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The local market advanced 0.2% higher yesterday, losing some of its steam in the afternoon when the RBA suggested an interest rate rise could be imminent. While the cash rate was kept at its historic low of 0.1%, many economists believe there will be an increase later this year, some expecting it to come as early as June. The Government’s cost of living packages announced in the Federal Budget last week added further fuel to the fire that interest rates could rise.
Sectors wise, all sectors were in the green, with the tech sector and energy sector gaining the most. The local tech sector took a strong lead from Wall Street, where the Nasdaq lifted nearly 2% higher on news that Elon Musk had acquired a 9.2% stake in Twitter. Meanwhile the materials, real estate and industrials sectors posted losses.
Looking at the ASX200 leaderboard, tech names like Block (ASX:SQ2), NOVONIX (ASX:NVX), Xero (ASX:XRO) and Altium (ASX:AU) were amongst the best performers. Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) jumped 5.7% after announcing it had agreed with its joint venture partners to increase production in its spodumene mines in WA, their response to the huge global customer demand for lithium. On the flipside, the worst performers yesterday included AVZ Minerals (ASX:AVZ), Liontown Resources (ASX:LTR) and Lynas Rare Earths (ASX:LYC).
The most traded stocks by Bell Direct clients yesterday included Temple & Webster (ASX:TPW), Core Lithium (ASX:CXO) and NOVONIX (ASX:NVX).
Moving to the US, all three benchmarks closed in the red, with the Nasdaq down the most. This comes as the US Federal Reserve indicated that the central bank could take a more aggressive approach to its tightening policy. This saw tech stocks decline, while sectors like utilities and healthcare pushed higher. Also, the Biden administration on Wednesday is set to announce additional sanctions targeting Russian financial institutions.
What to watch today: