Market highlights and 5 ASX small caps to watch on Thursday
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Stocks on Wall Street rallied for the second day in a row.
The Dow Jones rose by 1.46%, the S&P500 up by 0.6%, while tech heavy NASDAQ was almost unchanged, down by just 0.04%.
The market was supported by the US CPI numbers, which came in line with forecasts – easing inflation concerns and pushing the benchmark 10-year US Treasury yields down 2bp to 1.52%.
The US is set to sign the $1.9 trillion stimulus package into law by this Friday, which will help to put around $1,400 in the pockets of Americans.
President Biden announced that he will secure an additional 100 million doses of single-shot vaccine from Johnson & Johnson.
Bitcoin, meanwhile, is trading at $US56,546 as at 8am AEDT. After Tesla announced its $1.6 billion purchase, it has now been revealed that Chinese tech giants have also purchased millions of dollars of Bitcoins.
The ASX200 slipped by 0.84% on Wednesday, but is set to open higher on Thursday morning following the US markets.
Travel stocks may be ones to watch today, after the Australian government offered a $1.2 billion package to pay for 800,000 people to travel domestically.
Speaking at the AFR’s Business Summit, Reserve Bank governor, Phillip Lowe, said that the bank will not raise historic low rates of 0.10% until the jobless rate falls from the current 6.4% to 4%, and wages rise. He does not think this will happen before 2024.
Also speaking at the summit, Afterpay (ASX:APT) CEO, Anthony Eisen, said Australia could use its COVID-19 success story to attract significant investment from global tech giants and emerging start-ups.
“What Australia lacks is not the talent, just the experience. When you are creating global platforms, getting the experience level in the country is a real key enabler,” he said.
Black Cat Syndicate (ASX:BC8)
The gold miner said that it has now reached 1 million ounces of resource from a zero start three years ago. Black Cat’s total resource now exceeds 1 million ounces with 14.3Mt @ 2.2 g/t Au for 1,025k oz. Importantly, the Majestic underground resource, being the company’s initial potential production centre, increased by 40% including an increase of 56% in grade to 5.6g/t Au.
Esports Mogul (ASX:ESH)
The esports media and gaming company advised that it has engaged with Kellogg USA and ESA to bring the Halo 5 Snack tournament online during the first half of 2021. Mogul says it owns the world’s most advanced tournament and matchmaking platform, mogul.gg. The company generates revenue by partnering with brands and creating unique sponsorship-driven esports experiences for players at no cost to the end user.
88 Energy (ASX:88E)
The oil company provided an update on its operations in the NPR-A region of the North Slope of Alaska, saying that Rig 111 has commenced drilling the Merlin-1 well on 10 March 2021. The Merlin-1 well will initially be drilled to 1,500 feet, then surface casing will be installed and the Blow Out Preventer system tested. This is expected to take approximately one week to execute. The well will then be deepened through the target horizons in the Nanushuk Formation to a maximum total depth of 6,000 feet.
Toro Energy (ASX:TOE)
Announced that the 2021 diamond drilling campaign on the company’s 100% owned Dusty Nickel Project has commenced. The project is located in the Yandal Greenstone Belt, some 50km east of the world class Mt Keith nickel deposit and 15km NE of the world class Bronzewing Gold Mine. The drilling is planned to consist of at least 2,600m of diamond drilling, and will be focused on testing for extension of the massive nickel sulphides intersected at Dusty.
Incannex Healthcare (ASX:IHL)
The clinical stage cannabinoid play announced that it has partnered with the Monash Trauma Group at the Department of Neuroscience to conduct an extensive study of the neuroprotective capability of IHL-216A – a proprietary combination pharmacotherapy comprising cannabidiol and isoflurane. The study will use a unique model of traumatic brain injury that was developed in collaboration with the US National Football League (NFL) to accurately represent the type of brain injury that occurs in sports related concussion. The successful completion of the study means that Incannex will be able to proceed directly to a pivotal Phase 2 clinical trial, eliminating the need to run a preliminary proof of concept clinical trial as originally planned.