Market Highlights: Oil sheds another 2pc, the most shorted stocks on ASX, and small caps to watch today
Aussie shares are poised to open higher on Thursday as Wall Street fluctuated overnight to finish flattish. At 8am AEST, the ASX 200 index futures was pointing up by +0.3%.
Overnight, the S&P 500 rose by +0.21%, the blue chips Dow Jones index was down by -0.05%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq climbed by +0.08%.
Warnings from several hawkish members of the Fed board put a check on optimism that rates have peaked. Chair Jerome Powell is giving a speech in Washington DC at the time of writing.
Alphabet rose 0.66% after Google announced that it was expanding its generative AI-powered search platform, Search Generative Experience, to more than 100 countries.
Eli Lily rose 3% after the US FDA approved its weight loss drug, Zepbound.
Warner Bros Discovery plunged -19% after warning that ongoing weakness in the advertising market could impact its guidance for 2024.
Robinhood shares shed -14% after reporting an 11% fall in transaction revenue vs the pcp.
Meanwhile, oil prices have crashed over the last two days, and last night Brent was down another -2% to US$79.96 a barrel.
Traders have been dumping oil after analysts said oil demand outlook in China, the world’s biggest importer, is waning. There are also concerns that American gasoline demand could fall to a 20-year low next year.
“Oil is telling you the world is closer to recession,” says Bank of America strategist, Michael Hartnett.
The S&P Global Market Intelligence has released its Top 10 most shorted stocks list, and has included Australian stocks.
The metric used to calculate the short interest is the percentage of outstanding shares on loan.
Liontown (ASX:LTR), which is a familiar name to Australian short sellers, is not on the list, possibly indicating that they’ve closed out their positions.
It was widely reported that Liontown shortsellers had gained massively after Gina Rinehart scuttled global materials giant Albemarle’s bid for the company.
So here’s the list of the 10 most shorted stocks on the ASX:
Gold price fell almost -1% to US$1,949.75 an ounce.
Oil prices plunged another 2% after the 4% fall yesterday, with Brent trading at US$79.81 a barrel.
Iron ore futures rebounded by 1% to US$127.26 a tonne.
Base metals prices slumped, with 3-month nickel futures down almost -3%, and copper futures by -0.63%.
The Aussie dollar fell another -0.5% to US64.03c, almost wiping out its RBA rates decision gains.
Meanwhile, Bitcoin was also down -0.3% in the last 24 hours to US$35,520.
Spectur has executed an agreement with Surf Life Saving NSW for the supply, installation, and maintenance of Emergency Response Beacons (ERB). A purchase order for around $1.2m has been received. The agreement commences on 1st December, and will expire 78 months after the delivery to SLSNSW, or manufacture by Spectur, of the last ERB purchased under the agreement.
Immutep has completed enrolment for its TACTI-003 Phase IIb Trial of efti and KEYTRUDA in First Line Metastatic or Recurrent Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma. A total of 171 head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) patients were enrolled. Efti has an FDA Fast Track designation for first-line treatment of HNSCC.
Alchemy Resources (ASX:ALY)
An option agreement has been executed with Ionick over its interest in two Exploration Licences which are prospective for laterite hosted nickel-cobalt and alumina, located near Cobar in NSW. Alchemy says the deal will create potential value accretive transaction for shareholders to spin out its noncore nickel-cobalt minerals rights into Ionick (currently a 100% owned subsidiary of Helix Resources).
Veris has secured key contract wins across its digital solutions and infrastructure service offerings. These contract wins have contributed to the company securing over $9 million in new project work and variations across its infrastructure market sector in 1Q FY24, and in the current quarter, which are due for delivery in the next 3-6 months. Furthermore, several of these projects represent key milestones in the commercialisation of a number of internally developed digital and spatial and data-led solutions.
European Metals (ASX:EMH)
EMH announced the results of the Lithium Chemical Plant (LCP) pilot programme, confirming the robustness of the Cinovec LCP process flowsheet and providing a strong foundation for the execution of the Cinovec Project. Pilot programme crude lithium carbonate was confirmed at 99.7% purity, greater than battery grade (99.5%) in the carbonate precipitation step without any additional processing.