• The ASX will track Wall Street into a flattish open this morning
  • US banks’ earnings were mixed. Goldman’s profit fell while BofA beat estimates
  • Bitcoin could rise to US$45k, says analyst


The ASX is poised to open flattish on Wednesday following similar moves in New York overnight.

Earnings updates continue to dominate proceedings on Wall Street, where Netflix got off to a slow start by adding only 1.75m customers in the first quarter vs 2.41m estimate. The Netflix share price fell 1% on the news.

Goldman Sachs’ profit fell 19% as dealmaking and bond trading slumped in the first quarter, while its investment banking business also remains extremely muted. The GS share price fell around 2%.

Bank of America’s Q1 profit surprisingly beat estimates after its fixed-income desk delivered a windfall. The BofA rose 0.65% after the release.

“If earnings continue to impress, too much of a good thing will ultimately prove to be inflationary and that will likely mean more Fed tightening,” said Oanda analyst, Edward Moya.

Commercial real estate remains a key market everyone’s watching, and that is why so many traders paid close attention to the news that Brookfield Corp defaulted on $161 million on office debt. Brookfield’s shares rose 0.3%.

Fed Reserve’s Raphael Bostic said last night that he favours hiking rates one more time, and then holding them above 5% for some time.

His colleague James Bullard, who is a known hawk, said he favours getting rates into a 5.5%-5.75% range before pausing.

Bullard’s comments made some traders worry that we might be debating three more Fed rate hikes from here, and not just two.


Bitcoin could reach US$45k, says expert

The EU reached an agreement overnight on a plan to boost the production of microchips in Europe, as the bloc races to reduce its dependence on Asian manufacturers in China and Taiwan.

SpaceX had to scrap plans for the first test flight of its Starship rocket due to a valve problem.

Shaq O’Neill has been served with a lawsuit over his role as a paid spokesperson for FTX.

Crude prices were flat overnight, and WTI continues to trade at around US$80.90 a barrel.

Now read: 88E *may* have found the smoking gun, but it’s not the only ASX oil and gas play on the verge of a potentially huge payoff

Gold is also struggling for gains, trading higher by just 0.5% to US$2,005.80 an ounce as investors are tentatively back to risk-on mode.

Iron ore was up +0.7% to $US117.55 a tonne.

Bitcoin was up another 3% in the last 24 hours to US$30,333.

Crypto analyst Vetle Lunde of K33 Research wrote to clients that BTC could reach US$45,000. He said the industry has managed to weed out the bad actors like hedge fund Three Arrows Capital and others.

“A lot of these rotten fruits have been washed out of the market,” he wrote. “So the entire market is in a more robust stage right now where it can handle higher interest rates for longer.”


5 ASX small caps to watch today

Vulcan Energy Resources (ASX:VUL)
Vulcan said BNP Paribas, its debt financial advisor, has approached a number of government-backed Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) which have now confirmed their in-principle support of Vulcan’s Phase One Project financing. Bpifrance Assurance Export (the French ECA), SACE (Italy’s government ECA), and Export Development Canada, have all confirmed their interest in funding Vulcan’s project.

MetalsGrove Mining (ASX:MGA)
Drilling has confirmed multiple stacked spodumene pegmatites with anomalous lithium, tantalum and rubidium mineralisation as highlighted by drill hole UCR22033 which returned 38m @ 0.10% Li2O from 1m (surface) and 5m @ 20ppm Ta2O5 from 7m, 3m @ 47ppm Ta2O5 from 16m and 3m @ 24ppm from 24m and 7m @ 685 ppm Rb2O.

FYI Resources (ASX:FYI)
FYI has successfully completed HPA (high purity alumina) sample production campaign for assessment by targeted potential customers. Pilot plant production successfully achieved a 15% increase in total product output, demonstrating improvements in process efficiencies and product recovery. Internal testing suggests HPA should be in line with the upper range of product quality and purity.

Pacific Nickel Mines (ASX:PNM)
PNM says formal loan documentation and an amended sales agreement have now been signed with Glencore International in respect of a loan facility of up to US$22m for the Kolosori Nickel Project. The funds raised through these arrangements are expected to be sufficient to meet the pre-production funding requirements of the project.

AuKing Mining (ASX:AKN)
A proposed 4,400m drilling and associated exploration program at the Manyoni Uranium Project has commenced. Drilling program is proposed to include holes at the nearby Itigi project where there is a previously identified significant radiometric anomaly. The company is now awaiting response from Tanzanian Minister of Mines in relation to the revocation of two of AuKing’s licence holdings at Manyoni.