Wall Street finishes lower as US Fed keeps rates unchanged

All three major indices in the US finished lower last night, as the Fed said that “risks to the economic outlook remain”.

The Dow Jones dropped 0.48%, S&P500 lost 0.08%, while tech-heavy NASDAQ also fell by 0.28%.

In the NASDAQ, Facebook and Apple both beat estimates on their quarterly earnings.

Meanwhile, the Fed announced that it will keep interest rates unchanged at near zero, and will also maintain the US$120 billion of its monthly bond buybacks.

The Fed also signalled a positive tone on the economy, saying: “The sectors most adversely affected by the pandemic remain weak but have shown improvement. Inflation has risen, largely reflecting transitory factors.”

In other markets, iron ore price finally retreated after a week of price rises which took it to record highs. The metal fell by 1.4% to $US192.52 a tonne.

Bitcoin has dropped slightly, and is currently trading at US$54,900 at 8am AEDT, from the US$55,300 level yesterday. As reported on Stockhead, a team of 35 experts polled by Finder predict that Bitcoin will finish below the psychological US$100,000 level by end of year, instead of the US$288,000 some bulls have predicted. 

Closer to home

The ASX200 is set to open higher again today, after finishing higher by 0.44 per cent on Wednesday.

In big caps news, infrastructure and utilities company Infratil (ASX:IFT) announced that it will acquire between 50.1% and 60% of Pacific Radiology Group, the largest private diagnostic imaging business in New Zealand, from existing Doctor shareholders, for total consideration of up to NZ$350 million.

5 ASX small caps to watch today

Nexion (ASX:NNG)
The cloud-based tech company announced solid results for Q3. Revenues increased by 38 per cent to $0.94 million, mostly underpinned by a 170 per cent increase in non-recurring project income to $0.38 million.

Rhipe (ASX:RHP)
The technology company reported a 36 per cent increase in operating profit to $13.2 million for Q3. This came on the back of a strong 15 per cent increase in sales of $273 million.

Credit Clear (ASX:CCR)
The receivables management fintech company reported strong financial results, with total revenue up by 35 per cent to $2.8 million for Q3. During the quarter, it has signed Suncorp as its first insurance client. It has also reported a strong 76 per cent in its digital revenue, which makes up a third of its total revenue.

Simble Solutions (ASX:SIS)
The SaaS company focusing on energy management announced that it has signed a three-year deal with leading solar energy provider Juice Capital, to provide solar and energy metering software platform and apps coupled with third party energy IoT devices. Minimum commitments for onboarding software and services under the contract will be in excess of $50k.

Volpara Health (ASX:VHT)
The medtech company reported record quarterly receipts from customers in Q4, NZ$5.4 million, which was 15 per cent higher than pcp. This was mainly on the back of its subscription-based sales, which was up by 39 per cent year-on-year in FY21 to ~NZ$18.3 million.