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Morning Bell 17 January

Sophia Mavridis
January 17, 2022

On Friday, the ASX200 ended its worst week since November, amid a sell-off among tech stocks. The tech sector declined 4%, with Afterpay (ASX:APT) at its lowest price since July. WiseTech Global (ASX:WTC), Nuix (ASX:NXL) and Nearmap (ASX:NEA) were all lower, and Xero (ASX:XRO) was down the most, falling 9%. Consumer staples also look a hit, and the local market closed just over 1% lower.

Medical device company ResMed (ASX:RMD) performed best, advancing 3.6%, followed by Ramelius Resources (ASX:RMS) and AGL Energy (ASX:AGL). AGL was the best performer of the week, helping to offset some market losses. The stock gained 19% over the week, after Credit Suisse named AGL their top pick among energy sector equities, due to the advantage AGL has in low-cost coal supply.

Investment manager Pendal (ASX:PDL) declined 15%, following the release of its funds under management update for the first quarter, which fell 2.5% to $135.7 billion, disappointing investors.

Some of the most traded stocks by Bell Direct clients on Friday, were the major miners, including Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG), Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS), BHP (ASX:BHP), Nickel Mines (ASX:NIC), Lake Resources (ASX:LKE) and Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR).

European stocks were lower, as expectations for imminent policy tightening by the Fed resurfaced. US markets had another negative week. Major banking stocks were broadly lower after reporting their earnings. In recent weeks, bank stocks had outperformed as interest rates moved higher, however investors were underwhelmed by Friday’s reports. The Dow Jones was down 0.6%, while the S&P500 closed slightly higher 0.08%. Meanwhile, tech stocks helped offset concerns. The tech-heavy Nasdaq outperformed with a 0.6% gain.

Following US equities, the SPI futures are suggesting the ASX200 will rise 0.38% at the open.

What to watch today:

  • The local tech sector, as ASX tech stocks often follow the Nasdaq’s lead. New York listed Xero (ASX:XRO) and Appen (ASX:APX) rebounded in the US on Friday. So their price movements will be on watch, however as the price of Block (formally known as Square) continues to fall in the US, it’s unlikely Afterpay will see any strong gains.
  • Despite speculation that China will release some of its reserves, the oil price charged higher. The oil price rose more than 2% to US$83.82 a barrel. Supply disruptions in Libya and Kazakhstan and the diminishing US crude inventories, have offset mobility in China.
  • Gold is trading lower, at US$1,817 an ounce, weighed down by higher US Treasury yields and a rebound in the dollar.
  • The seaborne iron ore price is also trading lower at US$126.24 a tonne.

Trading ideas:

  • Credit Suisse has upgraded their rating on AGL Energy (ASX:AGL) from Neutral to Outperform, and have increased their price target from $7.30 to $8.30. EPS and DPS forecasts have been noticeably increased, and AGL last closed at $7.47.
  • Trading Central have identified a bullish signal in De Grey Mining (ASX:DEG), which indicates that the stock price may rise from the close of $1.28 to the range of $1.58 to $1.66. The pattern formed over 111 days which is roughly the period of time in which the target price range may be achieved, according to standard principles of technical analysis.

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