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Morning Bell 13 December

Bell Direct
December 13, 2023

Wall Street’s rally extended into Tuesday’s session with the key indices rising sharply in afternoon trade as the S&P500 added 0.46%, the Dow Jones rose 0.48%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq had the biggest rise of 0.7%. The latest Consumer Price Index data is driving the rally today with the reading showing inflation in the US rose 3.1% in November YoY and 0.1% MoM which was in-line with economists’ expectations and continuing the deflationary trend, which provides support for the Fed to look toward interest rate cuts in the near future as the inflation rate is falling toward the target 2% inflation rate.

The all-important Fed policy meeting also kicks off today ahead of the interest rate decision out tomorrow with the expectation that the Fed will maintain the current cash rate following the release of recent favourable economic data.

Over in Europe, it was a lacklustre session across markets with majority closing slightly lower on Tuesday as investors responded to the latest CPI reading out of the US and other economic data released in the European region. The STOXX600 fell 0.23%, weighed down by the oil and gas sector sliding 1.28%, while Germany’s DAX closed just 0.02% lower, the French CAC fell 0.11% and, in the UK, the FTSE100 ended the day down just 0.03%.

UK unemployment came in at 4.2%, a flat reading on September and below economists’ expectations in a sign the labour market in the UK remains tight.

The ASX extended its December rally into Tuesday’s session with the ASX ending the day up 0.5%, as every sector closed in the green, led by the technology sector after the Nasdaq had a strong day on Wall Steet on Monday. Materials stocks closed flat as the iron ore price dipped on Tuesday.

Australia’s business and consumer confidence data released yesterday came in at mixed readings with business confidence falling -9 points, well below the expected -1 point while consumer confidence rose 2.7% from a decline of 2.6% in November, in a sign consumers are optimistic over the recovering economic conditions.

The story of the week so far has been the response to Sigma Healthcare accepting a transformative merger with Chemist Warehouse to bring the retail pharmacy to the ASX. Fund managers are bullish on the potential backdoor listing for Chemist Warehouse as the $8.8bn deal is awaiting approval from the competition regulator.

What to watch today:

  • Ahead of the local trading session here in Australia the SPI futures are expecting the local market to open the midweek session flat despite Wall Street’s rally overnight.
  • On the commodities front this morning, oil has taken a dive overnight, with the spot price now down 3.84% to US$68.59/barrel amid concerns of oversupply despite OPEC+ announcing further output cuts to stabilise the price of the commodity. Gold is trading 0.2% lower at US$1977/ounce and iron ore is flat at US$137.50/tonne.
  • AU$1.00 is buying US$0.66, 95.41 Japanese Yen, 52 British Pence and NZ$1.07.

Trading Ideas:

  • Bell Potter has initiated coverage of Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) with a hold rating and a price target of $3.90. The hold rating follows recent lithium market weakness seeing heavy shorting in the PLS stock, however Bell Potter’s analyst sees this as short-sighted momentum and is confident that Pilbara’s low-cost producing and strong balance sheet sets it up to withstand weaker lithium prices and supports expansion programs. The analyst is also confident that EV-led demand will see strong medium to long-term lithium market fundamentals.
  • And Trading Central has identified a bullish signal on GUD Holdings (ASX:GUD) following the formation of a pattern over a period of 36-days which is roughly the same amount of time the share price may rise from the close of $11.66 to the range of $12.60-$12.90 according to standard principles of technical analysis.

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