Market highlights and 5 ASX small caps to watch on Wednesday
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Tech stocks in the US have rebounded strongly overnight – bringing optimism to today’s trading on ASX small caps technology stocks after the tech rout yesterday.
Dow Jones rose 0.1%, S&P500 up by 1.42%, while tech heavy NASDAQ rebounded by 3.69% to post its best day since April 2020.
Tesla jumped sharply by 19%, while the so-called FAANG stocks, America’s biggest tech stocks made up of Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google – all recouped their losses after yesterday’s falls.
The benchmark 10-year US Treasury yield retreated by 5 basis points to 1.54%.
Bitcoin is trading at $US54,214 as at 8am AEDT.
The fresh rally came after Paypal announced that it will open up its platform to cryptocurrencies, and has acquired crypto security firm Curv as part of this push.
The ASX rose slightly by 0.47% on Tuesday, despite the ASX200 IT Index being dragged down by 1.7%. The ASX200 index is set to open higher still today following the US markets.
However, ASX iron ore stocks will come under pressure today as the iron ore price fell by 5.7% overnight to US$164.41 a tonne.
ASX oil shares will also feel the heat as oil prices fell by 1% overnight, while gold producers may rise after gold prices rose by 2% overnight.
Meanwhile, Paypal also said that it will launch its “pay in four” instalment option in Australia in June, creating competition to Afterpay and Zip.
In today’s AFR Business Summit, Reserve Bank governor Phillip Lowe, opposition leader Anthony Albanese, and ASIC chair Karen Chester will all be speaking.
WestStar Industrial (ASX:WSI)
The engineering company announced that its subsidiary SIMPEC has been awarded a new contract by Central Systems for Fortescue Metals Group’s Solomon Hub Central Facilities. Solomon Hub is developing the Solomon Central Facilities Workshop Yard, which involves consolidating various workshops, facilities and other non-process infrastructure into a centralised location. SIMPEC will be working on site to supply and install the electrical, instrumentation and communication works for these facilities.
The clinical stage biopharma company will be hosting an investor briefing at 11:00 AEDT today to discuss top line results from Part A of its Phase I clinical program studying single ascending doses (SAD) of lead asset AD-214 in healthy volunteers. The company said this phase has been successfully completed. This now opens the door for Part B, which will be a multiple ascending doses study in healthy volunteers, enabling safety package supportive of a Phase II US FDA Investigational New Drug (IND) application to be obtained by end of 2021.
Cann Global (ASX:CGB)
The cannabis play announced that the Australian Patent Office has granted a patent to its joint venture partner Canntab Therapeutics in relation to its proprietary cannabidiol formulations. Canntab now has patent protection in the USA, Canada and Australia for these pills – which protects key features of these unique formulations. The patent also positions these products to be a definitive cannabis delivery method amongst established medical professions and the ever-expanding number of patients using cannabis for medical purposes.
Turners Automotive Group (ASX: TRA)
The auto financial services group said it expects FY21 Net Profit Before Tax to be at least $35 million (compared to January 2021 NPBT guidance of $33 million to $35 million). This follows trading results exceeding expectations across Auto Retail, Finance and Insurance business units in January and February. This forecast assumes no major escalation of Covid-19 restrictions.
Lithium Australia (ASX:LIT)
The company said the Australian patent applied for by VSPC (a wholly owned subsidiary of Lithium Australia) for its proprietary cathode material manufacturing process has been accepted for grant. VSPC’s method of synthesising lithium metal phosphates have been confirmed to be novel and inventive, with intellectual property protection for the VSPC process to last 20 years.