• ASX looks set rise after mixed session on Wall street overnight
  • Momentum in the tech sector wanes; Tesla cops a downgrade
  • Oil prices rise, iron ore under pressure and copper prices surge 

The ASX looks set to rise on Thursday morning.

The S&P/ASX200 index futures contract was pointing up  22 points to 7759 points.  The benchmark closed 16.90 points or 0.22% to 7,729.40 higher on Wednesday.

Overnight on Wall Street,  the Dow Jones Industrial average was up 0.1%, while the S&P 500 closed 0.2% lower and the technology-focused NASDAQ composite fell 0.5%.

It was the first full session since the release of hotter-than expected US inflation figures on Tuesday.

According to the latest US CPI figures headline inflation had a monthly gain of 0.4% in February and 3.2% over the prior year, slightly up from a 0.3% rise in January and 3.1% annual gain and higher than forecast.

Core CPI – which takes out food and energy prices –  came in with a 0.4% uptick on the month and 3.1% gain on the year.

Investors remain vigilant as to when the US Fed will cut rates.

In an interview with Fox US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says inflation could take a bumpy return to the 2% target after after back-to-back reports show that price pressures within the US economy rebounded at the start of the year.

“I wouldn’t expect this to be a smooth path month to month, but the trend is clearly favourable (sic),” she says.

“That said, President Biden’s top priority is addressing the issue of high costs that concerns so many Americans.”

Momentum in the technology sector waned overnight. AI darling of the century, chipmaker Nvidia (NVDA) saw its share price fall 1% overnight, while Facebook’s parent company Meta (META) lost 0.8% and Apple (APPL) continued rotting losing another 1.2%.

Tesla (TSLA) dropped 4.5% decline following a downgrade by Wells Fargo to underweight and a reduction in its price target from US$200 to $120.

There’s concerns about the electric vehicle maker’s ability to achieve sales growth in 2024, particularly with profit margins being squeezed due to price reductions in multiple markets.

Dollar Tree (DLTR) fell 14% to be the worst poorest-performing stock in the S&P 500, with the discount retailer reporting fourth-quarter results below expectations and revealing plans to shutter 1,000 stores.

McDonald’s (MCD) dropped 4% after the fast-food giant warned lower-income consumers are spending less on dining out.

In other news out of the US ban TikTok is facing a national ban unless its splits from its Chinese parent company.

Following concerns about TikTok’s potential security threats, Republicans in the House of Reps sided with Democrats on to pass a contentious bill that would compel the platform’s Chinese-based owner ByteDance to sell to a non-Chinese entity or risk being banned nationally.

Overnight, the UK’s blue-chip index the FTSE 100 climbed 0.32% to 7,772.17 points after strong gains from some of the index’s mining giants.

Oil prices rise, iron ore under pressure, copper surges

Oil prices are up due to disruptions in production at several significant oil refineries in Russia, triggered by drone attacks from Ukraine, according to reports. 

Brent crude is at $US84.03/barrel and the US WTI is at $US79.73/barrel.

Iron ore prices are continuing to come under pressure as Chinese steel mills look to reduce production levels in response to a worldwide glut and deteriorating property market.

According to data released by the China Steel Network Information Research Institute, 11 major steel mills reduced their prices, while seven maintained their prices unchanged.

Chinese officials are also showing signs of being hesitant to help further bail out its struggling property market, the largest steel consumer, which has been hit hard by a debt crisis.

Iron ore prices are around six months lows with the commodity currently trading at US$111/tonne.

Copper prices surged to their peak in seven months following a deal among Chinese smelters, who account for half of the world’s mined copper, to collectively reduce production.

The copper price is up 2.94% to US$4.04/ounce.

Gold is up 0.62% to US$2,172.48/ounce.

The US 10-year bond yield is near 4.192%

Bitcoin is also continuing its strong recent rally and is up 3% in the past 24 hours to US$73,341.76.

The Aussie dollar is trading around US66.23 cents.


Shares to watch on Thursday

Cyprium Metals (ASX:CYM)

As the price of copper rises CYM says the measured and indicated mineral resource at its flagship asset the
Nifty Copper Mine in Western Australia has grown to 119mt at 0.84% pct Cu for 1 million tonnes contained copper with potential to further enhance mineral resource from existing mineralised heap leach inventory.

CYM says updated mineral resource estimate incorporates past underground modelling of Nifty in detail and supports plans for a large-scale, open-cut mine with 95% of global resource now measured and indicated.

Torque Metals Limited (ASX: TOR)

TOR says results from its reverse circulation and diamond drill campaign at the New Dawn Lithium Project 600m west of
Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) Bald Hill Lithium Tantalum mine have shown a peak grade of 4.42% Li2O with multiple, lithium mineralised pegmatites in vertically stacked patterns, collectively up to 28.8m thick (hole 24NDDD009).

Race Oncology (ASX:RAC)

RAC says Associate Professor Erin Howden of the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne will join its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). Howden has published more than 100 scientific publications on numerous topics, including the serious adverse effects that chemotherapy has on the cardiovascular fitness of cancer patients.

At Stockhead, we tell it like it is. While Race Oncology and AdAlta are Stockhead advertisers, they did not sponsor this article.