• The ASX is set to rise for a third consecutive day
  • FOMC meeting minutes were released
  • Embattled Credit Suisse saw US$1.6bn of losses for the quarter


The ASX is poised to rise for a third consecutive day after stocks in New York edged higher last night. At 8.30am AEDT, the ASX 200 Dec futures contract was pointing up by 0.1%.

Overnight, Wall St got a boost from the release of the Fed meeting minutes which indicated that policymakers were leaning towards softening rate hikes.

“A substantial majority of participants judged that a slowing in the pace of increase would likely soon be appropriate,” according to November 1-2 meeting minutes.

However, the minutes also revealed that board members weren’t sure of how much further the Fed funds rate should go up from here.

After the release, the S&P 500 closed higher by 0.59%, the Dow by 0.28% and tech heavy Nasdaq by 0.99%.  US Treasury yields meanwhile dropped across the curve.

“The FOMC has been keen to stress that the fight against inflation is not over yet, and we expect rate rises to continue well into 2023, but the slowing of the pace of the hikes will add fuel to increasing market excitement,” said deVere Group’s Nigel Green.

Oil prices sank to a two-month low as the Russian oil price cap set for Dec 5 was proposed at between $US65 and $US70 a barrel.

This EU proposal is well above Russia’s cost, and would have minimal impact on Russian supply to Europe.

Brent crude plunged 4% to US$84.75 in the last couple of hours after the news broke.

Embattled bank Credit Suisse meanwhile reported a surprise Q4 loss of US$1.6 billion after investors pulled out as much as 84 billion Swiss francs (US$88.3 billion) from the bank during the first few weeks of the quarter.

The Credit Suisse share price listed in Zurich fell 6% overnight.

Closer to home, employees at the world’s biggest iPhone factory in China battled with police amid protests over restrictive Covid conditions.

Former assistant governor of RBA Guy Debelle has stepped down from his role as CFO of Fortescue Future Industries after just a few months on the job.

Debelle had a serious bike crash in August which broke four ribs and his pelvis, and said this accident was the reason for his decision to step down.

To cryptos, where Bitcoin has risen for the second day in a row now, up more than 2.5% in the last 24 hours.

Crypto headlines continue to be negative due to the fallout from the FTX collapse.

“Everyone is wondering who the next victim will be, and whether this debacle will uncover similar practices in other areas of the market. Against that backdrop, it’s hard to imagine Bitcoin managing any kind of significant, sustainable recovery,” said OANDA senior analyst, Craig Erlam.


5 ASX small caps to watch today

Pointesbet (ASX:PBH)
PointsBet announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, PointsBet Maryland, has launched an online sports betting operation in the State of Maryland. Maryland represents the company’s 13th online sports betting operation in the US following successful launches in New Jersey, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Colorado, Michigan, West Virginia, Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania, Kansas, and most recently Louisiana.

AFT Pharma (ASX:AFP)
Half-year operating revenue was up 18.4% on pcp to $65.8 million, lifted by a 30% growth in product sales and royalties. Gross profit increased by 7% on pcp to $28.7 million, with gross profit from product sales and royalties up 31% to $28.6 million.

Findi (ASX:FND)
After the successful deployment for operation of the 500th ATM in India, the balance of 2,050 ATMs is on track to be completed by the end of this financial year. The successful progress of the rollout continues the company’s mission to provide financial services to the underbanked, with Findi completing more than 1 billion transactions in India for the financial year 2022.

Pacific Edge (ASX:PEB)
Total revenue increased 102% on pcp to $13.6 million, with increases from commercial test volume growth boosted by foreign exchange gains. Net losses after tax however increased to $10.6 million from $9 million in 1H22 as Pacific Edge continues to invest for growth.

SRG Global (ASX:SRG)
Multiple contracts have been secured by SRG in NZ valued at ~$45m. This includes maintenance contracts with Transpower, Genesis Energy and Channel Infrastructure, as well as a specialist facades contract for the new hospital development in Dunedin, NZ.