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Morning Bell 16 February

Sophia Mavridis
February 16, 2023

US equities advanced overnight as investors consider the strong retail sales data along with the latest US inflation data, and what this means for the Fed’s interest rate hiking campaign. In the prior session US inflation came in slightly above expectations, with headline year-on-year CPI dropping to 6.4% in January. The data drove yields higher across the curve, with the 20-year yield jumping 10 basis points on the day and 38 basis points in the past month. Moves were more muted further out on the curve, with the 10-year yield rising 4 and 24 basis points respectively, yesterday and in the past month.

Equities had a positive run overnight however; the Dow gained 0.1%, the S&P500 gained 0.28% and the Nasdaq gained 0.9%.

Stocks also moved higher in Europe. The STOXX 600 blue-chip index reversed the morning losses, closing half a percent higher, with most sectors in the green. Construction stocks led gains, while European banking stocks declined. And the UK’s FTSE 100 hit another record high, reaching 8,000 points for the first time. So while economic forecasts for the UK haven’t been too positive, many of the FTSE 100 firms derive their revenue from overseas. The index has seen investors attracted to financials, energy and commodities firms, as well as dividend-paying defensive stocks.

What to watch today:

  • The SPI futures are suggesting the Aussie market will open 0.49% higher this morning.
  • In commodities,
    • Oil prices are trading in the red at around US$78 per barrel, extending losses for a second session amid lingering concerns about weak demand. The latest report from the Energy Information Administration showed that US crude inventories jumped by 16.283 million barrels to 842.973 million last week, which was the highest level since early October. And oil prices have already been under pressure after the US government announced plans to release 26 million barrels of oil from strategic reserves. So keep watch of energy stocks such as Santos (ASX:STO) and Beach Energy (ASX:BPT).
    • Meanwhile gold has falled to a one-month low after the US dollar strengthened. So watch gold miners such as Regis Resources (ASX:RRL) and Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN).
    • And iron ore has jumped 1.2% higher to US$124.50 per tonne, while seaborne iron ore is just 0.1% higher.
  • As for reports to watch out for today, NAB is set to release a Q1 update, plus a long list of companies are set to release their half year results. Some of the names reporting today include AMP, Evolution Mining, Telstra, Goodman Group, Magellan Financial, Newcrest Mining, South32 and Whitehaven Coal just to name a few.
  • And in economic data, at 11:30am today January’s unemployment rate will be announced, expected to remain unchanged at 3.5%.
  • The Aussie dollar is buying US$0.69, 57 British Pence, and NZ$1.10.

Trading Ideas:

  • Bell Potter maintain a BUY rating on DroneShield (ASX:DRO) and have lowered their price target to $0.40. At DRO’s current share price of $0.31, this implies 29% share price growth in a year.
  • Trading Central have identified a bearish signal in Bendigo and Adelaide Bank (ASX:BEN) indicating that the stock price may fall from the close of $9.61 to the range of $9.02 to $9.12 over 30 days according to the standard principles of technical analysis.

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