• ASX200 to open higher on Thursday, tracking Wall Street’s gains
  • Apple wins court victory to pause the US government import ban
  • The implications for chatbots as New York Times sues OpenAI


Aussie shares are poised to open higher on Thursday, tracking movements on Wall Street. At 8am AEDT, the ASX 200 index futures was pointing up by +0.3%.

In New York overnight, the S&P 500 failed to reset its record high, even as it rose by +0.14%. The blue chips Dow Jones index was up by +0.30%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq lifted by +0.16%.

“As we start 2024, markets will need to see new, positive catalysts to send the S&P 500 to new all-time highs,” said  Tom Essaye, the founder of The Sevens Report newsletter.

The yield on the benchmark US 10-year Treasury yield tumbled by 11 basis points to 3.79% as bond traders weighed the outlook for monetary policy in the coming year.

To stocks, Tesla rose by almost 2% after Bloomberg reported that the EV giant was planning to start production of its Model Y from its Shanghai plant, with mass production potentially starting as soon as mid-2024.

The New York Times (NYT) rose almost 3% and Microsoft fell -0.15% after the former  sued the latter and OpenAI for copyright infringement. The NYT claimed that its contents were used to train generative artificial intelligence and large-language model systems (see more below).

Meanwhile, Apple traded flat despite scoring a victory in the Courts to pause the US government import ban on some of its popular Apple smartwatches following a patent dispute with medical-technology firm Masimo. Masimo fell -4.5% on the news.


The implications for chatbots as NYT goes after OpenAI

The New York Times has sued Microsoft Corp. and OpenAI Inc. for using its content to help develop AI services.

The NYT claimed that Open AI’s technology relied on its ‘copyrighted articles’ to train chatbots and ChatGPT, causing billions of dollars in statutory and actual damages.

This is the first lawsuit by a major media organisation challenging the practice of large language model systems in scraping large swathes of texts from the web.

Experts say if the Times wins, the implications for OpenAI and chatbots in general could be severe.

“A court could order ChatGPT’s dataset rebuilt from scratch without Times content,” said Sunil Ramlochan, an AI expert at Prompt Engineering Institute.

“OpenAI also risks huge fines – up to $150,000 per infringing article. This would deliver a massive financial and technical blow to OpenAI.”

“Ultimately, if the Times succeeds, the precedent could severely restrict AI progress.

“Courts may limit training data to authorised sources only. This could stifle dataset diversity and accessibility that fuels cutting-edge AI. The Times case represents a key debate over AI and copyright,” said Ramlochan.


In other markets …

Gold price rose by +0.5% to US$2,076.79 an ounce.

Oil prices was lower by -2%, with Brent now trading at US$79.30 a barrel.

The benchmark 10-year US Treasury yield fell 11 basis point (bond prices higher) to 3.79%.

Iron ore futures lifted +0.25% to US$136.07 a tonne.

The Aussie dollar climbed +0.4% to US68.25c.

Meanwhile, Bitcoin recovered by +2.5% in the last 24 hours to US$43,367 amid renewed speculation the US SEC will soon approve an exchange-traded fund investing directly in the biggest token.


3 ASX small caps to watch today

Astron Corporation (ASX:ATR)
Mineral sand processing company, Astron, announced that it has entered into a non-binding MoU with Energy Fuels (USA) Inc to jointly develop the Donald Rare Earths and Mineral Sands Project, a critical minerals resource located in the Wimmera Region of Victoria. The MoU predicts that the Venture will initially consist of operations to mine 7.5 million tonnes per year of ore to produce approximately 200,000 to 250,000 tonnes per year of heavy mineral concentrate, and approximately 7,000 to 8,000 tonnes per year of rare earth element concentrate.

Deep Yellow (ASX:DYL)
DYL said that the follow-up drill program at its Barking Gecko prospect on EPL3669 started in September has been completed. The program included eight reverse circulation (RC) holes totalling 1,558m. Results include: 9m at 382ppm eU3O8 from 203m at TN294RC, and 3m at 260ppm eU3O8 from 64m at TN297RC.

First Lithium (ASX:FL1)
FL1 announced analytical results1from an additional four outcrop sample channel cut lines at the priority lithium prospect Blakala, located on the Gouna Permit in Mali. The new analytical results validate the Eastern and Western Pegmatites as additional high grade and wide spodumene mineralised and mapped targets. Results include: 1.94% Li₂O over 19.0m from BCH06, and 1.87% Li₂O over 18.0m from BCH05.


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