Iron ore pushes back near US$200/tonne again

The US and UK stock markets were closed on Monday for the long weekend public holiday.

According to the OECD, the US economy is set to grow at the fastest rate since 1984, thanks to the government stimulus and vaccine rollout.

The organisation said that US GDP will grow to 6.9% in 2021, after contracting by 3.5% in 2020.

Australia’s GDP meanwhile, is forecast to grow to 5.1%, after contracting by 2.44% in 2020.

Meanwhile, the price of iron is pushing back up to US$199/tonne, even as China, which buys 60% of the world’s iron ore,  tried to cool down prices by warning domestic steel makers.

In other markets, oil prices were firmer on the eve of the OPEC meeting today, while Bitcoin is trading higher at US$37,100 level at 8am AEDT, from the US$35,900 level on Monday.

Reserve Bank meets today

The ASX 200 retreated by 0.25 per cent on Monday, as COVID-19 cases in Victoria rose.

Energy and Healthcare were the worst and best performing indices respectively.

The RBA meets today, and will decide if interest rates will be kept at 0.1%.

The central bank has so far refused to budge on increasing rates despite the housing boom triggered by record low interest rates.

5 ASX small caps to watch today

Pentanet (ASX:5GG)
The telecoms company provided an update on business operations, saying that both its internet and cloud service businesses have grown since last quarter’s results. Active customers on its internet services have grown by 9.2 per cent since March, while its GeForce NOW service has now registered more than 45,000 players.

Immutep (ASX:IMM)
The immune-oncology company announced a new collaboration and supply agreement with Merck, Darmstadt, and Germany for a Phase I/IIa clinical trial in patients with solid tumours, called INSIGHT-005. The trial will evaluate the feasibility, safety and efficacy of Immutep’s lead product candidate, eftilagimod alpha (efti or IMP321).

Sparc Tech (ASX:SPN)
The graphene specialist announced it has received confirmation that its US patent application has now been issued as a patent. The new granted patent gives Sparc exclusive access to graphene’s unique ability to act in a porous matrix to remove heavy metal ions from liquid or gas, which has demonstrated high performance and efficiency for such use.

Infomedia (ASX:IFM)
The technology services provider to the automotive industry has completed the acquisition of US-based e-commerce platform SimplePart, initially announced on 4 May. In addition, the commpany reported that its SaaS business has picked up since December, particularly in the current quarter. The company anticipates final revenue of $95-$96 million, and cash EBITDA of $19-$20 million for the full year FY21.

Mayfield Childcare (ASX:MFD)
The company’s group EBIT has increased by 99.8 per cent to $1.3 million, even as revenue fell 4 per cent to $8 million. Mayfield also said that it has recently executed contracts to acquire an additional Victorian based, purpose-built, 70-place centre.