Sell-off on Wall Street after inflation rose to highest since 2009

All major indices in US tumbled after US consumer price increased by 0.8% in April, climbing by the most since 2009 and topping estimates.

The steeper than expected inflation exacerbated investors’ fears that the Fed may raise the near-zero rates sooner than expected.

Dow Jones fell 1.99%, S&P 500 dropped 2.14%, and tech heavy NASDAQ was down 2.67%.

Most major blue chips fell, as the benchmark US 10-year Treasury yields jumped to 1.69% on the news.

In other markets, the iron ore price rallied again, by around 4% to US$237.57 a tonne, as China moved to cool prices by raising trading limits and margin requirements for contracts traded on its commodity exchanges.

In cryptos, Bitcoin fell to US$52,600 level at at 8am AEDT this morning, from the US$56,600 level on Wednesday.

Elon Musk said that Tesla has suspended vehicle purchases using BTC.

Ethereum is trading at US$4,012 with an expert saying that it could reach US$20,000 by 2025.

Closer to home

The ASX200 index dropped 0.73 per cent on Wednesday, over fears that credit agencies may downgrade Australia’s sovereign AAA rating.

Xero (ASX:XRO) profits rose by 493 per cent for the full financial year FY21 to $NZ19.8 million. This followed strong revenues driven by record subscriber growth, mainly in the second half.

5 ASX small caps to watch today

Proteomics International (ASX:PIQ)
The medtech company says results of an economic health benefit study for PromarkerD estimate that instigating PromarkerD testing could produce net savings of US$862 million over four years for 1 million Type 2 diabetes patients tested. PromarkerD is the company’s predictive test for the early detection of chronic kidney disease in patients with Type-2 diabetes.

Lithium Australia (ASX:LIT)
The company said that its high-capacity cathode material is now available for commercial testing. Tests have shown that the lithium manganese ferro phosphate (LMFP) cathode powder showed that is has an energy density significantly greater than that of standard lithium ferro phosphate (‘LFP’) powders. The LFMP will be made available to battery manufacturers for testing in June 2021.

Harmoney (ASX:HMY)
The online personal lender announced that its origination volumes for April have bounced back by more than 800% on the prior (COVID-impacted) corresponding period. Total originations were NZ$37.8m in April 2021, up from NZ$4.2m in April 2020.

Holista CollTech (ASX:HCT)
The biotech company says that it has signed with Malaysia-based Mutiara Seribumi, for the distribution of its ovine (sheep) collagen into China. The agreement with Mutiara came into effect after a positive outcome for the trials and after Chinese regulatory approvals are granted.

Predictive Discovery (ASX:PDI)
The gold exploration company said that new auger drilling reports high-grade gold at the Bankan Project, showing 12m @ 9.84g/t Au from 4m, and 16m @ 2.02g/t Au from 4m.