• The ASX is poised to track Wall Street and open higher on Tuesday
  • It’s a big week in financial markets with a raft of data releases due to be released
  • Binance CEO CZ is reportedly facing investigation in the US

The ASX is poised to open higher this morning in line with movements in New York. At 8am AEDT, the ASX 200 Dec futures contract was pointing up by 0.60%.

Overnight, Wall St began its week in a positive mood as investors await the all-crucial Fed’s monetary decision. At the close of Monday, the S&P 500 was up by 1.43%, the Dow Jones by 1.58%, and Nasdaq by 1.26%.

Microsoft rose 3% after announcing a partnership deal with the London Stock Exchange.

EV maker Rivian declined 6% after it scrapped an electric commercial van-making partnership with Mercedes-Benz.

While the Fed will be the headline act this week, there’s also an abundance of central bank meetings including the ECB, BoE, and SNB (Swiss National Bank), among others.

Not to mention some big-hitting economic releases like the US CPI on Tuesday (US time), which will lay the groundwork for the rate decision and, more importantly, the forecasts.

The market is expecting another inflation decline for November, with headline CPI estimated at 7.3% and core CPI at 6%.

“This week will set the scene for 2023, which in itself will no doubt have plenty of surprises in store, and hopefully leave everyone with a slightly better idea of how much worse things will get,” said OANDA analyst Craig Erlam.

Crude prices rose 3.5% overnight on hopes China’s demand situation will quickly improve, and on concerns that supplies will be kept tight by both Russia and OPEC.

Gold remains volatile ahead of the inflation data and Fed decision, trading at US$1,1781 an ounce. Iron ore slumped 2% to US$110.25 a tonne.

Bitcoin traded flattish in the last 24 hours to change hands at US$17,182.

Binance is reportedly facing investigations in the US, and according to a recent article by Reuters, US federal prosecutors have gathered enough evidence to bring criminal charges against Binance CEO, CZ (Changpeng Zhao).

Binance has denied the allegation and hit back at the Reuters report, tweeting:

Reuters has it wrong again.

Now they’re attacking our incredible law enforcement team. A team that we’re incredibly proud of – they’ve made crypto more secure for all of us.

Here’s the full statement we sent the reporter and a blog about our remarkable law enforcement team.

— Binance (@binance) December 12, 2022

Looking ahead at today’s session, Westpac and Melbourne Institute Monthly consumer confidence for December is scheduled.

5 ASX small caps to watch today

Pacific Edge (ASX:PEB)

Pacific announced the acceptance for publication of new clinical evidence that shows significant improvements in the performance of its genomic diagnostic Cxbladder tests. The results of the study are to be published in the prestigious American Urological Association (AUA) Journal of Urology.

Galena Mining (ASX:G1A)

Construction progress at Galena’s Abra Base Metals Mine in WA has reached 97% completion as of 30 November. Ore currently being mined from underground is being stockpiled in readiness for processing to begin in January. Concentrate production will also commence in January.

Strategic Elements (ASX:SOR)

SOR says its 100% owned Australian Advanced Materials (AAM) and The University of New South Wales have signed an agreement for a $1.6 million project to develop a next-generation power source that can directly generate electricity from moisture in the air for wearable electronics. The ‘Energy Ink’ technology is still in early development, and the fundamental upper limit of aspects such as maximum power output, duration and energy density remains unknown.

Critical Resources (ASX:CRR)

Assay results from 30 drill holes at the Mavis Lake Lithium Project in Ontario Canada have confirmed significant lithium mineralisation, extending the known lithium mineralised strike length by 550m (total length confirmed at 1,300m). Assay results include: 7.1m @ 1.23% Li2O from 13.35m downhole, and 7.6m @ 1.30% Li2O from 135m downhole.

Lightning Minerals (ASX:L1M)

Lightning says multiple pegmatite intrusion outcrops have been identified during a recent site visit. Rock chip samples have been sent for assay, while soil sampling campaign and geophysics interpretation are underway. The company says multiple geological targets have formed the basis of early-stage work program.