• The ASX will open higher today, tracking Wall Street’s gains
  • Iron ore posted its worst day in nine months after China data
  • StanChart says BTC could reach $50k this year, and $120k by the end of 2024


The ASX 200 index is set to open higher on Tuesday in line with New York. At 8am AEST, the ASX 200 index futures was pointing up by +0.65%.

Overnight, both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq climbed by around 0.2% each ahead of the crucial inflation report tomorrow (US time).

Investors also digested comments from several Fed officials who all agreed the Fed would need to hike rates more this year to tame inflation.

“I would say we’re close, but we still have a bit of work to do,” said Fed Reserve vice chair for Supervision, Michael Barr.

San Francisco Fed president Mary Daly said: “We’re likely to need a couple more rate hikes over the course of this year to really bring inflation back into a path that’s along a sustainable 2% path.”

To stock news, chipmaker stocks like Intel and Qualcomm rose after Treasury Sec Janet Yellen praised the meeting with her Chinese counterparts.

Meta Platforms lifted 1.2% after Zuckerberg said 100 million users have signed up on its new app, Threads.

Icahn Enterprises was the best performing stock on Wall Street last night, jumping by over 20% after announcing that founder Carl Icahn and banks have finalised an agreement to untie his personal loans from the firm’s.


In other markets …

Iron ore posted its worst day in nine months following some weak data release from China yesterday.

Dalian and Singapore iron ore futures sank more than 3% on Monday as the spot price continued its fall back towards $US100 a tonne.

Crude oil prices fell around 1%, with WTI trading at US$73.15 a barrel.

Reports said that the oil-dependent Saudi Arabia’s economy could contract due to self-imposed oil production cuts, which are weighing heavily on its finances.

Gold traded flat US$1,924.70 an ounce.

Bitcoin meanwhile was up by +0.65% in the last 24 hours to US$30,343.

Standard Chartered said BTC could reach US$50,000 this year and US$120,000 by the end of 2024, saying that reduced BTC sales by miners will help boost prices.

Adding to the supply pressure is an upcoming “halving” in 2024, said StanChart.

Halving happens every four years and will reduce Bitcoin rewards for miners from about 900 per day to about 450, in order to keep Bitcoin below its limit of 21 million tokens.


5 ASX small caps to watch today

Altech Batteries (ASX:ATC)
Altech has engaged the Centre of International Climate and Environmental Research (CICERO), associated with the University of Oslo, for a green accreditation of the CERENERGY battery and project. Altech says CERENERGY batteries exhibit a minimum 50% lower GHG emissions compared to lithiumion batteries, and would eliminate the need for critical metals such as lithium, cobalt, copper, graphite, and manganese.

Energy One (ASX:EOL)
Energy One says it is aware of market speculation that it will miss guidance. The company has now confirmed that its prior guidance is expected to be met. For the full FY23 year on an unaudited basis, total revenue is expected to be approximately $44.5m, and EBITDA is expected to be approximately $12.3m.

Adavale Resources (ASX:ADD)
Assays have confirmed massive nickel sulphides at Luhuma Central Prospect. Results include: 4.13m @ 0.99% Ni (from 223.35m) contained within a broader interval of 12.15m @ 0.46% Ni from 221.35m, as well as 2m @ 0.57% Ni (from 249m) in DDLUHC001.

Calidus Resources (ASX:CAI)
All gold assays have been received for a program of close-spaced, shallow RC drilling to define the geometry and continuity of near-surface lodes at the Felix discovery in the Pilbara. Results include: 15m @ 2.19g/t Au from 22m in 23GORC052 (including 1m @ 19.82g/t Au from 31m), and 13m @ 0.96g/t Au from 30m in 22GORC043.

Iris Metals (ASX:IR1)
Channel Rock sampling saw results of weathered spodumene pegmatite at Longview return 44.13m @ 1.02% Li₂O. All trenches were rock-saw sampled across the Longview open cut mine which has been exposed to weathering for 70 years. Spodumene mineralisation was logged in all trenches with Trench 3 exposing the freshest material.


At Stockhead we tell it like it is. While Adavale Resources and Altech Batteries are Stockhead advertisers, they did not sponsor this article.