• The ASX is set to open higher on Tuesday
  • A volatile Wall Street session has finished higher
  • US President Biden declares: “pandemic is over in the US”

Local shares are set to open higher on Monday. At 8am AEST, the ASX 200 September futures contract is pointing up by 0.75%.

Overnight, Wall Street recovered after a slow start as US stocks whipsawed ahead of the Fed rates decision on Wednesday (or precisely 4am on Thursday, AEST).

The S&P 500 rose by 0.69%, the Dow Jones by +0.64%, and tech heavy Nasdaq by +0.76%.

President Biden has declared the “pandemic over in the US”, despite roughly over 400 Americans still dying from the virus each day.

His comments prompted vaccine stocks to fall, with Moderna slipping by 7%.

As the pandemic takes a backseat, this is what’s happening with COVID-focused biotechs.

In Europe, sportscar maker Porsche raised US$14bn in its IPO for a valuation of US$75bn, and is now expected to list in Frankfurt later this month. It  would be one of the largest European IPOs in history.

The UK markets were closed for a public holiday as the country bid farewell to the Queen. The ASX will also be closed this Thursday to mark the occasion.

The benchmark US 10-year Treasury yield rose 5bp and briefly touched 3.50%, the highest level since 2011.

The market has fully priced in a 75bp hike, but some are predicting 100bp, which is causing the uncertainty and volatility in across markets.

It’s not just the US Fed that’s expected to hike, many other world central banks from England to Switzerland to South Africa are also expected to tighten their policy this week.

This is how the brains behind T. Rowe Price are positioning their bets ahead of the hikes.

“Pessimism for equities remains elevated as the US economy appears to have a one-way ticket towards a recession as the Fed is poised to remain aggressive,” said OANDA analyst, Edward Moya.

In other markets, crude prices rose slightly, with Brent now trading at US$91.80 a barrel. Gold is at US$1,675 an ounce, and looks to have largely failed in its role as a safe haven.

“Gold will eventually resume its role as a safe-haven, but the peak in the dollar needs to be put in place and that won’t happen for a couple meetings,” said Moya.

To cryptos, where Bitcoin was up 0.50% in the last 24 hours to US$19,530.

And Interpol says it will issue a red notice for embattled South Korean crypto-entrepreneur Kwon Do who seems to have gone missing following the $40 billion wipeout of his cryptocurrency startup TerraUSD (UST) and sister token Luna in May.

Looking ahead today, the RBA meeting minutes for September are scheduled to be released.

5 ASX small caps to watch today

Ragusa Minerals (ASX:RAS)
Ragusa has received notification from the Northern Territory’s Mineral Titles office that the company’s 100% owned tenement EL33150 has been granted – part of the NT Lithium Project and located ~60 kilometres south of Darwin. The tenement is located adjacent to Lithium Plus Project and nearby Core Lithium’s Finnis Project, within same geological setting.

Lord Resources (ASX:LRD)
Lord announced that the Horse Rocks Lithium Project granted, with the company fully funded for major exploration programs. Horse Rocks is located within a conceptual “lithium super-province”, with Mineral Resources’ Mt Marion lithium mine less than 8km away.

SRG Global (ASX:SRG)
SRG Global has secured a four-year term contract with Alcoa at both its Wagerup and Pinjara operations in WA. The company has also secured a two and a half year term contract with Albemarle at its new Kemerton facility WA. The two term contracts are collectively valued at ~$80m.

Talga Group (ASX:TLG)
The battery materials company returned further high grade graphite zones from its 100% owned Vittangi graphite project in northern Sweden. Significant downhole intercepts include: 25m @ 28.4% Cg (from 39m) NIS22007 incl. 6m @ 45.5% Cg, and 85m @ 23.0% Cg (from 87m) NIS22020 incl. 46m @ 30.4% Cg.

AngloGold Ashanti (ASX:AGG)
AngloGold is set to acquire 100% of Coeur’s wholly owned subsidiary, Coeur Sterling, which owns neighbouring properties to AngloGold Ashanti’s in the Beatty district of southern Nevada. AGG will acquire all shares of Coeur Sterling for $150m in cash when the transaction closes.