Market Highlights: Amazon up, gold price prediction, and 5 ASX small caps to watch today
Aussie shares are poised to open higher on Tuesday in line with gains in New York. At 8am AEDT, the ASX 200 index futures was pointing up by +0.2%.
Overnight, the S&P 500 rose by +0.45%, the blue chips Dow Jones index was flat, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq lifted by +0.61%.
Investors keep digesting more messages from Fed members, this time from Cleveland Fed president Loretta Mester, who said the market is a ‘bit ahead’ of central bank on rate cuts as she tried to calm investor exuberance driving up stocks and bonds.
“The next phase is not when to reduce rates, even though that’s where the markets are at,” Mester told the Financial Times in an interview.
Amazon was up 2.7% after a report from The Wall Street Journal suggested the company was in talks to invest in bankrupt Diamond Sports Group (DSG).
Steelmaker US Steel surged 26% after Japan’s Nippon Steel said it wants to acquire the company for US$14.9b.
Apple shares fell almost 1% as the company said it will halt sales of its smartwatch to comply with a US import ban after a trade agency found it violated patents of a competitor.
Back home, on the agenda today is the RBA release of its latest board meeting minutes at 11.30am AEDT.
The gold price has been up by almost 15% this year, touching a record high two weeks ago.
Markets widely expect interest rates to be lowered at least three times by 25 basis points each in 2024, which could potentially push the US dollar lower and support the gold price in the medium term.
That’s the view from Rania Gule, a market analyst at XS.com.
“I also believe that geopolitical risks and concerns about a deep economic contraction, especially in China and the Eurozone, are additional factors supporting modest gold gains as a haven,” said Gule.
“At the same time, the fundamental outlook appears to favour continued growth, indicating that the path of least resistance for the XAU/USD pair is upward.”
Any corrections could be seen as buying opportunities for gold, Gule added.
Looking ahead, markets will watch for more signals about the Fed’s future monetary policy direction, such as the Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Price Index on Friday, and US Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for Q3 on Wednesday.
“In my opinion, these numbers will provide a clear direction for gold prices in the medium and long term,” said Gule.
Gold price rose by +0.5% to US$2,026.89 an ounce.
Oil prices also surged by 2%, with Brent now trading at US$78.28 a barrel.
US 10-year Treasury yield rose 1 basis point to 3.94%.
Iron ore futures was down -0.35% to US$134.61 a tonne.
The Aussie dollar traded flattish, changing hands now at US67.06c.
Meanwhile, Bitcoin rose +1% in the last 24 hours to US$42,315.
Singular Health (ASX:SHG)
Singular announced that an enterprise license order of its 3Dicom R&D software has been purchased by Majmaah University in Saudi Arabia for deployment within their medical school. With an initial order of 20 annual licenses, this order represents Singular’s first competitive tender award. Singular says that when combined with feedback from other teaching hospitals and universities, the order provides initial validation of its product-market fit in the more than US$44B global medical education market.
Tissue Repair (ASX:TRP)
Tissue Repair announced that its third US Patent application has been approved by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The patent covers the Glucoprime compound and molecule, for any application whatsoever. This patent now affords the protection for a variety of further applications to commercialise the company’s core technology platform.
Novo Resources (ASX:NVO)
SQM Australia has agreed to pay $10 million for a 75% interest in five of Novo’s prospective lithium – nickel tenements in the West Pilbara, near Roebourne, WA, forming the Harding Battery Metals Joint Venture, and for an option over additional Novo Pilbara tenements. The JV tenements are adjacent to or in the vicinity of Azure Minerals’ (ASX: AZS) Andover lithium – nickel project where Azure announced pegmatites hosting significant widths of visible spodumene with high lithium grades returned.
Lithium Universe (ASX:LU7)
LU7 reported progress of the engineering study by Hatch on the company’s Québec Lithium Processing Hub (QLPH) multi-purpose battery-grade lithium carbonate refinery. The Refinery is rated at 16,000 tpa with an assumed feed grade of spodumene at or around 5.5% Li2O. The final lithium carbonate product should be at least 99.5% and 99.9% grade. Target plant availability is 84% and target overall recovery rate for lithium is 85%. Anhydrous sodium sulphate, generally used in the textile industry, will be sold as a by-product. The aluminasilicate residue from the leached spodumene will be sold to the cement industry.
EVZ Limited (ASX: EVZ)
The energy & resources services company provided guidance and says its first half revenue is expected to be in the range of $59m to $61m, delivering a forecast EBITDA of $2.5m to $2.7m. The company reported revenue of $49m and EBITDA of $2m in the first half of FY23. The full year financial performance is expected to demonstrate improving profit margins as the operational improvements being implemented across the businesses become more evident.
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