• The ASX will rise once again after softer than expected CPI in the US
  • Elon Musk announces new AI company
  • Cathie Wood’s ARK sold US$12 million worth of Coinbase shares


The ASX 200 index is set to open higher once again on Thursday, tracking movements in New York. At 8am AEST, the ASX 200 index futures was pointing up by +0.65%.

Overnight, the S&P 500 and tech heavy Nasdaq climbed by around 1% each as US headline inflation slid to a two-year low.

The headline CPI came in at 3% in June, down from 4% in May, and just one-third of what it was at the same time last year. It was also lower than what economists had predicted.

The soft number comes at a pivotal time when the Fed is at the end of its hiking cycle.

Goldman Sachs says the inflation report “is consistent with our view that Fed tightening is in its final innings”.

The bank says it sees a “final 25bp hike at the July FOMC meeting to 5.25%-5, followed by unchanged policy for the remainder of the year”.

The CBOE Volatility Index (or fear index) eased, while the AUD jumped to 68c vs the USD after the report.

To stock news, Nvidia rose 3.5% after rumours circled that SoftBank’s chip company Arm Ltd is in talks to bring in Nvidia as an anchor investor ahead of its proposed Nasdaq listing.

Other US chipmakers like Broadcom, VMWare and Marvel also rose.


Elon Musk announces new AI company

Elon Musk last night announced the formation of a new AI (artificial intelligence) company called xAI to compete with OpenAI.

According to its website, the goal of xAI is “to understand reality”, and also “to understand the true nature of the universe”.

The team at the company includes Musk, as well as execs from OpenAI itself, Google, and Microsoft.

It is unclear how much funding the company has, or what AI technology it will focus on.

In the past, Musk had said that AI developments should be paused, and that “what we need is TruthGPT”.

xAI’s team will be available for questions in a Twitter Spaces chat this Friday, according to the website.


In other markets …

Iron ore surged by over 3% overnight, trading at US$109 a tonne.

Crude oil prices also rebounded by almost 1.5%, with WTI trading at US$75.87 a barrel.

Crude is eying its best month so far since October last year as the market braces for anticipated supply cuts by top exporters Saudi Arabia and Russia starting in August.

Gold was up +1.3% to US$1,957.90 an ounce.

Bitcoin meanwhile was down by -0.65% in the last 24 hours to US$30,362.

Cathie Wood’s ARK has reportedly sold US$12 million worth of Coinbase shares as the stock surged to a near one-year high.

Coinbase shares had risen recently after the exchange announced a surveillance-sharing agreement with five spot Bitcoin ETF applicants.


5 ASX small caps to watch today

Midas Minerals (ASX:MM1)
Results have been received from 18 rock chip samples collected on MM1’s Greenbush and Barbara Lake Lithium Projects in Ontario, Canada. These include up to 3.82% Li2O at Greenbush project from in situ spodumene pegmatite. Spodumene was identified at Barbara Lake project for the first time with results up to 2.26% Li2O from detrital pegmatite, with all pegmatite samples favourably fractionated.

Quickstep Holdings (ASX:QHL)
Quickstep announced the selection of Wichita, Kansas as the preferred location for its first US engineering and manufacturing facility. This selection follows an extensive process conducted over the past eight months, which involved site identification (examining more than 20 US locations), competitive expressions of interest for shortlisted sites and final offers from state economic development agencies.

Incannex Healthcare (ASX:IHL)
Incannex has received HREC (ethics) Approval for Phase 2 Clinical Trial assessing IHL-675A for use in the treatment of pain and function in rheumatoid arthritis. The Phase 2 trial follows a successful Phase 1 trial where IHL-675A was observed to be well tolerated. Incannex says results from Phase 2 will contribute to the combination rule assessment in a 505(b)2 new drug application dossier with the FDA.

Southern Hemisphere Mining (ASX:SUH)
Work has commenced on the new Lago Lithium Brine concessions. The Lago Lithium Project includes nine concessions covering an area of approximately 27km2, located near two of the largest lithium operators, SQM and Albemarle, in the renowned lithium-rich Atacama region of Chile. An expert Chilean geological consultant has been engaged and work has already commenced.

International Graphite (ASX:IG6)
Bulk pilot scale metallurgical testing is underway on ore from the Springdale Graphite Project. Around 100kg of graphite concentrate will be produced from the 1.5 tonne of sample material. Results from the bulk testwork will add important data to IG6’s Springdale concentrator plant design.


At Stockhead we tell it like it is. While International Graphite and Incannex Healthcare are Stockhead advertisers, they did not sponsor this article.