Market Highlights: Binance’s CZ sued by SEC, as market awaits RBA decision at 2.30pm
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After three straight sessions of gains, Aussie shares are set to open lower as US stocks fell in New York. At 8am AEST this morning, the ASX 200 index futures was pointing down by -0.6%.
Overnight, Wall Street slipped modestly as Apple rose +1.5% and briefly touched its all time high of US$184.95, before closing at US$183.58.
At its WWDC Apple conference, Apple unveiled an eye popping US$3,499 long awaited mixed-reality headset that offers both virtual reality and augmented reality.
Introduced with Steve Jobs’ trademark phrase “one more thing”, the headset is billed as Apple’s biggest hardware product launch since the debut of the Apple Watch in 2015.
Palantir Technologies Inc also jumped 5% after being awarded a contract by the US Special Operations Command.
Coinbase plunged -9% as the US SEC sued Binance and founder CZ.
The SEC claimed that Binance and CZ misled investors about internal controls, secretly allowed customer funds to commingle, and diverted customer funds, “as they please”.
Binance’s head of regional markets outside the US, an ex-regulator and Singaporean by the name of Richard Teng, is now expected to be CZ’s heir apparent as Binance CEO.
Bitcoin slipped by -6% on the news to US$25,699.
Wonder if he ever reads the comments under his post, from the consumers he is suppose to protect. https://t.co/xQjC872GsD
— CZ 🔶 Binance (@cz_binance) June 5, 2023
The RBA will meet today and hand down its interest rates decision at 2.30pm.
Fears are heightened as another rate increase is looming. The recent CPI data has raised concerns about inflation, potentially leading the RBA to increase the cash rate from 3.85% to 4.1% today.
Goldman Sachs is forecasting the RBA cash rate to reach 4.35% by July, meaning that 25 basis points rise today and an additional hike in July is possible.
“Given that the RBA terminal rate is lower and lagging behind the likes of other central banks including the Fed, BoE, RBNZ, concerns are that we may be seeing one more rate hike,” said Zoran Kresovic of derivatives broker Eightcap.
WTI crude gained another +0.3% to US$71.95 a barrel.
Oil jumped 5% on Friday after the Saudis said they will cut supply by an extra 1 million barrel-a-day from July.
“The Saudis are basically giving up market share here, and that strategy won’t work over the long-term,” said Oanda analyst, Edward Moya.
“The risk of more cuts seems unlikely given the market reaction, but also because the demand side of the equation should provide some stability for prices.”
Gold rose +0.7% to US$1,961.10 an ounce.
Gold rallied after the ISM report last night showed the first major signs that the US service sector is cooling.
Sigma Healthcare (ASX:SIG)
Sigma announced it has signed a binding deal with Chemist Warehouse for the supply of both Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) medicines and Fast-Moving-Consumer-Goods (FMCG) product for a period of 5 years commencing on 1 July 2024. Sigma is the incumbent supplier for FMCG product to Chemist Warehouse, which currently represents approximately 29% of Sigma’s net sales revenue.
Anatara Lifesciences (ASX:ANR)
Preliminary data readout of Anatara’s GaRP – Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) trial supports continuation of the trial. The company says statistical analysis of the first 31 “Intent-to-Treat” participants has encouraged Anatara to progress Stage 1 to Stage 2 of the GaRP-IBS trial. An interim analysis report is anticipated late Q3 of this year.
Austal has played down recent media speculation regarding possible takeover activity involving the company. The release this morning said: “Austal is regularly involved in discussions with potential parties concerning strategic initiatives to create value for its shareholders. While discussions may take place from time to time, there can be no certainty that any opportunity will proceed.”
Cooper Energy (ASX:COE)
Cooper improvement plan is underway to address performance at its Orbost gas plant. The company also released a FY23 guidance: production and underlying EBITDAX range narrowed and revised to 3.53 to 3.56 MMboe, and $106 to $111 million.
Metals Australia (ASX:MLS)
MLS reported its lithium drilling results up to 2.59% Li2O at the Manindi Project. The new diamond drilling results include the following high-grade lithium intersections: 12m @1.38% Li2O from 60m. MLS Chairman Mike Scivolo said the latest diamond drilling results demonstrate both the high-grade and continuity of the foundation lithium-bearing pegmatite of the project.