ASX set to rise, Budget ahead

Local shares are set to rise this morning, with the ASX 200 April futures pointing higher by 0.1% at 8am AEDT.

This follows a third day of rallying on Wall Street where tech stocks lifted the Nasdaq by 1.31% overnight. The S&P 500 also climbed 0.71%, and the Dow was up by 0.27%.

Tesla jumped 8% after it announced a stock split via a Tweet.

A stock split itself doesn’t increase the value of a company, but it does create excitement among smaller investors as it could increase the number of shares they could hold.

Oil prices plunged 10% overnight as China issued a new lockdown to combat rising Covid-19 cases. There are also fresh concerns on the country’s property sector.

“It looks like China’s third-largest property developer missed two bond payments on Friday. This soft underbelly of the China economy has been shifted from the front pages by the Ukraine conflict, but hasn’t gone away,” says Jefferey Halley, senior market analyst at Oanda.

To cryptos, where Bitcoin is surging ahead by another 2% to change hands at just a touch under US$48k. Over the weekend, Russia indicated it was considering accepting Bitcoin as payment for its energy exports.

Meanwhile, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will deliver his fourth Federal budget at 7.30pm AEDT tonight.

The 2022/23 Budget is expected to see $120bn of funds allocated to sectors such as defence, infrastructure and technology research. JP Morgan expects a deficit of $80 billion.

5 ASX small caps to watch today

Nearmap (ASX:NEA)
The aerial imagery company has reached a key financial milestone, achieving for the first time an annual contract value (ACV) of $150 million. Nearmap has also signed its largest ever government annual contract in North America, bringing its North American ACV portfolio to surpass US$50 million for the first time.

Nyrada (ASX:NYR)
Nyrada’s newest brain injury drug candidate, NYR-BI02, has shown excellent oral bioavailability, and has been selected to advance into the company’s Phase I first-in-human study. NYR-BI02 is the result of modifications made to NYR-BI01, and will be used to treat concussion patients.

Brookside Energy (ASX:BRK)
Brookside’s Jewell Well in the US has paid-out within a record six months of commencing production, with all drilling and completion costs now fully recovered. The well has produced approximately 250,000 BOE (~73% oil and NGLs) in its first six months of production, with net revenues of US$9,030,000.

Artrya (ASX:AYA)
The coronary artery disease focused company has opened a new US operation in Los Angeles. The company will market its AI-based solution, Artrya Salix, a device capable of analysing cardiac CT scans to illustrate a combination of coronary artery disease biomarkers.

Neometals (ASX:NMT)
Neometals battery recycling joint venture, Primobius, has officially opened its 10tpd commercial lithium-ion battery recycling plant in Hilchenbach, Germany. Operations planned at 10tpd are to commence in Q2 2022, pending receipt of an operating permit.