• ASX to open modestly lower after a mixed session on Wall Street
  • Spot gold and copper touched record highs
  • Hard Rock denies making a move on Star


The ASX 200 is poised to open lower on Tuesday after a mixed session on Wall Street. At 8am AEST, the ASX200 futures contract was pointing down by -0.1%.

Overnight, the S&P 500 rose by +0.1%, the blue chips Dow Jones index fell by -0.49%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq lifted by +0.65% to a new record.

Spot gold touched a new record high of US$2,449.89/oz, before retreating to trade at US$2,430/oz currently.

Gold’s recent rally has been driven by a mix of factors like US rate cut expectations, China’s stimulus measures, and geopolitical tensions. This momentum also pushed silver to its highest level in over 11 years.

Lower rates make holding gold more attractive since there’s less opportunity cost of holding non interest-earning bullion.

Meanwhile, copper prices on the LME hit a record high, surpassing US$11,000 a ton for the first time as investors flocked to the metal due to an anticipated supply shortage.

To stocks, JPMorgan stock dropped 4.5% after CEO Jamie Dimon hinted he might retire sooner than Wall Street expected.

Microsoft gained +1.2% after unveiling a new category of PCs called Copilot+ PCs. These computers feature AI PC chips and come with the latest version of Windows 11 and Microsoft’s Copilot AI software.

“The richest AI experiences will harness the power of the cloud and the edge working together in concert,” said Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella.

Nvidia’s quarterly results will be released on Wednesday US time – an eagerly anticipated report seen as a major factor that could drive another stock market rally.

Elsewhere, two Fed Reserve governors said last night that rates will stay where they are until there’s more proof that inflation is dropping.

Fed Vice Chair Philip Jefferson and Vice Chair of Supervision Michael Barr highlighted the disappointing inflation numbers in Q1 as a reason to keep rates steady, giving the Fed’s restrictive policy more time to take effect.

“I think we are in a good position to hold steady and closely watch how conditions evolve,” Barr said.


Hard Rock denies approaching Star

Yesterday, Star Casino’s operator, The Star Entertainment Group (ASX:SGR) surged by +20% after the company revealed that Florida-based Hard Rock International has approached it for a potential acquisition.

But in an embarrassing twist reported by The Australian this morning, Hard Rock has denied any involvement with a proposal for Star.

Hard Rock said it hasn’t authorised the use of its name in any such talks, and might take legal action against anyone who does.

“Any misuse of the Hard Rock name in unauthorised business dealings is taken very seriously,” it said in a statement overnight.

“We are currently investigating this matter and will pursue all necessary legal actions to protect our brand and reputation.”

Should be an interesting day for the SGR stock price today.


In other markets …

Gold price rose by +0.65% to US$2,430.16 an ounce.

Oil prices fell -0.5%, with Brent crude now trading at US$83.68 a barrel.

The benchmark 10-year US Treasury yield climbed by 3 basis points (bond prices lower) to 4.45%.

The Aussie dollar slipped by -0.4% to 66.71 cents.

The iron ore price rallied more by +0.8% to US$118.30 a tonne.

Bitcoin meanwhile surged by +5% in the last 24 hours to US$69,725.


5 ASX small caps to watch today

Technology One (ASX:TNE)
TNE has announced its results for the half year. Profit After Tax was $48m, up 16% on pcp. Total Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) was $423.6m, up 21% on pcp. TNE reported record Interim dividend of 5.08 cps, up 10% on pcp. TNE says it’s on track to surpass $500 million ARR by FY25, a target that was brought forward at the FY23 full year results.

Pioneer Lithium (ASX:PLN)
Pioneer will commence a targeted exploratory drill campaign on major radiometric anomalies at their Verde Valor project in the rare earth-rich state of Bahia, Brazil. The initial 300m exploratory auger drilling campaign will focus on strategically selected location.

Kuniko (ASX:KNI)
A sampling campaign has commenced at Norway’s NGU national drill core archive, aiming to assay ~3,000m of unsampled historic drill core from 12 drill holes for the Ertelien Nickel-Copper-Cobalt Project. The current program aims to sample disseminated sulphide zones that were not previously been sampled.

Xref (ASX:XF1)
The Xref Board has decided to conduct a strategic review of its business following interest expressed by a number of parties regarding a potential acquisition of the company. The inquiries and discussions are still preliminary in nature and there is no certainty that a transaction will result from the strategic review. Xref’s long-term corporate adviser, TMT Partners, has been asked to advise on the management and evaluation of this potential acquisition interest.

Turners Automotive (ASX:TRA)
Turners has again delivered record earnings for the financial year to March (FY24). Revenue for the year was $417m, up +7% on pcp. NPAT was $33m, up +1.5% on pcp. Full year dividend was 25.5cps, up +11% on pcp. Turners said it achieved its FY24 target a year early, and is well placed to exceed its FY25 Net Profit Before Tax (NPBT) target of $50m. It has also announced its new medium-term target for $65m NPBT in FY28.