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Morning Bell 13 March

Grady Wulff
March 13, 2023

The local market tumbled over 2% on Friday as investors were spooked by comments made and reiterated over a few days by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell that interest rates will need to stay higher for longer, prompting further fears of a global recession. The utilities sector was the only sector to escape the broad market sell-off on Friday. The winning stocks were led by Origin Energy (ASX:ORG) adding 2.45%, while TPG Telecom (ASX:TPG) and Silver Lake Resources (ASX:SLR) each also added over 2%. On the losing end of the market it was a lithium sell-off led by Allkem (ASX:AKE) tumbling 8.6%, while Sayona Mining (ASX:SYA) and Liontown Resources (ASX:LTR) each fell 8%.

Wall Street closed sharply lower on Friday as the collapse of tech-focused lender Silicon Valley Bank sent shockwaves through the banking sector. The collapse resulted from losses in the bank’s bond portfolio and is the biggest bank failure since the global financial crisis. The Dow Jones fell 1.07%, the S&P500 lost 1.45% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 1.76% on Friday. It was the worst week since June 2022 for the Dow Jones on Wall St last week, with the major indices capped off the week with losses. The Dow fell 4.44%, the S&P dropped 4.55%, and the Nasdaq lost 4.71%.

Over in Europe, markets closed lower on Friday, also led by a sell-off in the banking sector after early news of a capital raise at Silicon Valley Bank leading to the stock collapsing 60%, wiping out over $80bn in value from the bank’s shares.

Germany’s DAX fell 1.31%, the French CAC lost 1.3% and, in the UK, the FTSE100 shed 1.67%.

What to watch today:

  • Ahead of the local trading session, the SPI futures are anticipating the ASX to open down 0.55% following the global sell-off that ended last week on a sour note.
  • On the commodities front this morning, crude oil is up 1.27% at US$76.68/barrel, gold is up just under 2% at US$1867/ounce and iron ore is up 1.16% at US$130.50/tonne.
  • The Aussie dollar is buying US$0.66, 88.93 Japanese yen, 54.58 British pence and NZ$1.08.
  • Stocks trading ex-dividend today include Dusk Group (ASX:DSK), Chorus (ASX:CNU), and Joyce Corporation (ASX:JYC). If you’ve been thinking about these stocks, it might be worth considering buying in today as stocks trading ex-dividend generally trade lower on the ex-dividend date.

Trading Ideas:

  • Bell Potter has upgraded its rating on Platinum Asset Management (ASX:PTM) from a Sell to a Hold but has decreased its price target from $1.68 to $1.66 after the Bell Potter team met with the company and also following the release of the company’s funds under management figures for February showing $18.5bn in FUM, being $153m lower than January, indicating outflows of 0.7%. The increase in Rating to a hold follows management being upbeat about the prospects for the company including strong distribution and position in the market, and higher costs in recent reports being attributed to high bonus payments to staff.
  • Bell Potter has downgraded its price target on Lumos Diagnostics (ASX:LDX) from 10 cps to 6cps but maintain a speculative buy rating on the company following the signing of three service agreements with the potential to provide up to $2.5m in revenue. The price target downgrade is on the back of a reduction in Bell Potter expectations for revenue forecasts for products sold as the new CEO Doug Ward increases focus on the services arm of the company.

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