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Morning Bell 18 January

Paulina Peters
January 18, 2022

Yesterday, the Aussie share market pushed 0.3% higher, supported by both the consumer discretionary and energy sectors. All eyes were on China, as we found out that China’s economy grew 4% in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, faster than expected but its weakest expansion in one and a half years.

The consumer discretionary sector advanced the most, led by Wesfarmer’s gain following its trading update before the market opened. The group’s performance for the half was supported by pleasing results in Bunnings and Wesfarmers Chemicals, Energy & Fertilisers, while results in Kmart Group and Officeworks were impacted by COVID-related disruptions and costs. The worst performing sector was the materials sector, and we saw mining giants BHP Group (ASX:BHP) and Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) come under pressure, down 1.14% and 0.52% respectively.

Looking at the ASX200 stock leaderboard, two of Australia’s best-known fund managers were among the day’s top performers, Pendal Group (ASX:PDL) and Magellan Financial Group (ASX:MFG). Pendal Group led the way, up 7.8% following a statement that its chairman, James Evans would step down. Remember however, that last Friday Pendal fell 15.8% after a dip in funds under management. The second-best performer was Adbri (ASX:ABC), up 7.2% after announcing an extension of its lime supply contract with Alcoa. Meanwhile, Perseus Mining (ASX:PRU), Paladin Energy (ASX:PDN) and Liontown Resources (ASX:LTR) were down the most.

The most traded stocks by Bell Direct clients yesterday included Liontown Resources (ASX:LTR), Telstra (ASX:TLS) and BrainChip (ASX:BRN). Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) lifted 3.9%, trading at levels not seen since October last year, supported by the oil price surging higher recently.

The US market was closed on Monday for the Martin Luther King Junior holiday. In Europe, stocks closed higher on Monday as investors digested a string of corporate news and the latest growth data out of China. Credit Suisse was involved in a scandal whereby its chairman resigned after breaking COVID quarantine rules. Overall, we saw the German DAX close 0.32% higher, the FTSE up 0.91% and the STOXX600 rise 0.7%.

For today, in line with the positive session across the sea in Europe, the futures are suggesting the Aussie share market will open 0.30% higher.

What to watch today:

  • Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) has just released its fourth quarter update. Its Chief Executive said despite the operating conditions remaining challenging in 2021, due to COVID-19 disruptions, the business continued to experience strong demand for its products and continued to progress several of its projects. Now Goldman Sachs expected iron ore shipments of 88.9Mt and 133kt of mined copper for the quarter. Rio has announced results that fall short of these expectations. Iron ore shipments of 84.1Mt and 132kt of mined copper. So keep watch of the stock, as it may come under pressure after falling short of these expectations.
  • Other companies releasing their fourth quarter results today include: Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY) and Orocobre’s merger, Allkem (ASX:AKE), and petroleum company, Ampol (ASX:ALD).
  • Oil prices edged higher as investors bet that supply will remain tight despite restrained output by major producers. The WTI crude oil price is currently up 0.54% to US$84.27 a barrel, that’s a 7-year high. The gold price held steady at US$1,818 per ounce. And the seaborne iron ore price is trading 1.25% lower, at US$126 a tonne.

Trading Ideas:

  • Firstly, Bell Potter have maintained their BUY recommendation on City Chic Collective (ASX:CCX). The retail clothing company recently released its preliminary unaudited first half 2022 results and two of the key highlights included: (1) strong first half 2022 results that were ahead of Bell Potter’s expectations, driven by strong growth in the US and robust sales in Australia and New Zealand, and (2) first half 2022 EBITDA slightly lower than Bell Potter’s expectation, however Bell Potter still considers the result as solid considering the material disruptions through the half. Now, Bell Potter has decreased its price target on the stock from $7.40 to $6.65, and they believe that the recent share price retreat provides an attractive entry point with CCX’s significant long-term growth prospects intact.
  • Trading Central has a bullish signal on copper mining company, Hot Chili (ASX:HCH). This signal indicates that the stock price may rise from the close of $1.91 to the range of $2.04- $2.08 in the next 23 days, according to standard principles of technical analysis.

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