• The ASX is set to open higher after a strong rally on Wall Street
  • Tech companies surged, led by Meta, Amazon and Intel
  • US economy grew less than expected


The ASX is poised to open higher on Friday, boosted by strong gains in New York. At 8am AEST, the ASX 200 May futures contract was pointing up by 0.80%.

Overnight, Wall Street rallied as mega tech stocks surged on earnings, and fears of a banking meltdown contagion eased.

The S&P 500 closed 2% higher, the Dow by 1.5% and tech-heavy Nasdaq by 2.5%.

Meta surged by 14% following its better than expected Q1 results announced after the bell yesterday.

Amazon rose 5% but then slipped 0.5% after hours when the company reported better-than-expected quarterly sales and operating income, buoyed by its cloud computing and advertising businesses.

Intel rocketed by almost 7% post-trading after reporting a smaller quarterly loss than expected, despite it being the biggest ever quarterly loss.

All other US big tech companies also rallied, with Tesla, Apple and Microsoft showing gains of 3-4%.

Over the Atlantic, UK oil giant BP faced down activist shareholders last night over the decision to slow its energy transition.

“2050 is far too late. You need to take action now. It’s not good enough,” one demonstrator shouted out, disrupting the speech of board chairman Helge Lund.


US GDP weak, inflation still too high

Meanwhile, the US economy grew less than expected in the March quarter, and inflation remains higher than the US Fed Reserve likes – according to data published overnight.

US GDP rose by only 1.1% annually in the first quarter; less than the 1.9% expected.

The Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge, the PCE, came in at 4.9%, higher than the 4.4% expected.

US government bond yields lifted after the release, as investors weighed the data against a coming showdown over the US debt ceiling.

Elsewhere, New York City’s mass-transit system won’t be providing real-time service alerts on Twitter for subway, train and bus riders anymore after Twitter asked the MTA to pay US$50,000 a month to continue accessing Twitter’s API.

In other markets, crude prices rose 0.75%, with WTI trading at US$74.80 a barrel.

Oil prices rose despite Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak saying that OPEC+ does not see the need for further oil output cuts.

Bitcoin surged 4% in the past 24 hours to US$29,606.

Cypto markets had suffered from a minor heart attack earlier when rumours surfaced that Mt Gox and the US Government wallets had allegedly moved large amounts of Bitcoin.

Now read: Mooners and Shakers: Bitcoin hits $30k, then plunges 7pc on Mt Gox false alarm… then pumps again

Looking ahead to today, we expect to see the release of the Australian private sector credit, as well as the Producer Price Index (PPI) reports.


5 ASX small caps to watch today

Megaport (ASX:MP1)
Megaport has released a new guidance for FY23 and FY24. The company said that as a result of various initiatives designed to improve its operating and financial performance, it now expects Normalised EBITDA to be materially above market consensus of $9m in FY23 and $30m in FY24. Megaport is expecting to report Normalised EBITDA in FY23 in the range of $16m to $18m, and Normalised EBITDA in FY24 in the range of $41m to $46m.

Exopharm (ASX:EX1)
Exopharm has achieved early-stage success with its in-house Elastin program. The company has managed to produce prototype exosome (extracellular vesicle [EV]) products containing Elastin Messenger Ribonucleic Acid (ELN-mRNA-EV) using a number of its proprietary manufacturing technologies. With this prototype, Exopharm has practically demonstrated in vitro exosome-mediated delivery of functional elastin mRNA.

Javelin Minerals (ASX:JAV)
Javelin says its drilling contractor has now commenced a further 18 aircore drill holes at the Malamute rare earths, precious and battery metals project near Tottenham in central New South Wales. The new aircore drilling is a follow up to an earlier drilling programme carried out by the company in 2019, when 40 aircore holes were drilled for a total of 2,088m.

Black Cat Syndicate (ASX:BC8)
Ongoing extensional drilling, targeting the Gabbro Veins in the mid-levels of the mine, continues to demonstrate the resource growth potential. New significant assays include: 0.37m @ 16.50g/t Au from 157.61m, and 0.58m @ 20.83g/t Au from 156.07m.

PharmAust (ASX:PAA)
PharmAust says its Phase 1/2 MND trial was successfully completed for the second patient cohort. All MND patients have well-tolerated Monepantel (MPL) at the first and second dosing levels. All 12 trial patients have elected to continue on MPL treatment. PharmAust will now continue with MPL dose escalation for Cohorts 3 and 4 to determine the optimum dose for a Phase 2 trial.


At Stockhead we tell it like it is. While PharmAust and Black Cat Syndicate are Stockhead advertisers, they did not sponsor this article.