Market highlights and 5 ASX small caps to watch on Wednesday
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All major indices in US and Europe fell overnight, ahead of tonight’s (AEDT time) US inflation report.
The Dow Jones index fell 1.36%, its biggest fall since February.
S&P 500 lost 0.87%, and tech heavy NASDAQ dropped slightly by 0.1%.
In Europe, the the Stoxx 600 fell 2.5%, and FTSE also had its worst day since February, falling by 2.5%.
Elsewhere, the iron ore price was softer, dropping by 0.7% to $US228.93 a tonne, after a surge that took it to an all-time-high of over $US230.
In crypto news, Bitcoin was steady, trading at US$56,600 level at 8am AEDT.
The ASX 200 index dropped 1.06 per cent on Tuesday from its record highs, ahead of the Federal Budget.
The biggest surprise in last night’s Budget was the $29 billion tax cuts – which includes an extension of the generous tax breaks to be maintained until 2023, and $5 billion to write off COVID-19-induced losses against previous profits.
Essential services like childcare and aged care also received a big boost of over $30 billion.
Overall, cumulative budget deficits over the next four years are expected to be $114 billion lower than what was forecast prevously.
Despite this, S&P Global Ratings has reafirmed Australia’s negative outlook rating, due mainly to the geopolitical and trade tensions.
In big caps news this morning, Commonwealth Bank (ASX:CBA) reported a 24 per cent rise in cash net profit to $2.4 billion for the last quarter.
The marine technology company says that the first ever VG1000SD VEEM Gyro, the world’s most powerful marine gyrostabiliser, has been installed and commissioned on a 50m Damen FCS5009 offshore supply vessel in the Gulf of Mexico. Veem also says that its potential addressable market, for both the superyacht and the 24m-90m range, is US$14.6 billion.
Black Rock Mining (ASX:BKT)
The company announced that approval from the Tanzanian Government Fair Competition Commission (FCC) was received for POSCO’s 15% equity investment in Black Rock Mining for US$7.5 million. POSCO Ltd, a South Korean steel-making company, and Black Rock will now proceed to completion on or before 31 May 2021, with off-take and prepayment agreement discussions progressing.
The price comparison website has released major updates on its grocery comparison app. The company says Version 2.1 of Frugl Grocery has been publicly released to Apple and Android appstores. The release includes new advanced search filters to allow users to focus search by diet, country of origin and allergen exclusions.
Argosy Minerals (ASX:AGY)
The Argentina-based lithium mining company advised that its 2,000tpa lithium carbonate process plant development work is progressing on schedule, with 15 per cent of scheduled total construction works now complete. In addition, several product off-take propositions have progressed, and numerous strategic investment options have advanced for the 10,000tpa capex funding.
The drone company says it will expand its training operations into Namibia to deliver advanced drone operations training for enterprise companies. For the first time in the region, courses provide advanced training covering all facets of drone program operation to drone professionals in the mining, agriculture and engineering sectors.