Market Highlights: Aussie becomes first to sue ChatGPT for defamation, and 5 ASX small caps to watch today
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The ASX is set for a modest opening on Tuesday after a mixed session in New York. At 8am AEST, the ASX 200 April futures contract was pointing up by 0.1%.
Overnight on Wall Street, the S&P 500 climbed 0.1%, the Dow Jones index lifted 0.3% while tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 0.03%.
European stock markets were generally closed on both Friday and Monday.
Investors digested Friday’s US employment report which showed a fall from 326,000 in February to 236,000 jobs added in March – a decline experts say would not be enough to deter the Fed Reserve from hiking rates for one more time.
In stock news, microchip stocks Micron and Western Digital gained 8% each after Samsung Electronics said it would cut chip production. This follows a 96% drop in Samsung Electronics first-quarter profits.
Charles Schwab Corp lifted 5% after the broker reported its second-highest ever influx of client assets in March.
Tesla dropped 0.3% after the company said it was expanding in China.
Tesla already has a gigafactory in Shanghai that produces cars, but now it’s planning to build a megafactory in the same city that will make Megapack batteries. CEO Elon Musk was reportedly in China over the weekend to discuss the proposed factory.
Meanwhile, the FT noted that almost 90% of the S&P 500 index’s gains this year is accounted for by just 20 stocks – including Nvidia, Apple, and Meta.
Crude prices drifted lower by 1% overnight, with Brent trading at US$84.20 a barrel.
Gold is also gradually declining, down by 0.85% to US$1,991.15 an ounce as Wall Street becomes more confident the Fed will go ahead and continue raising rates.
“Gold should continue to hover around the US$2,000 level, but if dollar strength remains, key support might come from the US$1,970 region,” said Oanda analyst, Edward Moya.
Base metal prices were mixed, with copper futures falling by 1% while aluminium was flat.
Bitcoin continues to hover above the $29k level, up 3.7% in the last 24 hours to US$29,548.
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong has confirmed that his exchange will integrate Bitcoin’s Lightning Network, a “layer 2” payment protocol layered on top of Bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies) which is intended to enable fast transactions.
The Biden administration filed an appeal after a federal judge in Texas on Friday suspended FDA approval of the abortion pill mifepristone, calling the ruling “reckless”.
Closer to home, Brian Hood, the Mayor of Hepburn Shire Council in Victoria, has filed the world’s first defamation lawsuit over statements made by ChatGPT.
ChatGPT claimed that Hood served time in prison over a bribery scandal linked to the RBA. Turns out not only has he never been to prison, but Hood was in fact the whistleblower who helped take down the actual culprits in that bribery scandal.
Looking ahead this week, inflation be front and centre. First, the Chinese March consumer and producer price reports are due out today.
The US CPI will be on Wednesday, and Australia’s April inflation expectation will be released Thursday. Also expect the Aussie unemployment rate data on Thursday.
Hazer Group (ASX:HZR)
The clean-tech company said it has signed an MoU with Japan’s Chubu Electric Power and Chiyoda Corp to jointly prepare a Project Development Plan for a Hazer production facility in the Chubu region in Japan. Under the deal, Hazer, Chubu, and Chiyoda have agreed to develop a clean hydrogen and graphitic carbon production based on Hazer’s proprietary technology.
Osteopore announced a strategic sub-distribution partnership with Kelyniam through its US sales distribution partner, Bioplate Inc. to further penetrate the US$1 billion cranial implant market. Kelyniam will focus on securing sales in approximately 20 hospitals across eight US states. Prestigious institutions targeted include John Hopkins Hospital, Boston Medical Center and Tampa General Hospital.
The engineering company has provided an updated guidance for the full financial year, with forecast revenue of $320 million and forecast net profit after tax (NPAT) of $45 million. The company said it will remain busy on a host of battery minerals (primarily lithium) projects, including Liontown Resources’ Kathleen Valley Project. In gold, the company is delivering an extensive portfolio of projects in Africa, including the Kiaka Project for West African Resources in Burkina Faso.
Recce Pharmaceutical (ASX:RCE)
Recce said the Australian patent office will grant the first of Recce’s new Patent Family 4 for RE its anti-infectives “Process for Preparation of Biologically Active Copolymer”, expiry 2041. The Australian patent claims relate to RECCE 327 (R327) and RECCE 529 (R529).
Lanthanein Resources (ASX:LNR)
Lanthanein announced results from the first pass aircore drilling program at Koolya Kaolin Project in WA. A wide spaced drill program completed in December 2022 covered 15km of prospective kaolin rich granite and intersected widespread kaolin of varying thickness, with a best result of 30m thick bright white kaolin from 4m depth (KAC014). A total of 10 samples had ISO‐Brightness > 79.35 and four samples > 800ppm TREO. Further infill and step out drilling will be undertaken in Q2 and Q3 to assist with the generation a mineral resource estimate by Q4 this year.
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