• ASX expected to open lower on Thursday, tracking Wall Street
  • Concerns over US inflation data and bond yields dampen market sentiment
  • BHP abandons takeover of Anglo American; and China lifts Aussie beef ban


The ASX 200 is poised to extend its losses when the market opens on Thursday. At 8am AEST, the ASX200 futures contract was pointing down by -0.7%.

Overnight, the S&P 500 fell by -0.74%, the blue chips Dow Jones index was down -1.06%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq retreated by -0.58%.

Traders are becoming more cautious as they await key inflation data from the US later this week, as well as concerns about a rise in US bond yields after a poor Treasury auction.

The markets are now expecting the Fed’s first full rate cut to occur only in December, diminishing the market’s risk appetite.

“The ongoing reassessment of timing of US Federal Reserve’s rate cuts continued to weigh on markets,” said a note from ANZ.

To stocks, and BHP has abandoned its plan to take over rival Anglo American after Anglo rejected a last-minute request for more time.

This decision ends BHP’s six-week effort to acquire Anglo’s valuable copper assets in Latin America, which are crucial for the global shift towards clean energy and electric vehicles.

According to UK rules, BHP cannot make another offer for at least six months unless there is a new bid for the London-listed company. BHP shares on NYSE fell by -0.23%.

Salesforce dropped by -16% in after-hours trading as the company’s revenue forecast for the current quarter fell short of Wall Street’s estimates.

Nvidia closed higher for the fourth day in a row – up +0.8% – and has jumped more than 20% in the past few days on the back of its blowout earnings.

Netflix was up by almost +1% after bullish calls from several Wall Street analysts who expressed strong confidence in the streaming giant’s future growth. Morgan Stanley, for instance, believes the stock could rise by 30% from its current price.

And ConocoPhillips is set to purchase Marathon Oil, an independent oil and gas company, in a US$22.5 billion all-stock deal, marking another step in the ongoing consolidation of the US energy industry.


China lifts Aussie beef ban

The ban on Australian beef imposed by China during the 2020 trade conflict has been officially lifted, as confirmed by Minister for Agriculture, Murray Watt.

Senator Watt disclosed to ABC that the government was informed last night about the immediate lifting of suspension for five major Australian beef exporters, allowing them to resume trade with China without restrictions.

“We had already seen a couple of other processing operations have their trade bans lifted, but now it’s another five,” Senator Watt said.

The five suspended meat processing plants, located in QLD and NSW, were responsible for approximately $1 billion in beef trade before they were barred from exporting during the 2020 trade dispute.


In other markets …

Gold price fell by -0.92% to US$2,338.30 an ounce.

Oil prices retreated by -1.2%, with Brent crude now trading at US$83.55 a barrel.

The benchmark 10-year US Treasury yield keeps climbing, up a further 7 basis points (bond prices lower) to 4.62%. This came following weak demand for the 2-year and 5-year US Treasury note auctions this week.

The Aussie dollar fell by -0.70% to 66.12 cents.

The iron ore price climbed by +0.7% to US$118.55 a tonne.

Bitcoin meanwhile fell by -1.2% in the last 24 hours to US$67,705, while Ethereum was down around -2% to US$3,782.50.


5 ASX small caps to watch today

Adveritas (ASX:AV1)
Adveritas announced significant product enhancements that are expected to support its continued growth. The new IVT dashboard will show how much money clients have saved by blocking invalid traffic (IVT). Clients will see two rates: one with TrafficGuard’s prevention and one without. The difference between them is the money saved on ad spend. Trafficguard is the company’s digital ad fraud prevention software.

Clarity Pharmaceuticals (ASX:CU6)
Clarity has signed a Supply Agreement with SpectronRx for Cu-64 production. This adds a new Cu-64 manufacturer to Clarity’s network, addressing supply constraints and benefiting patients, especially in the US oncology market. Cu-64’s longer half-life overcomes limitations of other isotopes, providing broader access to PET imaging for cancer diagnosis.

Alvo Minerals (ASX:ALV)
A maiden auger drill program at the Ipora Rare Earth Elements Project, located in the Goiás State in Brazil has now been completed. The first phase of the program included 125 auger drill holes, totaling 1,008m. These holes revealed geological profiles with many intercepts of saprolite clay, which is common in the Brazilian geological context for Ionic Clay hosted Rare Earths. Samples are being prepared for dispatch with results anticipated June/July.

Geopacific Resource (ASX:GPR)
Geopacific has reported strong results from its resource growth strategy at the Woodlark Gold Project in PNG. Over the past 18 months, the company has substantially increased its drillhole database, enhancing understanding of the high-grade component of the Woodlark system. CEO James Fox emphasised the focus on significant growth potential, with plans for an updated Project Study mid-year to reflect de-risking outcomes and improved economics.

Northern Minerals (ASX:NTU)
Additional drill results from the Mineral Resource definition drilling program at the Wolverine Deposit are confirming wide and high-grade mineralised areas along strike and down plunge, with mineralization still open at depth. New diamond intersection assay results at Wolverine include: 49m @ 2.36% TREO, from 540m, and 30.2m @ 2.89% TREO, from 442m.


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