• ASX extends gains on Tuesday
  • Wall Street rallied after traders sifted through Fed’s comments
  • The RBA to make rates decision today at 2.30pm AEST


Aussie shares are poised to extend gains on Tuesday after another good run in New York last night. At 8am AEST, the ASX200 futures contract was pointing up by +0.5%.

Wall Street rallied strongly in the final minutes of trading on the back of rate cuts hope.

The S&P 500 rose by +1.03%, the blue chips Dow Jones index was up by +0.46%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq surged ahead by +1.19%.

After Jerome Powell’s dovish remarks last week, investors sifted through comments from a bunch of Fed officials speaking overnight.

Thomas Barkin from the Fed Bank of Richmond reckons keeping rates high will ease the economy and bring down inflation to the 2% mark. He adds that the current Fed rate, which has been at 5.25% to 5.5% since July, is enough to do the job.

John Williams from New York’s Fed said rate cuts are in the cards eventually, but the timing hinges on all the data together.

To stocks, Boeing took a dip of around -1% after the Federal Aviation Administration said it was looking into Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner again. This comes after Boeing told them last month that it might have missed some inspections.

Micron Tech and Nvidia were among the big winners on the Nasdaq 100, scoring gains of +4.7% and +3.77% respectively.

About 80% of the companies in the S&P 500 have now released their quarterly reports.

According to FactSet, the benchmark index is on track for a 5% boost in Q1 earnings per share. That’s the largest jump since Q2 of 2022, even higher than the 3.2% growth analysts had expected prior to the start of the earnings season.

Meanwhile, the RBA will hand down its rates decision at 2.30pm AEST today. The consensus is for the central bank to hold the cash rate steady at a 12-year high of 4.35%.


Oil still nudging up

Oil prices gained almost 1% overnight, with Brent crude trading at US$83.65 a barrel.

Crude nudged up even after Hamas said they agreed to a cease-fire proposal by Qatar and Egypt. It seems traders are holding off until Israel confirms that news before making moves.

“Over US$7 of geopolitical risk premium has been unwound over the past two weeks as the conflict avoided additional escalation,” Rebecca Babin down at CIBC Private Wealth told Bloomberg.

Oil’s been on the rise by almost 10% this year, partly thanks to the ongoing conflict in Israel and Gaza.

But one big reason is the disruptions to shipping in the Red Sea, as the route usually handles about 15% of all global trade.


In other markets …

Gold price rose by +1% to US$2,324.92 an ounce.

Oil prices rose around +0.8%, with Brent crude now trading at US$83.59 a barrel.

The benchmark 10-year US Treasury yield was down 2 basis points (bond prices higher) to 4.48%.

The Aussie dollar keeps climbing, surging further by +0.2% to US66.26 cents.

Bitcoin meanwhile was down -0.5% in the last 24 hours to US$63,485.


5 ASX small caps to watch today

SKS Technologies (ASX:SKS)
SKS has secured several major contracts for a range of electrical and communications infrastructure projects at the Australian Defence Force’s RAAF Base Tindal in the Northern Territory. The combined value of the projects is approximately $11 million.

Adavale Resources (ASX:ADD)
Adavale says it has further expanded its uranium portfolio in South Australia after a deal with Coast Exploration to acquire 100% interest on EL6890. The exploration license covers 599km2 and is strategically significant, being contiguous to Adavale’s existing Mundowdna and Lake Surprise project areas.

Recce Pharmaceuticals (ASX:RCE)
Recce revealed that the China has formally granted a new Patent Family 2 for Recce’s anti-infectives “Copolymer and Method for Treatment of Bacterial Infection, with expiry of 2035. This is the final of Recce’s wholly owned patents granted for Family 2, with the company now patent-protected in all major pharmaceutical markets globally.

White Cliff Minerals (ASX:WCN)
White Cliff has been granted all federal licences for its Radium Point Uranium-Copper-Gold- Silver Project. The project is situated on Great Bear Lake in the Canada’s Northwest Territories. WCN also said that exploratory drilling has been wrapped up at White Cliff’s 100%-owned Reedy South Gold Project in the Cue Goldfields region of Western Australia.

ikeGPS Group (ASX:IKE)
Five new IKE PoleForeman subscription agreements are being put in place with major US electric utilities, with an expected Total Contract Value (TCV) of ~NZ$4m, and Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) of NZ$1.3M. Since the launch of this next-gen product in late 2023, the company has added TCV of more than NZ$12m, representing ~NZ$4m of ARR.


At Stockhead we tell it like it is. While White Cliff Minerals is a Stockhead advertiser, it did not sponsor this article.