Market Highlights: Defiant Wall Street, Man U for sale, and 5 ASX small caps to watch today
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The ASX 200 is poised to rise on Tuesday, tracking the rally in New York. At 8am AEDT, the ASX 200 Feb futures contract was pointing up by 0.5%.
Overnight, Wall Street rose ahead of the key US inflation report that might tilt the Fed rate hiking scale.
US investors remained surprisingly bullish before the report which is due later today (US time) – pushing the S&P 500 and Dow higher by 0.83%, with Nasdaq also rising by 1.15%.
A speech by a member of the Fed board, Michelle Bowman, gave the market a prelude to what the Fed is thinking.
“We are still far from achieving price stability, and I expect that it will be necessary to further tighten monetary policy to bring inflation down toward our goal,” Bowman said.
Bowman is one of the more hawkish members, so analysts believe her comments didn’t really tell us anything new.
Meanwhile, US fighter jets have shot down more unidentified objects in the sky.
The first one was a Chinese surveillance balloon, but defence officials aren’t sure what the other three were, stoking talk of ET presence.
“I know there’s been questions and concerns about this, but there is no, again, no indication of aliens or extraterrestrial activity with these recent takedowns,” said White House Press Secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre.
In stock news, Manchester United is up for sale.
Wealthy investors from Qatar and Saudi Arabia are reportedly interested in the NYSE-listed football club, with Feb 17 being tabled as the deadline for bids. Man U shares rose by 0.65% last night.
Spot iron ore has slipped -3.5% to US$120.40 a tonne.
Demand for the ferrous complex has declined recently, with shipments from Australia’s Port Hedland reportedly falling by almost 3% in January compared to December.
Oil prices were down 0.80% overnight, while gold continues to struggle, trading at US$1,852 an ounce.
Bitcoin was down another 1.75% in the last 24 hours to US$21,635.
Binance Coin sank 8% last night after around US$144 million was redeemed from BUSD in a matter of hours.
“Cryptos are weakening as every trader worries about how crippling this SEC wave will be with the cracking down on staking products and stablecoins,” said Moya.
Looking ahead to today’s session on the ASX, the large caps earnings season continues. Companies to report today include CSL, Temple & Webster, and Ansell.
HitIQ has extended its partnership with Bupa Dental for 2023 on the back of an initial, positive retail roll-out in 2022. The expanded partnership significantly increases the HitIQ smart mouthguard sales channels to up to 184 Bupa Dental clinics (previously 52 in 2022), Australia-wide. The deal came ahead of the Australian rules football, rugby league and rugby union seasons.
KMD Brands (ASX:KMD)
KMD’s sales momentum has continued in Q2, resulting in record first half sales. Group total sales for HI (unaudited) are expected to be approximately $546 million, up 34% on pcp. Underlying H1 EBITDA is expected to be around $45 million, up from $10.2 million EBITDA in the pcp.
Opthea announced that its Phase 2b study results of OPT-302 have been published online in Ophthalmology, the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. The study results demonstrated that monthly intravitreal administration of 2.0mg OPT-302 with ranibizumab standard of care has met the primary efficacy endpoint of the study.
Assay results from Phase 2 RC drilling at the Eastman Project have highlighted the Brumby Prospect as a key priority PGE (platinum group elements) target for follow up. Significant PGE results at Brumby include 30m @ 1.45g/t PdEq1 (1.0g/t 3E2) from 48m, and 14m @ 1.45g/t PdEq (1.06g/t 3E) from 70m.
Calidus Resources (ASX:CAI)
In January, a total of 195kt of ore at a grade of 0.88g/t was processed with 5,210oz of gold recovered at the Warrawoona Gold Project. Monthly gold production has been steadily increasing over the last four months. Mining movement increased to 484kBCMs, representing a 31% improvement in mining productivity to December.