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Closing Bell 19 January

Grady Wulff
January 19, 2023

The local market took no lead from Wall St overnight, closing Thursday’s session 0.57% higher on the release of softer than expected jobs data out for December. Materials stocks led the gains today, as investors piled back into the sector following a few sessions of selling out earlier in the week, while tech stocks were sold off today.

In economic data out today, Australia’s jobs data for December was revealed and was vastly different to the figures economists were expecting. For the month, Australia’s economy lost 14,644 jobs and the unemployment rate rose to 3.5%, compared to the expected plateau of 3.4% jobless rate and the adding of 22,500 jobs. The softer-than-expected jobs data fuelled the rally locally today as interest rate hike fears cooled and economies begin showing signs of slowing down globally.

Nanosonics (ASX:NAN) soared 8% today after releasing a first half trading update including total revenue increasing 35% YoY to $81.6m, gross profit up 39% to $64.4m and global installed base rose to 31,120 units. The company is starting to see benefits of its recent sales model switch in the US to an in-house model from a distributor model. Netwealth (ASX:NWL) shares on the other hand were sharply sold off today after the company released a quarterly update including a significant slowdown in net inflows, down 42% on the PCP to $$2.087bn.

The winning stocks for today were led by Nanosonics (ASX:NAN) rallying over 8%, Viva Energy (ASX:VEA) adding 4.74% and Pexa Group (ASX:PXA) lifting 3.77%. And on the losing end of the market, Netwealth Group (ASX:NWL) fell 9.19%, Novonix (ASX:NVX) lost 7.27% and Alumina (ASX:AWC) shed 6.76%.

The most traded stocks by Bell Direct clients today were Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO), BHP Group (ASX:BHP) and Allkem (ASX:AKE).

Oil has taken a hit today on increased recession fears following disappointing US retail data for December showing US retail sales declined more than expected and producer prices fell the most since April 2020. As a result of the renewed recession fears, oil traded at US$79/barrel today. Iron ore is trading 2.07% higher at US$123/tonne and gold has also rebounded to trade 0.35% higher at US$1910.34/ounce.

The Aussie dollar is buying US$0.69, 88.38 Japanese Yen, 56.51 British Pence and NZ$1.08.

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