• The ASX will open lower today as US stocks struggled in New York overnight
  • The US PCE index grew by only 5%, which confirms that inflation is easing
  • China continues to clamp down on Covid protests


The ASX is set to open lower on Friday on the back of a sluggish day in New York. At 8am AEDT, the ASX 200 Dec futures contract was pointing down by 0.15%.

Major indexes on Wall St were mixed overnight. The S&P 500 fell by 0.1%, the Dow Jones by 0.54%, but the Nasdaq rose 0.13%.

Big tech stocks like Atlassian (+6.5%) and Netflix (+4%) paced the Nasdaq higher.

Shares in Salesforce dived almost 10% as CEO Bret Taylor announced his departure, a year after being promoted to the co-CEO role alongside founder Marc Benioff.

US traders digested a swathe of economic data that showed inflation is easing and the labor market is cooling.

The Fed’s preferred inflation gauge (the PCE index) grew by just 5% from a year ago, confirming the recent trend of weakening price increases.

First time job claims fell by 16,000 to 225,000, which was lower than expected.

“But no one wants to be aggressively bullish heading into the non-farm payroll report,” said OANDA analyst Edward Moya.

The non-farm payroll is due out later today, US time.

Closer to home, the CCP continues to clamp down on anti-lockdown protest protests across China, as the country is reportedly getting ready to release new Covid guidelines.

Crude prices rallied 1% as hopes grow that China will loosen these rules, and on expectations that OPEC+ will cuts its supply this weekend.

Gold prices also rose 2% to US$1,802/ounce as inflation cooled and on hopes that the Fed could soon be done tightening.

Bitcoin meanwhile, was down 0.80% in the last 24 hours to US$16,918.

Andrew Barlow from 42Matters has analysed demand trends for leading crypto apps following the implosion of FTX.

While FTX and Blockfi App downloads have virtually grounded to a halt, other leading crypto apps like Binance and Coinbase are also showing similar trajectories according to Barlow.

And finally, looking ahead to today’s session, RBA governor Phil Lowe will speak on a panel for Bank of Thailand’s 80th anniversary.

Detailed retail trade and leading indicators for October are also scheduled to be release by the ABS.

5 ASX small caps to watch today

Camplify (ASX:CHL)
Camplify has completed the acquisition of PaulCamper including their subsidiaries of PaulCamper Insurance Broker. The purchase value was €30m, paid in cash and shares. Camplify says this acquisition is a major strategic evolution, positioning CHL as a key player in the European RV rental market.

VIP Gloves (ASX:VIP)
Due to unfavourable economic conditions, the company has made the decision to temporarily cease glove manufacturing operations. The decision was made due to poor market demand for nitrile gloves, low average selling prices of gloves, and rising raw material costs. The board will provide an update to the market when it has decided on the company’s future operations.

Solstice Minerals (ASX:SLS)
Solstice announced the commencement of a drilling program at the GSP Nickel Prospect within the wholly owned Ringlock Dam Licence (E29/1087). The GSP Prospect is located approximately 30km northwest of the Silver and Black Swan nickel deposits. The planned program comprises up to 2,030m of diamond drilling, and will take approximately three weeks to complete.

American Rare Earths (ASX:ARR)
Minerology tests show rare earths host mineral at Halleck Creek in Wyoming can be easily liberated. Host mineral allanite contains approximately 90% of total rare earths present at the site. ARR says this could be a game changer for the company as testing indicates the rare earths elements host material can be recovered using simple separation technology.

Allegiance Coal (ASX:AHQ)
Allegiance said that Itochu, which held 10.1% of the shares in Telkwa Coal (TCL), has sold its shares in TCL to Allegiance for a non-material consideration. As a result of this transaction, Itochu’s marketing rights to the TCL coal is terminated. The amount loaned by Itochu to TCL amounting to C$500,000 will now fall to be repaid by 30 June 2023.