Market Highlights and 5 ASX Small Caps to watch on Wednesday
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Local shares are poised to fall today, with the ASX 200 April futures pointing down by 1% at 8am AEDT.
On Wall Street, tech stocks were routed amid comments from Fed Governor (not Chairman) Lael Brainard, who said that reducing inflation was paramount for the Fed.
She added the FOMC will continue to raise rates and start reducing the Fed’s balance sheet (stop bond buy-backs) as soon as May.
3/3"…the [FOMC] will continue tightening monetary policy methodically through a series of interest rate increases and by starting to reduce the balance sheet at a rapid pace as soon as our May meeting."-Lael Brainard-4/5/22
Source below#monetaryPolicy https://t.co/qwxiCtgqeA
— Morgan Timmann (@MorganTimmann) April 5, 2022
Her comments hit a similar tone in Australia, where inflation and soaring wages could prompt the RBA to hike rates as soon as June.
All major US stock markets slid on the news – the Nasdaq fell by 2.24%, the S&P by 1.26% and the Dow by 0.80%.
But Twitter rose by another 2% as the company announced it will offer Elon Musk, who has just taken a 9.2% stake, a seat on its board of directors.
The bond market also sold off on the Fed comments, with the benchmark US 10-year Treasury yields spiking to 2.55%.
Bitcoin has slid to $45,906 at 8.30am AEDT, from the US$46k level yesterday.
Ventia Services (ASX:VNT)
Ventia has been awarded a two-year contract extension by the Commonwealth Government to deliver leasing and facilities management services to 39 government entities across over 650 properties. The contract extension runs from 1 July 2022 through to 30 June 2024, and is expected to generate approximately $270 million in revenue for Ventia.
Argosy Minerals (ASX:AGY)
Argosy commenced seismic surveying works at the Tonopah Lithium Project located in Nevada. The next stage exploration works will comprise drilling the lithium brine targets, to determine lithium brine potential set for later in 2022.
Calidus Resources (ASX:CAI)
Calidus said commissioning is progressing well at its 100% owned Warrawoona Gold Project in the Pilbara. The SAG Mill is now ready for ore commissioning, and milling will commence by the end of the month with first gold poured approximately two weeks later.
MMA Offshore (ASX:MRM)
MMA said it has it has completed the sale of a further two vessels, the Mermaid Vigilance, and the MMA Chieftain for total proceeds of US$5.5 million. The proceeds of approximately $7.3 million will be used to pay down debt, further reducing the company’s leverage.
Alcidion Group (ASX:ALC)
ALC has signed a five-year agreement with East Lancashire Hospitals in the UK to implement the Miya Flow module of Miya Precision. Total contract value (TCV) will be around $1.43m over five years.