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Morning Bell 21 September

Bell Direct
September 21, 2023

Well US equities declined overnight after the Federal Reserve announced that it would leave interest rates unchanged but indicated another rate hike later this year and a delayed beginning to the rate cuts in 2024, which was different to previous rate expectations.

All major US benchmarks closed lower, with the Nasdaq down the most, weighed down by Microsoft and Alphabet. And 2-year US Treasury yields climbed to the highest level since 2006, while the 10-year yield reached 4.4%.

What to watch today:

  • Following US markets, the SPI futures are suggesting that the Australian share market will open 0.3% lower this morning.
  • In commodities,
    • Crude oil is trading in the red, coming down from its over ten-month high, reached in the previous session, after the Energy Information Administration showed that US crude inventories fell by more than 2 million barrels last week, in line with expectations.
    • Gold is trading flat after the Fed kept the Fed Funds rate steady.
    • And iron ore has dropped, easing from the five-month high hit mid-September, as markets weighed on uncertainty from Chinese property developers.
  • And stocks going ex-dividend today include Capital Health (ASX:CAJ), Genesis Energy (ASX:GNE), NRW Holdings (ASX:NWH) and Pacific Smiles Group (ASX:PSQ).

Trading Ideas:

  • Bell Potter maintains a Buy rating on Life360 (ASX:360) in anticipation of a strong Q3 result and a chance of an upgrade to 2023 guidance. The market leading app for families includes a range of features from communications to driving safety and location sharing. Bell Potter have increased their price target by 5% to $11.00, which is a 28% premium to the share price.
  • And Bell Potter also maintains a Speculative Buy rating on Conrad Asia Energy (ASX:CRD). The company is focused on progressing several gas projects located in offshore Indonesia. Bell Potter have lowered their valuation from $2.40 to $2.30, and at the current share price of $1.38, this implies 67% share price growth in a year.

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