• The ASX will open marginally higher despite a rally on Wall St
  • Walmart’s Q3 earnings impressed
  • Russian stray missiles killed two in Poland

The ASX is set to open modestly higher on Wednesday despite a rally in New York. At 8.30am AEDT, the ASX 200 Dec futures contract was pointing up by just 4 points.

Overnight, major indexes Wall St closed higher – the S&P 500 by 0.87%, the Nasdaq by 1.45% and the Dow Jones by 0.17%.

The NYSE Fang + Index rose 3% as Tech stocks outpaced other sectors.

It was a busy day in New York with economics data and earnings.

Walmart’s Q3 results provided optimism as its store sales grew 8.2% in the quarter, while ecommerce sales increased 16%. Walmart’s share price also jumped 7% as it raised its full-year outlook.

The US producer price index (PPI) delivered another sign that inflation is cooling. PPI rose 0.2% in October, lower than the consensus estimate of 0.4%.

The New York Manufacturing survey meanwhile rebounded for the first time in four months.

“The overall take is that a soft landing still seems possible,” says OANDA analyst, Edward Moya.

Elsewhere, investors were jittery after stray Russian missiles landed in neighbouring NATO-aligned Poland, killing at least two.

Crude prices rose 1% after the news, along with reports that the Druzhba pipeline is halting oil deliveries from Russia.

The Druzhba pipeline splits in Belarus into Ukraine, where it splits again, supplying several countries in Eastern and Central Europe.

Back home, ASIC has suspended FTX’s licence after it was placed into voluntary administration. Bitcoin rose 3% in the last 24 hours to US$16,845.

And PM Albanese had a 32-minute talk with China’s Xi Jinping on the sidelines of Bali’s G20 event, raising issues such as China’s ban on Australian exports.

Looking ahead today, Westpac-Melbourne Institute will release its leading index for October, which examines movements in the leading indicator of economic activity in Australia. Wage price index for the September quarter will also be released by Westpac.

5 ASX small caps to watch today

KMD Brands (ASX:KMD)
KMD reported strong sales growth across all brands in Q1. Group total sales were +61.8% on pcp, while Q1 FY23 underlying operating profit has improved by nearly $30m year-on-year. Group gross margin remains resilient, with improved margin for the Kathmandu brand.

Plenti Group (ASX:PLT)
Plenti’s loan portfolio grew to $1.55 billion in the first half, 69% above pcp and 19% above prior half. The company finished H1 with cash NPAT of $1.4 million, a $3.6 million improvement on the pcp.

Hazer Group (ASX:HZR)
Hazer has signed a non-binding MoU with Japanese giant Mitsui to jointly investigate the potential markets for the application of Hazer’s graphitic carbon. Under the MOU, Hazer and Mitsui have agreed to conduct an initial marketing survey of applications of Hazer’s low emissions graphite in the steel making and chemicals industries.

Galileo Mining (ASX:GAL)
Galileo says palladium and nickel grades are increasing in lower mineralised seam from the latest diamond drill hole results. Drill intersection from NRCD280 includes: 5 metres @ 4.01 g/t 3E, and 0.56% Cu & 0.53% Ni.

Pentanet (ASX:5GG)
Pentanet is continuing its collaboration with US giant NVIDIA to further the GeForce NOW Alliance Agreement and exclusivity in Australia under new commercial terms. The company also announced that New Zealand to be formally recognised as a Pentanet serviceable territory, with a pathway to additional neighbouring territories. Pentanet says it expects to bring the GeForce NOW RTX 3080 tiers to Australia in 2023.


At Stockhead we tell it like it is. While Plenti is a Stockhead advertiser, it did not sponsor this article.