• The ASX 200 is set to open lower this morning
  • RBA will announce interest rates decision at 2.30pm AEST
  • Bitcoin is back over US$31k again

Aussie shares will open marginally lower this morning ahead of the RBA decision, despite US stocks rising slightly overnight.

At 8am AEST, the ASX 200 June futures index was pointing up by 0.1%.

The RBA will convene for its monthly board meeting at 9am, which usually lasts for three and a half hours. As per convention, decisions made in the meeting will be explained in a media release at 2.30pm.

Interbank bond futures prices right now show that traders have placed a 50% chance the RBA will increase by 50bp, which will mark the biggest jump in more than 20 years.

Global fundie T.Rowe Price however says it expects the RBA to raise the cash rate by 25bp.

“It’s clear the RBA will raise rates as they return to ‘normal operating procedure’ but there is a range of estimates being tossed around the market right now, ranging from 25bps to 50bps,” said Scott Solomon, T. Rowe Price associate portfolio manager in Baltimore.

“40bps would take the cash rate target to 75bps, which is a more traditional number. While unlikely, 50bps, would put the RBA on par with recent changes in the US, New Zealand, and Canada.”

“The overarching question is where the terminal rate lands. Since the May release, the market has brought their forecast down to 2% by year’s end.

“This brings the market in-line with our thinking as we’ve maintained the market was too aggressive pricing in rate hikes,” Solomon said.

The US Fed is also scheduled to convene for a meeting on June 9, with the interest rate decision to be announced on June 15.

Meanwhile, the Elon Musk-Twitter saga has continued, with the world’s richest man now threatening to abandon his US$44 billion deal to buy Twitter.

Musk said the Twitter deal is now “temporary on hold”, after claiming that more than 200 million accounts on the platform could be fake.

In other markets, global oil prices eased overnight with Brent crude now trading below US$120 at US$119.79 a barrel, while Bitcoin has risen by 5% in the past 24 hours to trade at US$31,400.

5 ASX small caps to watch today

Telix Pharma (ASX:TLX)
Telix has received a massive $17.25m R&D tax rebate from the Australian Fed Government for its R&D activities up to December 31. Telix expects this to be its final R&D tax credit refund, as the company now transitions to a stage of generating revenue.

Perenti Global (ASX:PRN)
The mining services company has been awarded a contract with Evolution Mining’s (ASX: EVN) Cowal Underground project in NSW. The contract will generate revenue of nearly $520 million for Parenti, with an initial term of four years from the commencement date in early July 2022.

Beam Communication (ASX:BCC)
Beam announced a binding contract with Iridium Communications Inc (NASDAQ: IRDM) for the development and supply of a new Iridium Certus device that is scheduled for launch later this year. This agreement includes a minimum order for the devices from Beam’s long-standing partner, Iridium, that will generate at least US$12 million in revenue for the company within the first five years.

NickelX (ASX:NKL)
NickelX has expanded its gold footprint along strike from Tropicana by lodging five exploration licence applications, covering a total area of 42km2 at the company’s 100% owned Biranup Project located within the Albany Fraser Orogen. The new applications adjoin the company’s existing exploration licences, and brings the total project area at Biranup to 216km2 within the Northern Albany Fraser Orogen gold corridor.

Peoplin Ltd (ASX:PPE)
The human resources company has reaffirmed its FY22 guidance previously provided in February. Normalised EBITDA will come in the range of $45m to $47m, representing an increase of 21% on FY21 (taking the midpoint of the range).