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Morning Bell 24 April

Grady Wulff
April 24, 2023

Wall Street ended little unchanged across the key indices on Friday, but down for the week as investors assessed mixed corporate earnings results against the increasing chance of a recession in the U.S. later this year. Shares in Proctor & Gamble (ASX:PG1) rose 3.5% on Friday after it reported a sales boost from higher prices introduced across the portfolio of consumer products. Albermarle (ASX:ALB), the world’s largest lithium producer, on the other hand tanked 10% after Chile said it would nationalise its lithium industry, a key operational region for Albermarle over the last 40-years.

Earnings season in the US has broadly kicked off in a very uneventful manner, with investors believing profits beating expectations are unsurprising as the expectations were set very low amid the high interest rates, and high-cost environment.

Over in Europe, markets closed higher as investors responded to corporate earnings results released in the region. German software giant SAP rose 5% on Friday after reporting higher revenue and operating profit that beat expectations, while Swiss building materials manufacturer Holcim also beat expectations for profits and revenue as well as raising its guidance.

Germany’s DAX rose 0.54% on Friday, the French CAC added 0.51% and, in the UK, the FTSE100 climbed 0.15% on Friday.

The local market closed almost half a percent lower on Friday as the miners and bankers weighed on the local bourse. A build up in port inventories of iron ore and lowered demand from Chinese steel mills caused a drop in the price of iron ore to a four-month low, which caused investors to sell out of materials stocks on Friday.

What to watch today:

  • Ahead of the local session here in Australia, the SPI futures are anticipating the ASX to open 0.11% lower on the back of Wall Street’s turbulent end to last week.
  • Taking a look at commodities this morning, oil is down 0.2% at US$77.80/barrel, gold is up just 0.03% at US$1982/ounce and iron ore is sharply lower, down 3.33% at US$116/tonne amid stockpiles in port inventories.
  • On the foreign exchange front, AU$1.00 is buying US$0.67, 89.69 Japanese Yen, 53.45 British Pence and NZ$1.09.

Trading Ideas:

  • Bell Potter has decreased its price target on Lynas Rare Earths (ASX:LYC) from $8.06 to $8 but maintain a buy rating on the rare earths company following the release of the company’s quarterly report including the highest ever output of NdPr from its Malaysia plant. Bell Potter’s price target downgrade is due to the uncertainty faced for the company’s Malaysia plant which could face a potential forced shutdown from July 1 due to domestic regulator concerns about radiation levels from the process of cracking and leaching. The next 6-months will be a transitional period for Lynas and remains a high-risk to earnings as the company relocates its cracking and leaching operations from Malaysia to Australia.
  • Trading Central has identified a bullish signal on Hearts & Minds Investments (ASX:HM1) following the formation of a pattern over a period 187-days which is roughly the same amount of time the share price may rise from the close of $2.40 to the range of $2.75-$2.83 according to standard principles of technical analysis.

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