Market Highlights and 5 ASX Small Caps to Watch on Wednesday

  • Wall Street fell overnight on comments from the US Fed
  • Fed Governor Lael Brainard says the Fed will start shrinking the Fed’s balance sheet in May
  • The bond market was also liquidated

ASX will slip as Wall Street tumbles

Local stocks are set to fall today, with ASX 200 April futures pointing down 1% at 8:00 am AEDT.

On Wall Street, tech stocks were routed amid comments from Fed Governor (not Chairman) Lael Brainard, who said curbing inflation was paramount for the Fed.

She added that the FOMC would continue to raise rates and start shrinking the Fed’s balance sheet (stopping bond purchases) as early as May.

His comments struck a similar tone in Australia, where inflation and soaring wages could prompt the RBA to raise rates as early as June.

All major US stock markets fell on the news – the Nasdaq fell 2.24%, the S&P 1.26% and the Dow Jones 0.80%.

But Twitter rose another 2% as the company announced it would offer Elon Musk, who just took a 9.2% stake, a seat on its board.

The bond market also sold off on Fed comments, with benchmark 10-year US Treasury yields hitting 2.55%.

Bitcoin slid to $45,906 as of 8:30 a.m. AEDT, from the US$46,000 level yesterday.

5 ASX Small Caps to Watch Today

Ventia Services (ASX:VNT)
Ventia has been awarded a two-year contract extension by the Commonwealth Government to provide rental and facility management services to 39 government entities at over 650 properties. The contract extension runs from July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2024 and is expected to generate approximately $270 million in revenue for Ventia.

Argosy Minerals (ASX:AGY)
Argosy has begun seismic survey work at the Tonopah Lithium project located in Nevada. Next stage exploration work will include drilling the lithium brine targets, to determine the lithium brine potential expected later in 2022.

Calidus Resources (ASX: CAI)
Calidus said commissioning is progressing well on its wholly owned Warrawoona gold project in the Pilbara. The SAG mill is now ready for ore commissioning, and milling will begin by the end of the month with the first gold pouring approximately two weeks later.

MMA Offshore (ASX: MRM)
MMA said it has completed the sale of two other ships, the Mermaid Vigilance and the MMA Chieftain for total proceeds of $5.5 million. Proceeds of approximately $7.3 million will be used to repay debt, further reducing the company’s indebtedness.

Alcidion Group (ASX:ALC)
ALC has signed a five-year agreement with East Lancashire Hospitals in the UK to implement Miya Precision’s Miya Flow module. The total contract value (TCV) will be approximately $1.43 million over five years.

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