• ASX to climb higher after a tech rally in New York
  • Netflix climbed after posting solid quarterly figures
  • And experts give their outlook on iron ore


Aussie shares are poised to open higher on Thursday on the back of a tech rally in New York. At 8am AEDT, the ASX 200 index futures contract was pointing up by 0.3%.

Overnight, the S&P 500 rose 0.1%, setting another record high for the fourth consecutive day. The blue chips Dow Jones index however was down -0.26%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq lifted by +0.36%.

Strong earnings, led by Netflix, helped push the Nasdaq higher. Netflix shares jumped 11% after reporting a 13 million subscriber surge in the last quarter and a 12.5% increase in year-over-year revenue.

“After a rollercoaster couple of years, Netflix came back with a vengeance in 2023, showing some of the strongest growth in its history, thanks to a solid content slate, a crackdown on password sharing and its new, cheaper advertising tier,” said Josh Gilbert, market analyst at eToro.

Chipmaker ASML also jumped 9% after posting a 30% surge in full-year revenue. However it warned that sales in 2024 will be flat versus 2023.

Microsoft and Nvidia have set new highs, with the former edging closer to a US$3 trillion valuation.

Tesla meanwhile is set to report its Q4 earnings in the next hour or so, with IBM and Resmed also on the docket.

Meanwhile, data shows US manufacturing and services activity came in strong, signalling a significant upturn in the economy.


Iron ore stocks outlook

Overnight, the iron ore price rose by 2.5% to US$135.15 a tonne.

The recent surge in iron ore has been fuelled by new stimulus for China’s housing market, sending Rio Tinto and Fortescue shares to record levels.

Iron ore should be able to hold on to its gains for the rest of Q1; beyond that, earnings momentum is poor for most of the sector.

That’s the view from Liberium’s analysts Tom Price, Ben Davis and Yuen Low.

“Right now, the commodity world is balanced between the bullish prospect of the US Fed easing its 2yr-old inflation-targeting rate policy, vs. bearish reality of China’s commodity-intensive growth story stalling.

“While the Fed-led capital ebb flow has slowed, the emerging macro ‘slack water’ is unsettling investors.

“What’s the bull case? Ours goes like this: US infra re-build gets rolled out; China’s industrial base remains stable; geo-political conflict ends,” wrote the analysts.

“We therefore maintain our BHP & Rio Tinto upgrades for now, but Anglo’s significant underperformance makes it the better mid-term play.

“Otherwise, the small to medium caps have better value, more catalysts and possible M&A,” the note said.


In other markets …

Gold price fell by -0.80% to US$2,012.35 an ounce.

Oil prices rose by +1%, with Brent now trading at US$80.32 a barrel.

The benchmark 10-year US Treasury yield climbed 3 basis points (bond prices lower) to 4.17%.

Iron ore futures lifted another 2.5% to US$135.15 a tonne.

The Aussie dollar slipped slightly by -0.1% to US65.76c.

Meanwhile, Bitcoin was up +1.25% in the last 24 hours to US$39,644.


5 ASX small caps to watch today

EIQ has entered into a commercial licensing agreement with medical technology company Respiri (ASX: RSH) to apply Echo IQ’s AI-backed EchoSolv cardiovascular platform to Respiri’s remote patient monitoring user base. Under the terms, Respiri pay a monthly licence fee for each patient identified as having severe aortic stenosis as well as heart failure. The fees are linked to minimum revenue targets.

Tennant Minerals (ASX:TMS)
TMS has announced the appointment of highly-experienced resources executive Vincent Algar to the role of CEO. Algar has over 33 years experience in the industry, including a nine-year tenure as managing director of Australian Vanadium (ASX:AVL). During that time, Algar raised over $62 million in capital and built AVL’s market capitalisation to over $100 million.

Truscreen Group (ASX:TRU)
The medical device company reported revenues YTD of US$888k, a 34 % increase on prior year. SUS unit sales exceeded total of last financial year, reaching 141,300 by 31 December 2023, with China continuing to be a major contributor.

NNG has posted two consecutive quarters of positive EBITDA, which came in at $1.2m for the half, on revenue of $4.8m. Revenue was up 5.4% on the previous quarter. Nexion says the combination of positive earnings for the first half and the R&D tax credit received in Q2 has delivered a dramatic improvement in the balance sheet, with the net asset position improved by almost $1m from 30 June.

Recharge Metals (ASX:REC)
Geochemical data from surface sampling indicates that the Express Lithium Project is in the right part of the system to host lithium mineralisation, based on signatures associated with lithium mineralisation and LCT pegmatites in the James Bay area. Data also highlights more fractionated pegmatites, with higher Li contents within the project area.


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