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Morning Bell 20 May

Bell Direct
May 20, 2024

Wall Street closed mixed on Friday but higher across the three major averages for the week as investors welcomed softer economic data over recent weeks. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.34% on Friday to top 40,000 points for the first time in history which has some investors questioning how far the current rally can go, but the recent inflation on earnings outlined in many corporate results indicates the value is still there for the rally to continue. The S&P500 rose 0.12% on Friday and the Nasdaq ended the session down 0.07%. The Dow posted its 5th straight weekly gain of 1.2%, while the S&P500 and Nasdaq ended the 5 trading days up 1.5% and 2.1% respectively.

Over in Europe, markets closed lower to snap a 9-day winning streak in the region as corporate earnings weighed on investor sentiment. The STOXX600 fell 0.13%, Germany’s DAX lost 0.18%, the French CAC fell 0.26%, and, in the UK, the FTSE100 ended the day down 0.22%.

Across the Asia markets on Friday, markets closed mixed however, China’s CSI300 index rose 1% as investors welcomed the announcement out of China’s central bank for sweeping measures to boost the country’s deteriorating property market.

Locally on Friday the ASX200 closed 0.85% lower with every sector aside from materials stocks closing the day in the red, with the tech and healthcare sectors posting the greatest declines of 3.05% and 2.27% respectively. For the week though, the key index rose 0.84% led by the consumer discretionary sector soaring 3.23%. Investors took some profits on Friday after the key index closed 0.2% shy of a record high on Thursday following the unemployment rate rising to 4.1% in Australia. This data indicates rate cuts could be on the horizon out of the RBA sooner than expected as economic data continues to fall in line with RBA expectations and requirements.

Lithium miners offset some of the market losses on Friday amid forecasts for increased demand outlook of the commodity driving a rebound in the price, with Pilbara Minerals rising 2.2%, while Mineral Resources ended the day up 0.8%.

What to watch today:

  • Ahead of the first trading session of the new week, the SPI futures are expecting the ASX to open Monday up 0.45%.
  • On the commodities front this morning oil is trading 0.14% higher at US$80.11/barrel, gold is up 0.28% at US$2421/ounce, iron ore is up 0.15% at US$117.02/tonne, and uranium is down 0.28% at US$90.65/pound.
  • AU$1.00 is buying US$0.67, 104.21 Japanese Yen, 52.91 British Pence, and NZ$1.09.

Trading Ideas:

  • Bell Potter has increased the 12-month price target on GrainCorp (ASX:GNC) from $9.20 to $9.50 and maintain a buy rating on the end-to-end grain producer following the release of the company’s the 1H24 results including NPAT coming in modestly ahead of Bell Potter’s expectations. Despite revenue falling below BP expectations, the outlook for FY24 was maintained amid a likely lift on new oilseed crush capacity.
  • And Bell Potter has initiated coverage of SRG Global (ASX:SRG) with a buy rating and a price target of $1.30 amid strong short-to-medium term outlook for the leading diversified industrial services group, driven by Government-stimulated construction activity in the Infrastructure and Non-Residential sectors.

 

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