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Morning Bell 21 March

Grady Wulff
March 21, 2023

The ASX tumbled to a four-month low yesterday, ending the session down 1.4%, in the wake of the global banking crisis taking a new turn with global investment bank UBS agreeing to takeover troubled Swiss lender Credit Suisse. Investors are also eyeing off the all-important FOMC meeting in the US where it is expected the Federal Reserve will announce a 25-basis point rate hike at the conclusion of the meeting on Thursday morning Australian time. Locally, the energy sector was again the worst performing sector to start the week as commodity prices continue to plummet as the prospect of slower economic growth due to a banking crisis induces investor fears of a recession and weakened demand outlook for commodities. Despite the unravelling of weakness in the global banking system, Australian banks hold some of the strongest positions in capitalisation and liquidity management globally due to tight governance from the regulatory body, APRA. This tight scrutiny has proved successful in maintaining strength for Australian banks during key events including the GFC and pandemic.

A welcome relief rally started the week on a positive note for US investors as Wall St closed higher across the key indices on Monday. Investor sentiment was boosted by hopes that the global banking crisis may be easing after UBS agreed to take over troubled lender Credit Suisse. The Dow Jones closed up 1.2%, the S&P500 rose 0.9% and the Nasdaq added 0.4%. We may see sentiment shift later this week though after the Fed hands down its interest rate decision for the month ahead.

Over in Europe, markets rallied to start the new week, also boosted by UBS’ takeover of Credit Suisse, with UBS chairman Colm Kelleher saying the acquisition is ‘attractive’ for UBS shareholders. Germany’s DAX rose 1.12%, the French CAC added 1.27% and, in the UK, the FTSE100 rose almost 1% to start the week.

What to watch today:

  • Ahead of the local trading session the SPI futures are anticipating the ASX to open 0.65% higher on the back of the global rally overnight.
  • On the commodities front oil has rebounded this morning to trade 1.35% higher at US$67.64/barrel, gold is down 0.64% at US$1975/ounce and iron ore is flat at US$132/tonne.
  • Looking at the Aussie dollar, AU$1.00 is buying US$0.67, 88.18 Japanese Yen, 54.89 British Pence, and NZ$1.08.
  • Stocks trading ex-dividend today include Latitude Group (ASX:LFS), Reece (ASX:REH), Cochlear (ASX:COH), Credit Corp Group (ASX:CCP) and Brisbane Broncos (ASX:BBL). 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:

  • Trading Central has identified a bullish signal on AGL Energy (ASX:AGL) following the formation of a pattern over a period of 17-days which is roughly the same amount of time the share price may rise from the close of $7.11 to the range of $7.24 to $7.30 according to standard principles of technical analysis.
  • Trading Central has identified a bearish signal on Viva Energy Group (ASX:VEA) following the formation of a pattern over a period of 28-days which is roughly the same amount of time the share price may fall from the close of $2.79 to the range of $2.48 to $2.54 according to standard principles of technical analysis.

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