• The ASX is set to rise today after a seesaw session on Wall Street
  • Fed Chairman Jerome Powell spoke to David Rubenstein
  • Medibank Private was hit by a class action lawsuit

The ASX is set to open higher after some wild swings in New York. At 8am AEDT, the ASX 200 Feb futures contract was pointing up by 0.20%.

Overnight, Wall Street initially rallied, pared gains and rallied some more as traders were divided whether the Fed could refrain from being hawkish again.

The S&P 500 ended the day higher by 1.15%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq by +1.68%.

Powell’s talk with David Rubenstein didn’t reveal anything new, but it was deemed as a missed opportunity as he could have pushed back on what the market is pricing in.

“If the job situation remains very hot, it may well be the case that we have to do more,” Powell said.

Asked by Rubenstein if he should have raised rates by 50bp instead of 25bp last week, Powell said, “We don’t get to play it that way, unfortunately.”

In stock news, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella officially announced that search engine Bing is about to be integrated with ChatGPT.

“It’s a new day for search… The race starts today,” Nadella said at a launch event.

British energy giant BP’s profit more than doubled to a record $US27.7bn last year, thanks to soaring oil and gas prices.

Back home, Medibank Private (ASX:MPL) announced after the bell last night that it was facing a class action filed in the Federal Court over the cybercrime event.

The lawsuit was brought on behalf of customers, and included allegations of breach of contract and contraventions of the Australian Consumer Law.

Oil prices surged by over 4% last night as many energy traders are still trying to figure out how robust China’s reopening will be this quarter.

Gold is still stuck between the US$1875 and US$1890 range, but if next week’s US inflation is somewhat hot, it could see downward momentum accelerate.

“The risks of two or three rate hikes remain on the table and that should keep gold somewhat grounded,” said OANDA analyst, Edward Moya.

Iron ore was down -1.9% to $US120.95 a tonne, while Bitcoin rose 1% in the last 24 hours to US$23,213.

The UK government is reportedly imposing a limit of £10,000 to £20,000 for holdings of a new digital currency once it comes into existence, said an offical of the Bank of England (BoE).

The BoE has set out a plan to introduce a new central bank digital currency (CBDC), which will be called “digital pound” and is expected to be launched this decade.


5 ASX small caps to watch today

Good Drinks Australia (ASX:GDA)
For the half, GDA doubled its retail market share to 2.6% of the total beer market. Unaudited group revenue was $59.2m, up 80% on pcp. Unaudited group EBITDA was $6.1 million, a strong result given softer macro-economic conditions. Its own brand sales grew 12%, outperforming the beer market.

Lord Resources (ASX:LRD)
Geochemical anomalies have further defined significant lithium potential at the Horse Rocks Lithium Project. Peak assay of 0.15% lithium oxide (Li2O) within surface soil sample was recorded. A high of 2.54% Li2O has been returned from the rock sample program.

Invion (ASX:IVX)
Invion has expanded its Photosoft technology territory to include the US, Canada and Hong Kong. Invion signed an agreement with RMW Cho Group for the co-development of the Photosoft technology in relation to infectious diseases. Invion will then gain exclusive distribution rights in those countries.

Dreadnought Resources (ASX:DRE)
Dreadnought’s 100% owned Bresnahan prospect area in WA is emerging as an unconformity light and heavy rare earth province. The heavy rare earth (HREE) results and associated P, Sr and Ba pathfinders are similar to those seen at the unconformity HREE Browns Range deposits owned by Northern Minerals (ASX:NTU). Dreadnought controls >3,700sqkm of prospective ground at Bresnahan.

Prophecy International (ASX: PRO)
The developer of business software reported unaudited $9m revenue in the first half, a record half for the company and up 18.4% on pcp. Annualised recurring revenue (ARR) grew to $20.6 million, a 33% on pcp.