Market highlights and 5 ASX small caps to watch on Wednesday – Stockhead

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Wall Street mixed, as iron ore and oil gain

The US stock market finished mixed, with energy being the main winner as oil prices rose.

The global oil-price benchmark hit a two-year high at US$70, after OPEC said it sees more oil demand this year.

The Dow Jones rose by 0.13%, but S&P 500 and tech heavy NASDAQ closed lower by 0.05% and 0.09% respectively.

Meanwhile, benchmark iron ore price rose by 5% overnight, and rebounded back to trade at $US208.67 a tonne.

It appears that China’s authorities are unable to keep iron ore prices down as global demand remains strong.

Bitcoin is trading at US$36,500 level at 8am AEDT, down slightly from around US$37,100 on Tuesday.

As reported by Stockhead, Bitcoiners can now swap BTC for Monero‘s (XMR) privacy coins without the need for a trusted intermediary, thanks to atomic swaps developed by an Australian team.

GDP numbers out today

The ABS will release the March quarter data today, with economists already revising up their forecast from 1.1 per cent to 1.5 per cent.

The upgrade comes after yesterday’s economic data showing that Australia’s current account surplus hitting a record high of $18.3 billion in the March quarter, following strong resources exports.

The Reserve Bank also announced yesterday that it was keeping the cash rate on hold, as was widely expected.

The ASX 200 meanwhile, closed 0.27 lower per cent lower on Tuesday, with Energy and Materials the only sectors to have risen.

In big cap news this morning, energy services company Worley (ASX:WOR) said it is on track for an improved second half, and cost savings run rate at $350 million by June 2022.

5 ASX small caps to watch today

PharmAust (ASX:PAA)
The clinical stage biotech company said that it has received ethics approval for Phase I trial of Monepantel for patients with motor neurone disease, and will now proceed with the trial.

Douugh (ASX:DOU)
The fintech company has formed a long term strategic partnership with OFX to offer foreign exchange services to customers. OFX will now become the exclusive FX partner for the Goodments by Douugh app, as well as offering a brokerage-free US investing app, which is set to be relaunched shortly.

Orbital Corp (ASX:OEC)
The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) specialist announced that it has delivered the first engine system to its Singapore defence customer. Orbital had earlier signed a MoU with one of Singapore’s largest defence companies for the design and production of multi-fuel engines UAVs.

Duratec (ASX:DUR)
The industrial contractor specialist said that as a result of recent wins, it has hit a record order book of $197m, and tendered works of $684m. It also said it has a pipeline of $2.3b in tangible opportunities.

SRG Global (ASX:SRG)
The engineering company announced that it has secured two specialist facades contracts in Infrastructure Construction and a structures contract in Defence totalling ~$50m. Facades project works include the installation of curtain wall facades in Melbourne and Adelaide, while the Defence contract includes structures work at the HMAS Stirling Facility in WA.

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