• The ASX is set to rise for the fourth consecutive day
  • Wall St was closed for Thanksgiving
  • Binance CEO CZ unveiled a US$1bn fund to help struggling crypto projects

The ASX is poised to rise for the fourth straight day. At 8am AEDT, the ASX 200 Dec futures contract was pointing up by 0.20%.

Overnight, Wall St was closed for Thanksgiving but shares in Europe rose to a three-month high. The benchmark Stoxx 600 and most other European indexes were up by around half a per cent.

Central banks worldwide are beginning to pivot to a softer stance.

Yesterday, the Bank of Korea became the latest central bank to jump aboard the “slower for longer” train, raising rates by 25 basis points while leaving the door wide open to further rates hikes.

The Turkish central bank (CBRT) has just cut its interest rates by another 150 basis points, taking it back to 9%. Mind you the official inflation in Turkey sits at 85%.

And the FOMC meeting minutes released on Wednesday confirmed that policy members were considering a slower tempo.

However, the ECB’s equivalent minutes released overnight revealed its rate-setters’ fear that inflation may now be out of control.

“Incoming data so far suggest that the room for slowing down the pace of interest rate adjustments remains limited, even as we are approaching estimates of the ‘neutral’ rate,” ECB board member, Isabel Schnabel, said.

OANDA analyst Craig Erlam thinks central banks must act decisively.

“[Central banks] must decide when to slow the pace of tightening in order to avoid unnecessary economic hardship and deflation while inflation is still very high,” he said.

In other markets, Brent crude fell another 1% overnight as the G7 continues to work towards a price cap on Russian oil.

Yesterday, a US$65-$70 a barrel cap was proposed, a range that some experts think would blunt the effectiveness of reducing revenue to Russia.

“These discussions will continue but these reports have weighed on the price of oil at a time when restrictions, maybe even lockdowns, in China threaten demand in the world’s second-largest economy,” said Erlam.

Meanwhile, Bitcoin has risen for a third day in a row. At 8.30am, BTC was up by 0.1% to US$16,562.

Binance’s CEO CZ has signalled a possible US$1 billion fund to help crypto projects that are in distress following the FTX collapse.

Back home, the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales start today. Experts predict $6.2 billion of total sales in the four-day bonanza, beating last year’s record of $6 billion.

5 ASX small caps to watch today

Queensland Pacific Metals (ASX:QPM)
QPM announced the launch of Carbon Abatement Hub Project (CAH) as part of a vertical integration strategy to secure a gas supply chain for the TECH Project. The CAH Project will be Australia’s first multi-user, waste gas collection and processing facility. It will be located approximately 40km north of Moranbah.

eRoad (ASX:ERD)
Revenue has increased from $48m in H1 FY22 to $85.4m in H1 FY23. EBIT increased from a loss of $0.4m in H1 FY22 to a reported profit of $1m this half. Looking forward, eRoad says operating cash flow will improve as a result of reduced integration and personnel costs, and forecasted higher revenue.

DigitalX (ASX:DCC)
DigitalX announced a binding agreement with Automic Group for the referral of customers to the company’s Sell My Shares business, which is expected to deliver new brokerage revenues for both parties. Sell My Shares is a 100% owned subsidiary of DigitalX and a specialist online stockbroker.

Argenica Therapeutics (ASX:AGN)
Argenica announced the first subjects in the third cohort of its Phase 1 clinical trial of ARG-007 have been dosed. The subjects in this cohort will receive a higher dose of ARG-007 than the second cohort. Data analysed so far showed no clinically relevant changes across all assessments.

Morella Corp (ASX:1MC)
Morella has shared the results of its Deep Ground Penetrating Radar (DGPR) work at its Mt Edon Project in WA. In summary, results have demonstrated that the DGPR was not only able to identify the known pegmatites, but also pinpointed a significant number of additional pegmatites not previously mapped.