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Morning Bell 23 March

Bell Direct
March 23, 2020

The Aussie share market futures are suggesting a fall at the open of around 1.81%, despite the Prime Minister and Treasurer yesterday unveiling $66bn worth of measures to help cushion the blow from COVID-19.

Last night, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the drastic steps that will be taken in a bid to stop the spread of COVID-19. Pubs, clubs, cinemas, churches, places of worship and indoor sporting venues including gyms, will be shut down from midday today. While, restaurants and cafes would only be open for takeaway. As for schools, he said children ‘should go to school today’ and that there was ‘no change’ to the health advice from authorities. He said parents who were concerned, have the right to keep their children at home.

US, stocks tried to rally on Friday, but weren’t successful, as we saw Wall Street end its most volatile week since 2008.

All eyes on Beach Energy (ASX:BPT), Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL), Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM), St Barbara (ASX:SBM) and AP Eagers (ASX:APE).

 

Read Transcript

Good morning, well last night, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the drastic steps that will be taken in a bid to stop the spread of COVID-19. Pubs, clubs, cinemas, churches, places of worship and indoor sporting venues including gyms, will be shut down from midday today. While, restaurants and cafes would only be open for takeaway. As for schools, he said children ‘should go to school tomorrow’ and that there was ‘no change’ to the health advice from authorities. He said parents who were concerned, have the right to keep their children at home.

Moving onto the US, stocks tried to rally on Friday, but weren’t successful, as we saw Wall Street end its most volatile week since 2008. The Dow closed lower by 900 points or 4% to 19,174. Shares of 3M and Disney dragged the Dow lower. The S&P 500 dropped the most, falling 4.3% to around 2,305 and the tech heavy Nasdaq dropped 3.8% after rising more than 2% at one point. Factors that weighed down on the market included a stay at home order for New York state, a swift reversal in crude prices and a strengthening dollar.

And looking at the stats, we can see that the Dow is down more than 24% for March and on track to hit its biggest monthly fall since 1931, and the S&P500, which has dropped around 22%, is also set for its worst monthly performance since 1940.

Over in Europe, the Stoxx 600 closed 1.4% higher, with travel and leisure stocks rising over 9% to lead gains.

As for the Aussie share market, futures are suggesting a fall at the open of around 1.81%, despite the Prime Minister and Treasurer yesterday unveiling $66bn worth of measures to help cushion the blow from COVID-19.

What to watch today?

Energy producers, including Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) and Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) may come under pressure today after we saw oil prices sink lower on Friday night. The WTI crude oil price fell 12.7% to US$22.63 a barrel and the Brent crude oil dropped 5.2%.

On the flip side, gold miners, like Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM) and St Barbara (ASX:SBM) could be on the rise today after the increasing demand for safe haven assets sent the gold price higher, up around 0.4% on Friday to US $1,488.10 an ounce.

AP Eagers (ASX:APE) share price is also on the watch today after the auto retailer announced that its final dividend would be halved from 22.5 cents per share to 11.25 cents per share.

And finally, the Aussie dollar buys 57.85 US cents.

Thank you.

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