• ASX 200 expected to open higher after mixed performance on Wall Street
  • US stocks lost steam on the eve of a crucial US jobs report
  • ECB cuts cash rate to 3.75pc, speculation on further rate cuts later in the year

 

The ASX 200 is poised to edge higher when the market opens on Friday. At 8am AEST, the ASX200 futures contract was pointing up by +0.2%.

Overnight, Wall Street lost some steam on the eve of a crucial US jobs report which will play a significant role in determining the Fed Reserve’s next actions.

The S&P 500 fell by -0.02%, the blue chips Dow Jones index was up by +0.20%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq slipped by -0.09%.

“Markets will likely react more to a weaker print than strong data, but data likely needs to be much weaker given that investor expectations have declined,” said a note from TD Securities.

In the run up to that payrolls report, which is due out out Friday at 8:30am NY time, Wall Street sifted through a bunch of other data last night.

US jobless claims were higher than expected, labour costs went up but not as much as predicted, and the trade deficit got bigger.

To stocks, GameStop added +47% after Keith Gill, also known as “Roaring Kitty,” announced a YouTube live stream scheduled for June 7 at 12pm Eastern Time, US.

Microsoft was up slightly and Nvidia was down -1% after reports that the US government was launching antitrust inquiries into both companies over their dominant roles in artificial intelligence.

Meanwhile in Europe, the European Central Bank (ECB) reduced its cash rate by a quarter-point to 3.75% last night, as anticipated.

Based on the ECB’s latest forecasts for inflation, some experts believe there could be more interest rate cuts later this year.

“Of course, the timing of the next move from the ECB is uncertain, as this will be dependent upon incoming data,” said Dean Turner at UBS.

“But with the disinflationary process firmly under way, the ECB, along with other central banks, should feel confident enough to ease policy, most likely at a pace of one cut per quarter.”

Now read Christian Edwards’ take on it: Interesting Rates: We hope like the sight of blood, because the cuts just started

 

Blow to psychedelics

In a blow to psychedelics for mental health treatment, a US FDA advisory panel has turned down the use of MDMA for treating PTSD.

The panel raised doubts on the study by Lykos Therapeutics, which is seeking FDA approval for MDMA as a treatment.

Dr Melissa Decker Barone, a psychologist with the Department of Veterans Affairs, said there were too many problems with Lykos’ data.

“Each one alone might be OK, but when you pile them on top of each other … there’s just a lot of questions I would have about how effective the treatment is,” said Dr Decker Barone said.

MDMA – also known as ecstasy – is paving the way for a wave of psychedelics, such as LSD and psilocybin, to undergo FDA evaluation in the near future.

There’s a hopeful buzz around these substances, with advocates believing they could revolutionise how we approach mental health disorders.

The FDA typically follows the panel’s advice, but it’s not required to. The final decision is expected in August.

On the ASX, one company that focuses on MDMA is Emyria (ASX:EMD).

 

In other markets …

Gold price climbed by +0.9% to US$2,376.05 an ounce.

Oil prices jumped by +2%, with Brent crude now trading at US$79.95 a barrel. Crude lifted on optimism that the Fed Reserve will mirror the rate cuts made by the European Central Bank.

The benchmark 10-year US Treasury yield was up 1 basis point (bond prices lower) to 4.29%.

The Aussie dollar rose by +0.3% to 66.71 cents.

The iron ore price rebounded by +2% to US$108.80a tonne.

Bitcoin meanwhile fell by -0.5% in the last 24 hours to US$70,821, while Ethereum was also down around -1% to US$3,807.50.

 

5 ASX small caps to watch today

Gold Mountain (ASX:GMN)
GMN said it has begun initial exploration activities in the Ronaldinho Project area. Using advanced technology, the company has conducted surveys along selected roads and tracks, targeting areas with radiometric anomalies. Key findings include the detection of thorium anomalies spanning up to 250m wide across four intervals. The exploration covered a total distance of 3.87km within the Ronaldinho tenements. Comparison with known mineralised areas has revealed similar high-grade values, indicating the potential for mineralization within its properties. The extensive surveying and observations suggest the presence of substantial mineralised rock formations. Follow-up work will commence in July.

iTech Minerals (ASX:ITM)
In late May, iTech’s MD, Michael Schwarz, and fellow director, Gary Ferris, visited the Reynolds Range Project to confirm its copper-gold potential. They discovered widespread copper mineralization at the Scimitar and Reward prospects, along with gold vein systems at the Sabre, Falchion, and Troutbeck prospects. Their findings suggest extensive mineralization across the Lander Shear Zone tenement package, including potential lithium deposits in pegmatite systems. Rock chip sample results are expected by late June.

St Barbara (ASX:SBM)
SBM said assay results are in for the remaining four Sorowar – Pigiput exploration drill holes from the FY24 drill program. These holes aimed to test the interpreted northwest trending zone of mineralisation between the existing Sorowar and Pigiput ore bodies, located outside any current Inferred Resource area and conceptual pit design. Notable intercepts include: 44m at 2.5g/t gold from 113m depth in drill hole SDH542; and 24m at 2g/t from 200m depth in drill hole SDH540.

RemSense Technologies (ASX:REM)
RemSense announced that it has received a Purchase Order from AGC Industries on behalf of Chevron Australia to undertake virtualplant high-resolution photogrammetry scanning and image processing of Chevron’s Gorgon LNG Train 1 in northwestern Australia for a contract value of $534,195. The work is scheduled to commence in October this year and follows on from the successful completion of six previous projects at Chevron’s Wheatstone, Gorgon and Janz-IO facilities.

New World Resources (ASX:NWC)
New World has kicked off drilling with a third diamond rig at their high-grade copper projects in Arizona. This adds to the two diamond core rigs already active at the Antler Copper Project, and another rig operating 75km away at the Javelin VMS Project. The main goals of these drilling programs are to grow the company’s resource base by exploring 17+ high-priority targets across both project areas and to conduct reserve definition drilling. This effort aims to reduce risks at the Antler Project and move it closer to production.

 

At Stockhead we tell it like it is. While iTech Minerals is a Stockhead advertiser, it did not sponsor this article.