• ASX set to rise as US tech stocks rally
  • Sectors that got a big boost from Fed Budget include road and rail infrastructure ($18bn), defence ($15bn), and cybersecurity ($10bn)
  • 5 ASX small caps to watch today: Immutep, Torque Metals, Elsight, Sustainable Nutrition, Gratifii

ASX set to rise as US tech stocks rally

The ASX 200 index will open higher this morning, with April futures pointing higher by over 1% at 8am AEDT.

This comes as Wall Street rose by around 1% overnight, led by tech stocks on the Nasdaq.

The rally in equities came despite the US 2yr vs 10yr Treasury yield almost inverting (2.36% vs 2.39%), usually a leading indicator of a coming recession.

The latest talk between Russia and Ukraine has concluded – with Russia promising to ‘radically’ reduce military activities in certain cities including the capital Kyiv.

But the oil market was not moved by the news, with Brent maintaining its US111 a barrel level.

Bitcoin is still trading a touch under US$48k, changing hands at US$47,400 this morning.

In other crypto news, a new specialised blockchain designed to provide the infrastructure layer for metaverse projects has raised $4 million, at an $80 million valuation.

Read the rest of that story here on Coinhead.


Federal Budget highlights

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has delivered a Budget designed to please voters in May, according to experts.

The Budget delivered a total of $8.6 billion in cost-of-living package – which includes halving the petrol tax, a $250 one-off cheque and $420 tax bonus for low to middle income earners.

Sectors that got a big boost include Road and Rail infrastructure ($18bn), defence ($15bn), and cybersecurity ($10bn).

Surprisingly (or perhaps not), there was no incentive for electric car buyers who will not benefit from the petrol tax cut.

According to Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA), the Federal Budget relies on short-term quick fixes to address cost of living concerns, while missing the opportunity to set Australia on a stronger long-term path.

“This Budget’s focus on temporary measures to alleviate rising costs-of-living such as cutting the fuel excise, cost of living tax offsets and one-off payments will be welcomed by many,” says CEDA Chief Economist Jarrod Ball.

“But with growing inflationary pressures and interest rate rises on the horizon, cost-of-living pressures will not dissipate any time soon and these measures do not provide a long-term solution,” he added.


5 ASX small caps to watch today

Immutep (ASX:IMM)
Immutep’s lead drug efti in combination with MSD’s pembrolizumab has shown encouraging anti tumor activity in difficult to treat 2nd line metastatic lung cancer patients. More mature data is planned to be presented later this year, along with other data from the TACTI-002 trial.

Torque Metals (ASX:TOR)
Recent airborne EM survey (AEM) survey has highlighted two strong conductors 2km west of the Paris / HHH gold pits – within the 100% owned Paris Project area. Initial interpretation of the AEM survey data demonstrates the anomalies are indicative of metal sulphide conductors.

Elsight (ASX:ELS)
Elsight R&D and certification partner, Airobotics Inc, has received FAA Special Class Airworthiness Criteria for their OPTIMUS 1-EX Unmanned Aircraft (UA). OPTIMUS 1-EX is embedded with Elsight’s “Halo” technology to enable control Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS).

Sustainable Nutrition Group (ASX:TSN)
TSN announced positive results in the development phase of its hemp isolates and concentrates with Australian Plant Proteins (APP). TSN says it’s planning to distribute commercial samples of the finished product to key customers in early FY23, with commercial sales to follow.

Gratifii (ASX:GTI)
The loyalty and rewards company has secured Seagrass Boutique Hospitality Group as a global client of its Mosaic Software as a Service (SaaS) platform. The contract is for an initial 12-months, and is expected to deliver approximately $400,000 revenue during this initial period.