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Morning Bell 1 December

Sophia Mavridis
December 1, 2021

Yesterday morning, Australian shares made an impressive rebound, rising 1.3% at its highest level of the session, however soon after started to decline and closed with a smaller gain of 0.2%. Selling began off the back of reports from the CEO of Moderna, who told the press yesterday that existing vaccines will struggle against the new omicron COVID-19 variant. This saw the US futures for last night decline and Aussie shares drop as well. By close of trade, communications services advanced the most, up 1.8%. This was followed by real estate and consumer staples. Meanwhile utilities declined the most, down 1.2%.

Collins Foods (ASX:CKF) gained 12.6% off the back of reporting its half-year results. The KFC owner delivered a 9.5% increase in revenue to a record $534.2 million, and a 31.6% increase in underlying NPAT to $28.9 million. CKF also reported a fully ranked interim dividend up 14% to 12 cps. The worst performing stock of the day was St Barbara (ASX:SBM), and other gold miners such as Perseus Mining (ASX:PRU) and Regis Resources (ASX:RRL) also declined.

In US equities, all three major benchmarks closed lower, after Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell said the central bank will discuss speeding up the bond-buying taper at its December meeting. The Dow dropped 650 points, the S&P 500 down 1.9% and the tech heavy Nasdaq down 1.6%.

Taking direction from the broad sell off in New York, the ASX200 is set to open lower, with the SPI futures suggesting a drop of 0.5%.

What to watch today:

  • Economic data out today includes Manufacturing PMI for November, as well as third quarter GDP, which will be released at 11:30am AEDT.
  • As US investors repositioned for a faster taper by the US Central Bank, oil, gold and iron ore all fell. The oil price is down 4.5%, trading at US$66 a barrel. The gold price is trading at just below US$1,775 an ounce as the dollar index and yields reversed early losses. And the seaborne iron ore price is now slightly higher at US$94 a tonne.
  • Now around 20 stocks and ETFs are set to go ex-dividend today, which often sees shares fall. Some include Aristocrat Leisure (ASX:ALL), Incitec Pivot (ASX:IPL) and United Malt Group (ASX:UMG).

Trading ideas:

  • Ord Minnett retain their BUY rating on several gold mining stocks, advising three ways to play the gold market. Their first strategy recommendation is to buy a basket of liquid stocks with strong exposure to passive products, to mitigate risk. The second, is for the stock to have strong fundamentals and upcoming catalysts. And the third involves long term investments. Some of the gold miners Ord Minnett retained their buy rating on, include Alkane Resources (ASX:ALK) with a $1.50 price target, Gold Road Resources (ASX:GOR) with a $1.70 price target, and Aurelia Metals (ASX:AMI) with a $0.95 target.
  • Bullish charting signals have been identified in Ioneer (ASX:INR) and 4D Medical (ASX:4AX), according to Trading Central.

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