haranga Resources (ASX:HAR).

Followed at 12:30pm AEDT by Great Boulder Resources (ASX:GBR) spinoff Cosmos Metals (ASX:CMO).


5 ASX small caps to watch today

Plenti Group (ASX:PLT)
Fintech Plenti delivered record quarterly loan originations of $307.6 million, 135% above prior corresponding period (PCP) and 20% above prior quarter. Its loan portfolio has also increased to $1.1 billion at 31 December 2021, 118% above PCP and 21% above prior quarter.

Genworth Mortgage Insurance (ASX:GMA)
The company has been selected as the exclusive provider of Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) to the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. Genworth has entered into a contract that will see it partner with CBA until 2025.

Schrole Group (ASX:SCL)
Schrole says its relationship with Rio Tinto continues, with confirmed bookings to provide on-the-job (OJT) training courses across Rio Tinto’s sites in 2022. Schrole Develop is expected to provide more than 80 courses to over 700 staff across 18 Rio Tinto sites.

Mamba Exploration (ASX:M24)
Sampling at Ashburton Gold Project has identified a gold anomaly measuring approximately 300m by 200m. The gold anomaly results are up to 15 times background gold levels, and centred around historical workings measuring approximately 50m x 20m and to a depth of around 5m.

Catalyst Metals (ASX:CYL)
The Henty Gold Mine in Tasmania has continued to deliver gold intersections including: 10.1m @ 12.8 g/t Au, and 4.7m @ 19.2g/t Au. Overall, of 117 holes drilled, 42 intercepts reported greater than 20g/t Au metres.

At Stockhead we tell it like it is. While Plenti Group, Mamba and Schrole are Stockhead advertisers, they did not sponsor this article.