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Morning Bell 28 February

Bell Direct
February 28, 2024

Wall Street reversed morning losses to close mostly higher on Tuesday as investors prepare for the release of key inflation data later this week. The Dow Jones fell 0.25% while the S&P500 added 0.17% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 0.37% on Tuesday. Retail giant Macy’s is up more than 3% during the session after announcing it would close around 150 of its struggling bricks and mortar retail stores following a revenue miss in the prior quarter.

In Europe overnight, markets closed mixed in the region as investors await key inflation data out later this week to determine how key global economies are faring in the high interest rate environment. The STOXX600 reversed Tuesday’s losses to close 0.2% higher, buoyed by mining stocks rising 1.7%. Germany’s DAX ended the day up 0.76%, the French CAC rose 0.23%, and, in the UK, the FTSE100 closed the session virtually flat.

Across the Asia markets, trading was mixed on Tuesday with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rising just shy of 1% while Korea’s KOSPI index fell 0.83% and Japan’s Nikkei closed flat. China’s CSI 300 index rose 1.2% as shares of Chinese electric vehicle maker Li Auto soared over 22% after the company reported a 2068% increase in net income in Q4 compared to a year ago.

The local market recovered from a morning sell-off to close Tuesday’s session 0.13% higher as a 2.15% surge in consumer staples stocks more than offset losses among real estate and utilities companies. The materials sector was also weighed down yesterday as the big iron ore miners were sold off on the declining price of iron ore.

As the theme goes lately on the local market, reporting season results dominated share market moves yesterday.

Supermarket giant Coles rallied yesterday after releasing a strong first half result including a 3.7% jump in sales revenue to $22.2bn, and the outlook for momentum to continue into the second half with sales up 4.9% during the first 8-weeks of the second half already.

A stronger-than-expected first half result also prompted investors to send shares in Aussie plumbing parts and services company, Reece, rocketing over 18% yesterday. The company revealed a 2.5% rise in sales revenue, a 6% increase in NPAT and declared an interim dividend of 8cps.

Payment service providers like Zip Co and Tyro Payments both posted beats across their respective first half results, however, investors took the opportunity to collect some profits in the days after the results were released as both companies faced turbulence over the last few years during the rising interest rate and uncertain economic environment.

What to watch today:

  • Ahead of the local trading session here in Australia, the SPI futures are expecting the ASX to open the midweek session up 0.28% tracking global gains overnight.
  • On the commodities front this morning, oil has rebounded to trade 0.56% higher at US$78.02/barrel, gold is up just 0.06% at US$2032/ounce and iron ore is down 3.24% at US$119.50/tonne.
  • AU$1.00 is buying US$0.65, 98.43 Japanese Yen, 51.70 British Pence and NZ$1.06.
  • Shares trading ex-dividend today include The Lottery Corporation (ASX:TLC), Fortescue (ASX:FMG), Bendigo and Adelaide Bank (ASX:BEN) and Woolworths Group (ASX:WOW). If you’ve been thinking about these stocks, it might be worth considering in buying in today as stocks trading ex-dividend generally trade lower on the ex-dividend date.

Trading Ideas:

  • Bell Potter has maintained a buy rating on Cooper Energy (ASX:COE) and has slightly increased the 12-month price target from 16cps to 18cps on the release of the energy exploration and development company’s first half result including EBITDAX and NPAT topping BPe, while statutory NPAT came in at a loss of $91m. Bell Potter’s analyst sees there are promising signs at the company’s Orbost Gas processing plant with production continuing to increase at a time of short-term positive catalysts including higher realised gas prices.
  • And Trading Central has identified a bullish signal on GUD Holdings (ASX:GUD) following the formation of a pattern over a period of 8-days which is roughly the same amount of time the share price may rise from the close of $11.14 to the range of $12.30-$12.60 according to standard principles of technical analysis.

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