US stocks fall ahead of Fed meeting

On Wall Street, all three major benchmarks finished lower ahead of the final US Fed meeting of the year, to be held today (US time).

After last week’s best weekly gain since February, the S&P 500 fell overnight by 0.91%, the Dow Jones by 0.89%, and tech heavy Nasdaq by 1.39%.

Automakers and travel-related stocks dragged the equities market down, with Ford and Tesla falling by 5% and Carnival shedding 3.6%.

The US central bank is under increasing pressure to hike rates and withdraw its stimulus measures to cool an overheating economy that saw inflation rise to 6.8%, the highest since 1982.

The forex market is already making its bets on a rate hike, with the US dollar rising against a slew of major currencies.

Meanwhile, the spot iron ore price keeps climbing back, and was trading almost 6% higher to $US114.20 a tonne.

The ferrous metal traded as low as US$95 a tonne in early November, but has since managed to rally on the back of positive regulatory pledges by the Chinese government to stabilise its economy in 2022.

To cryptos, where Bitcoin fell by 7% to trade at US$46,450 at 8.30am AEDT.

As reported by Stockheader Derek Rose, crypto exchange Binance says it will wind down its Singaporean fiat-to-crypto trading platform, and will instead refocus its operations in the island city-state on creating a blockchain innovation hub.

The world-leading crypto exchange said it has decided to withdraw its application from the Monetary Authority of Singapore for a licence to operate a regulated crypto exchange in the country.

Read the rest of that story here on Stockhead.


ASX 200 to open lower on Tuesday

The ASX 200 looks set to fall at the open this morning, with futures markets (December contracts) pointing down by 0.55% at 8:30am AEDT.

Yesterday, the local index closed at 7,379 points which was 0.35% higher than Friday, following on from a 1.6% gain last week.

Aussie investors have continued to shrug off fears of the omicron variant as the Federal government signalled it would go ahead with the re-opening of international borders to Japan and Korea as well as to international students.

Later today, weekly indicators are scheduled, including Commonwealth Bank (CBA) data on credit and debit card spending and the ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer sentiment index.

The NAB business survey for November will also be released with a key focus on trading, profitability, and employment conditions.

5 ASX small caps to watch today

Bionomics (ASX:BNO)
The clinical stage biotech has launched a proposed IPO in the US, the first step towards having its ADS (American Depository Shares) listed on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol “BNOX. The target size of the IPO offering is US$25 million in gross proceeds.

Nearmap (ASX:NEA)
The aerial imagery tech company expects its North American annualised contract value (ACV) to surpass the ACV of its Australia and New Zealand portfolio for the first time ever this quarter. Nearmap predicts the North America business to represent the majority of the group’s ACV portfolio in the future, as growth in that market continues to accelerate.

Hillgrove Resources (ASX:HGO)
The company reported an updated Mineral Resource Estimate from its 100% owned Kanmantoo copper-gold project of 5.7Mt @ 1.1% Cu, and 0.3 g/t Au with further drilling underway. Hillgrove says an economic assessment of Kanmantoo demonstrates strong free cash flow potential ($196m), and a fast restart (7 months) to drilling.

Legend Mining (ASX:LEG)
A 3D seismic survey over a 6.5km2 area at the Mawson prospect within the Rockford Project in WA has been completed. Data processing has now commenced, and delivery of the results and final decision on drilling expected to be made by February 2022.

Hexagon Energy (ASX:HXG)
The company says it has made rapid progress on its pre-feasibility study to develop a clean hydrogen project that will service the rapidly emerging Asia Pacific hydrogen market. Multiple carbon capture and storage (CCS) options have been identified, and high level risk assessments have also been undertaken.