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Morning Bell 18 June

Bell Direct
June 18, 2024

Wall Street started the new trading week in record territory for the Nasdaq and S&P500 driven by market optimism around the AI movement and ahead of the Fed officials’ speeches later this week which could shine light on the rate cut outlook. The S&P500 ended the day up 0.77% at a record high 5473.23 points, while the Nasdaq soared to a close up 0.95% at 17,857.02 and the Dow added 0.5% to close at 38,778 snapping a four-session losing streak.

European markets closely mostly higher on Monday despite instability on a political front across a number of regions and against a clouded economic backdrop leaving investors questioning the direction of rate and inflation outlook across Europe. The STOXX600 rose 0.12% on Monday, while France’s CAC returned to positive territory ending the day up 0.9% after mixed reactions to the possibility of a political victory for the country’s far-right national party in the country’s upcoming election. In Germany the DAX rose 0.37% on Monday and, in the UK, the FTSE100 ended the down just 0.06%.

The Asia region it was all eyes on China yesterday with a slew of economic data painting a mixed economic picture out of the world’s second-largest economy’s recovery post-pandemic. China’s CSI index fell 0.15% on Monday, while Japan’s Nikkei tumbled 1.83% on a slide in energy stocks, and South Korea’s Kospi index fell 0.52% at the closing bell.

Locally on Monday, the ASX200 started the new trading week down 0.31% as a sell-off in tech and energy stocks weighed on the key index. Disappointing economic data out of China weighed on investor sentiment around the big miners yesterday while investors also fled tech stocks around concerns over the outlook of interest rates which will be announced by the RBA later this afternoon.

ANZ-Indeed data out yesterday showed Australian job advertisements fell 2.1% in May which at first glance appears supportive of a slight loosening of the country’s tight labour market, however, this slight decline keeps the job ads data 20% above pre-pandemic levels indicating the labour market remains tight, especially following the nation’s unemployment rate falling to 4% in data out last week.

What to watch today:

  • Gold miners rallied yesterday on a rise in the price of the precious commodity as investors hold high hopes that the Fed will cut rates soon.
  • Shares in wagering giant Tabcorp rallied on Monday after the company announced former AFL CEO, Gillon McLachlan will step in as Tab’s new Chief Executive from early August.
  • On the commodities front this morning, oil is trading 2.61% higher at US$80.48/barrel, gold is down just over half a percent at US$2320/ounce and iron ore is up just 0.2% at US$107.33/tonne.
    • Iron ore prices have jumped overnight after China’s crude steel demand jumped 8.1% in May from April indicating recovering demand in the world’s second largest economy which is a much-needed boost to the outlook for exports from Australia’s biggest iron ore miners. While this was a key step forward for the country’s post-pandemic recovery, China’s new home price data also out yesterday indicated new home prices fell at the fastest pace in more than 9 years in May, painting a further dire picture of the economy’s struggling property sector.
  • Taking a look at the Aussie dollar, 1 AUD is buying 66 US cents, 104.31 Japanese Yen, 52.05 British Pence and 1 New Zealand dollar and 8 cents.
  • The highly anticipated RBA rate announcement will be handed down this afternoon where it is widely expected Australia’s central bank will maintain the current cash rate of 4.35% for the next period, however, we are likely to see investors and markets react to commentary out of the RBA that indicates the rate outlook and a timeline to cuts.
  • Ahead of the local trading session here in Australia the SPI futures are expecting the ASX to open the day up 0.38% tracking Wall Street’s rally overnight.

Trading Idea:

  • Bell Potter has significantly decreased the 12-month price target on Australian Vintage (ASX:AVG) from 41 cents per share to 21 cents per share and maintain a hold rating on the wine producer following the release of a softer-than-expected trading update and subsequent equity raising out of the company.

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