• ASX to bounce back, in line with Wall Street
  • Fedspeak breathes life back to the markets
  • The future of Bitcoin is on trial


The ASX is poised bounce back on Wednesday in line with Wall Street. At 8am AEDT, the ASX 200 index futures contract was pointing up by +0.7%.

Overnight, the S&P 500 rose by +0.23%. The blue chips Dow Jones index was up by +0.37%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq lifted by +0.1%.

Traders parsed through comments from Fed Reserve Bank of Cleveland president Loretta Mester, who cautioned against lowering rates too soon.

“It would be a mistake to move rates down too soon or too quickly without sufficient evidence that inflation was on a sustainable and timely path back to 2%,” Mester said.

Her counterpart, Minneapolis Fed chief Neel Kashkari, said we’ve seen good progress on inflation, but “we’re not all the way there yet”.

To stocks, software company Palantir soared more than 30% after unveiling its artificial intelligence advancements.

Toyota jumped +5% as it raised full year profit guidance by 9%. Spotify was up +4% after reporting strong guidance and user growth in Q4.

Bond yields finally eased, with the 10 year treasury benchmark falling by 7.5 basis points last night.


The future of Bitcoin on trial

Meanwhile, one of the most important trials in the history of cryptocurrency began two days ago in a UK High Court.

The case will settle a long running debate over whether Brisbane born Craig Wright really is the man he claimed to be – Satoshi Nakamoto, inventor of Bitcoin.

In 2008, someone going by the name Satoshi Nakamoto published a white paper that laid the groundwork for Bitcoin.

But, by 2011, Nakamoto — whose real identity remained a secret — disappeared and it wasn’t until 2015 when Wright came forward, claiming to be the elusive Nakamoto himself.

The lawsuit was brought by the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA), a group of crypto tech funds, who hopes to stop Wright from claiming that the use of Bitcoin infringes on his intellectual property.

Wright, flanked by his legal team, appeared to lean back and was relaxed throughout the opening arguments.

But the lawsuit has major ramifications for the future of Bitcoin.

If the court finds that Wright is not Nakamoto, then Bitcoin can continue to exist as is.

But if he is indeed proved to be Nakamoto,  Wright could make it illegal for developers to use Bitcoin without his approval.



In other markets …

Gold price rebounded by +0.5% US$2,035.38 an ounce.

Oil prices lifted another +1%, with Brent now trading at US$78.68 a barrel.

The benchmark 10-year US Treasury yield eased by -7.5 basis points (bond prices higher) to 4.09%.

Iron ore futures slipped by -1% to US$125.00 a tonne.

The Aussie dollar bounced back by +0.6% to US65.22c after falling to US64c handle yesterday afternoon.

Meanwhile, Bitcoin was up +2% % in the last 24 hours to US$43,208.


5 ASX small caps to watch today

Adavale Resources (ASX:ADD)
Adavale said its uranium exploration program will commence soon. Notice of Entry has been submitted to native landholders for the initial uranium exploration of EL6821 and EL6957 in South Australia, where an extensive series of palaeochannels have been interpreted from satellite imagery. Ground surveys will proceed in mid-March 2024 following expiry of the 42 days statutory notification period.

DevEx Resources (ASX:DEV)
DEV says strong assay results have reinforced the growing scale of high-grade system at the Nabarlek Project, underpinning priority targets for the 2024 drill campaign. Additional high-grade uranium assays (U3O8) received from the 2023 drill campaign at Nabarlek include: 5.0m @ 0.54% (11.90 lbs/t) U3O8 from 257m, and 7.0m @ 0.37% (8.16 lbs/t) U3O8 from 81m.

Talga Group (ASX:TLG)
The battery materials and technology company announced the appointment of Martin Phillips as Talga Group CEO, bolstering its leadership as it executes on its Vittangi Anode Project and advances expansion plans. This appointment follows the recent bolstering of Talga’s Swedish board and European executive team with the appointment of former Swedish Minister of Employment and Gender Equality, Eva Nordmark, as a non-executive Director, and the appointment of Dr Anna Motta to the role of group CTO.

Mandrake Resources (ASX:MAN)
MAN says first-pass uranium exploration has been completed in highly prospective Lisbon Valley, Utah. The company’s 93,755-acre (~379km2) Utah Lithium Project occupies a significant proportion of the Lisbon Valley, the most significant uranium mining district in Utah. Sample results are due before the end of February.

Australasian Metals (ASX:A8G)
A8G has completed a three drillhole, reconnaissance diamond drill program of approximately 600m, at its 100% owned Mount Peake Project in the Northern Territory. The drill program was the result of being successfully awarded a grant of $95,185 under the Resource the Territory initiative.


At Stockhead we tell it like it is. While Adavale Resources is a Stockhead advertiser, it did not sponsor this article.