• The ASX is set to bounce back today after a strong session in New York
  • US headline CPI shows inflation rose by 6% annually
  • Meta to lay off additional 10,000 workers


The ASX is set to bounce back on Wednesday after a strong session in New York. At 8am, the ASX 200 March futures contract was pointing up by 0.80%.

Overnight, US banking stocks rebounded as Wall Street piled back into risky assets.

The S&P 500 ended the day 1.68% higher, the Dow was up by 1.06%, and tech heavy Nasdaq surged 2.14%.

The US headline CPI release showed that inflation rose 6% from a year ago, which was the smallest annual gain since September 2021.

“Inflation is cooling but disinflation trends are clearly not back,” said Oanda analyst, Edward Moya. “This inflation data still supports the case for another quarter-point rate hike by the Fed.”

Goldman Sachs, Barclays, Wells Fargo, and NatWest are all expecting the Fed to pause its rate hike on March 22, especially after the SVB debacle.

Bond yields meanwhile rebounded sightly with the 10-year Treasury yield gaining 6bp, after free falling by as much as 30bp yesterday.

Elsewhere, Argentina’s inflation rose by 102.5% from a year earlier, while Lebanon’s pound sunk to a historic low against the US dollar, trading at 100,000 despite being pegged at 15,000.

Geopolitical tensions heightened further after a Russian fighter jet collided with a US drone in international airspace above the Black Sea, causing the American drone to crash.

In stock news, US regional bank stocks rallied, including First Republic Bank, which rebounded nearly 30%.

Meta climbed 7% after Mark Zuckerberg said the company is laying off an additional 10,000 workers. Meta also said it will stop creating and selling NFTs for Facebook and Instagram less than a year after introducing them to the platforms.

Boeing was up 2% after Saudi Arabia agreed to buy 78 Boeing-787 Dreamliners for its new airline called Riyadh Air, owned by the Saudi sovereign wealth fund.

To commodities, crude prices tumbled almost 5%, suggesting growing pessimism with the short-term crude demand outlook on recession fears.

Gold was 0.5% lower, while spot iron ore was up +0.4% to $US132.00 a tonne.

Bitcoin edged 0.65% higher in the last 24 hours to US$24,404, after touching a nine-month high of US$26k earlier.

On the technical chart, experts says the key US$30k zone is the next probable target for BTC, and a breakout above this area could mean a bullish phase in the coming months.


5 ASX small caps to watch today

DevEx Resources (ASX:DEV)
Further assays received from the 2022 drill campaign at the Nabarlek Uranium Project continue to demonstrate the presence of high-grade uranium. Significant results include: 54.6m @ 0.2% (2,000ppm) U3O8 from 76.5m, and 24.7m @ 0.1% (1,000ppm) U3O8 from 90.3m.

Pure Resources (ASX:PR1)
Successful results have been received from first pass exploration program, with Pure making a promising discovery of prospective zones with elevated lithium, niobium, tantalum concentrations at Laforge Lithium Project in Quebec, Canada. The company will now conduct a mineralogy program to determine the spodumene content of all samples it collects across its program.

Tempest Minerals (ASX:TEM)
Soil geochemistry data recently received from surface sampling work undertaken across the eastern portion of the Meleya Project in Q4 2022 form a 4km strike polymetallic anomaly. Results to date form a coherent copper-zinc zone, with values of up to 635ppm copper and 182ppm zinc having been recorded.

Mineral Commodities (ASX:MRC)
MRC’s 50% owned subsidiary, Mineral Sands, has completed the first phase of resource definition drilling from the De Punt Prospecting Right. Significant high grade mineralisation was intersected after the completion of 6,018m of air core drilling from 169 holes of 6,000m exploration program at De Punt. 3,041 assays were received (52%), with remaining assays expected by end of March.

Arrow Minerals (ASX:AMD)
Greater than 64% Fe were reported in analytical results from nine rock chip samples collected from the Simandou North Iron Project. An additional 12 rock chip samples with assay results of between 58% Fe and 64% Fe were also recorded. Arrow says these results confirm the potential for high grade iron mineralisation comparable with the known deposits of the Simandou Range. A maiden drilling program is anticipated to commence in April.