Market Highlights and 5 ASX Small Caps to watch on Thursday
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Local shares are set to rise this morning following Wall Street’s rally overnight.
Despite Brent crude price spiking up to over US$114/barrel, investors were buoyed by statements made by Fed Chairman’ Jerome Powell to US Congress that he has all but ruled out a 50bp hike in March.
However, Powell indicated that he plans to go ahead with a 25bp hike in order to combat inflation, even as geopolitical tensions rise.
“The inflation that we’re experiencing is just nothing like anything we’ve experienced in decades,” Powell said to Congress.
All three major US stock benchmarks rose – the S&P 500 by 1.86%, the Dow Jones by 1.79%, and tech heavy Nasdaq by 1.62%.
Global commodity markets have surged further to multiyear highs — with oil, natural gas, coal, aluminium, and wheat rising to the highest levels since 2008.
The sanctions on Russia have mostly avoided natural resources, however many importers are wary of doing business with Russian companies until the new measures become clearer.
To cryptos, where Bitcoin’s price is holding steady this morning. At 8.25am AEDT, BTC is trading at US$43,843.
Meanwhile, trading volume on Binance between Ukraine’s national currency, the hryvna, and the leading stablecoin, Tether, hit levels last seen in October, Tradingview data analysed by Stockhead shows.
Read the rest of that story here on Coinhead.
The ASX 200 is set to open much higher this morning, with the March futures pointing up by 2.3% at 8.30am AEDT.
Yesterday, local shares were up 0.22%, with investors playing to the commodities thematic. Energy and Mining sectors climbed by 4.5% and 2.5% respectively.
Australia’s GDP growth is at a 46-year high, according to data released by the ABS yesterday. The December quarter GDP expanded by 3.4% as the country emerged from Covid lockdowns.
Later today, the ABS will also release our Trade Balance (export vs import) figures for January, which is expected to show a $10.4bn surplus vs the previous $8.4bn surplus.
Talga Group (ASX:TLG)
Talga says final results from Vittangi drilling in Sweden returned world-class grades, paving the way to upgrade Europe’s largest natural graphite resource for Li-ion batteries. Drilling results at Nunasvaara East include 51m @ 28.4% Cg. And at Niska South include: 24m @ 32.5% Cg.
Black Dragon Gold (ASX:BDG)
Gabriel Chiappini has been appointed as BDG’s new CEO to drive its strategic focus on the Salave Gold Project in northern Spain. Chiappini has extensive capital markets’ experience including being an advisor to Cygnet Capital, assisting a number of transactions including that of fellow ASX lister, Black Rock Mining.
Lodestar Minerals (ASX:LSR)
Lithium exploration has commenced on Coolgardie West Project in WA. The objective is to confirm a significant, 2km long LCT (lithium-caesium-tantalum) soil anomaly that was identified and associated with highly prospective pegmatite.
Beam Communications (ASX:BCC)
Beam confirmed that Australian and global sanctions imposed on Russia have no impact on its businesses, sales or operations. Beam says that while its devices and equipment are sold globally into multiple markets, Beam does not directly supply these to territories controlled by Russia, nor does it import any material/equipment or outsource any service from the country.
Latin Resources (ASX:LRS)
The company says ongoing diamond drilling campaign at the Salinas Lithium Project in Brazil is continuing to intersect thick, shallow dipping spodumene rich pegmatites, with the SADD003 hole returning a best intercept of 16.17m true thickness.