• The ASX is set to rally again on Monday
  • Wall Street gained for two straight sessions since the inflation report
  • Cryptos continue slide

Local shares are set to start the week on a high note after another rally in New York. At 8.30am AEDT, the ASX 200 Dec futures contract was pointing up by 0.6%.

On Friday, Wall St surged for the second consecutive day – the S&P 500 by 1%, the Nasdaq by 2%, and Dow 0.1%.

The S&P 500 index closed out its best week since June as hopes rise that the Fed would soon slow its tightening cycle.

Investors have been in euphoria since Thursday when a report showed that inflation in the US slowed by more than expected.

Tech stocks pumped, with Netflix gaining 5.5%, Amazon 4% and Apple 2% on Friday.

The market got a further boost after China started loosening its strict Covid rules. Under the new guidelines, China will reduce the amount of time inbound travellers must spend in quarantine, and has also pulled back on mass testing.

Chinese stocks listed in New York rose on the news as Nasdaq Golden Dragon Index rallied another 6.6% on Friday, adding to its 7.6% gain the previous day.

Meanwhile, Fed speak was also generally supportive for risk assets. Comments by Collins, Barkin and Evanson Friday were less hawkish than Chair Powell in his FOMC press conference.

Collins said: “It is time to shift focus from how rapidly to raise rates, or the pace, to how high. And perhaps more importantly on whether a recession is necessary.”

In other markets, the AUD topped US67c, trading now at US67.05.

Brent crude rallied 3% to US$96 a barrel. It’s been quite a volatile week for oil as the supportive inflation data and relaxation of Chinese quarantine measure helped stem the slide.

Gold also had a good run, up by 5% last to week to trade at US$1,771 an ounce right now.

Bitcoin was down another 3% in the last 24 hours to US$16,375, as news circulated that the bankrupt FTX exchange was hacked and unable to account for US$1 billion to $2 billion of client funds.

5 ASX small caps to watch today

EMVision Medical Devices (ASX:EMV)
EMV has delivered a fully commissioned 1st Gen portable brain scanner to the first clinical site, Liverpool Hospital, for its multi-centre trial. Liverpool’s biomedical engineering department has now successfully completed essential testing to commence the trial. EMV says this marks an important phase in the development and commercialisation of its breakthrough portable brain scanner product.

TechGen Metals (ASX:TG1)
An evaluation of previously sampled rock chips (taken for base metals only) at the company’s 100% owned Mt Boggola Project has highlighted elevated Rare Earth Element (REE) results. Radiometric data has highlighted both thorium and uranium target areas of interest.

Asra Minerals (ASX:ASR)
Asra has hired an experienced mining executive, Rob Longley, as the company’s new CEO, effective today. Longley is a geologist with over 30 years experience, and will add strong geological focus and strategic minerals direction for Asra’s emerging rare earths, scandium, cobalt, and gold assets in the Leonora region of WA.

GME Resources (ASX:GME)
An eight-week bulk sample collection and metallurgical sonic drilling program is now underway at the NiWest Nickel Cobalt Project. The bulk sampling program will collect sufficient ore to produce battery-grade nickel and cobalt sulphate sample products for offtake partners. Drilling will also seek to bring the Wanbanna deposit into the revised Mine Plan for the NiWest Definitive Feasibility Study.

Kula Gold (ASX:KGD)
Exploration at the Brunswick Project has increased the pegmatite targets mapped, and this work is continuing. Rock chip samples have been sent to the laboratory for analysis that includes not only lithium detection, but additional pathfinder elements caesium, niobium and tantalum and will be reported in due course.