• ASX to open lower, tracking Wall Street
  • Fed member sees rate cuts this year as inflation data looms
  • Bitcoin pops to over US$60k, with more catalysts to come


The ASX is poised to open lower on Thursday in line with losses on Wall Street. At 8am AEDT, the ASX 200 index futures contract was pointing down by -0.3%.

Overnight, the S&P 500 fell by -0.18%, the blue chips Dow Jones index was down by -0.12%, and tech-heavy Nasdaq tumbled by -0.48%.

Traders are nervously awaiting the latest US CPI data later tonight, as Boston’s Fed Reserve boss Susan Collins reiterated her stance on rate cuts.

“I believe it will likely become appropriate to begin easing policy later this year,” Collins said.

Meanwhile, Bitcoin surged to as high as US$63k before pulling back, trading now at US$60,336 – see more below.

To stocks, Coinbase traded slightly higher despite an outage that caused temporary errors in buying or selling cryptos on the platform.

Beyond Meat soared +33% as the plant-based meat producer laid out its turnaround plan. The stock price has crumbled by -44% over the past year.

eBay climbed +8% on solid Q4 results, while Salesforce and Macy’s are on the docket to report their earnings.


New record high for Bitcoin?

Bitcoin surpassed $60,000 last night, with a new all-time high now in sight. The previous all-time high was around $69,000, reached in November 10th 2021.

“If the current momentum continues, we expect that Bitcoin could beat the previous all-time high in a matter of weeks,” says Nigel Green of de Vere Group.

It was reported that BlackRock’s Bitcoin ETF took in US$520 million worth of BTC yesterday – the second biggest inflow in a day of any ETF.

“As more institutional players enter the space, the increased demand for Bitcoin has been driving prices higher.

“The influx of institutional capital also adds a layer of stability to the market, potentially mitigating some of the volatility traditionally associated with cryptocurrencies.”

Another factor contributing to the optimistic outlook for Bitcoin is the approaching halving event in April. Bitcoin undergoes a halving approximately every four years, reducing the rate at which new coins are created by half.

“As the issuance of new Bitcoin slows down, the existing scarcity of the digital asset becomes even more pronounced, typically leading to increased demand and, subsequently, higher prices,” said Green.


Other markets …

Gold price rose by +0.2% to US$2,033.69 an ounce.

Oil prices slipped by -0.5%, with Brent now trading at US$83.47 a barrel.

The benchmark 10-year US Treasury yield fell by around 4.5 basis points (bond prices higher) to 4.27%.

Iron ore futures eased by -1% to US$116.20 a tonne.

The Aussie dollar tumbled by -0.70% to US64.96c.


5 ASX small caps to watch today

Mandrake Resources (ASX:MAN)
Initial results from preliminary field work and rock chip sampling have returned consistent, significant concentrations of uranium up to 0.55% U3O8, and is associated with high vanadium concentrations. Remaining rock chip samples that exceeded laboratory radiation limits have been shipped to a laboratory, with results expected in March.

eCargo (ASX:ECG)
For FY23, the ECG achieved record revenue of HK$188.2 million, a 50% increase, driven by the success of eCargo’s B2B supply chain platform. Bottom line statutory NPAT was up 5% on pcp to HK$4.74 million. ECG is a supply chain solutions provider helping brands expand in the Asia market.

Infinity Mining (ASX:IMI)
IMI announced its Maiden Resource estimate (MRE) at Great Northern at 2,700 ounce inferred MRE. With this, the company’s Goldfields Resource total has now increased to 63,000 ounces. The company says it will continue to pursue its strategic regional resource target of up to 500,000 ounces.

EMvision Medical Devices (ASX:EMV)
EMV announced the securing of a strategic $15.28 million investment via a placement to Keysight Technologies, a long standing technology collaborator of the company. The investment supports EMVision’s market entry by expanding its flagship emu production capacity and clinical trial initiatives, including in prestigious stroke institutions in the US.

Fenix Resources (ASX:FEX)
Fenix reported record half year revenue of $126.9m for H1 FY24, up 49% from the pcp. NPAT was $22.1m, up 102% from the pcp. Fully franked final dividend of 2 cents per share was declared. Fenix sees a strong outlook for production growth for the rest of the year.