In New York overnight, equities gained in the final hour of trading, as Treasury yields rose. US markets started the week on a positive note, ahead of a busy week of economic news. Important catalysts with week include congressional testimony on Tuesday and Wednesday from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, who will speak about how the central bank is thinking about inflation and rate hikes going forward. Also, the US awaits their February jobs report out this week as well.
European markets were flat after modest early-session gains, with mining stocks down the most.
China has announced a growth target of 5% this year. It’s viewed as a modest target, with Citi analysts announcing it is “disappointing to some investors” and falls short of their expectation. The 5% target is also below last year’s target of around 5.5%, when the country had its zero-covid policy. This saw the Aussie dollar drift lower.
What to watch today:
- The SPI futures are suggesting the Australian market will drop 0.26% at the open this morning.
- The key economic announcement is watch out for today is the RBA’s interest rate decision, so this could see our dollar rise again, as its widely expected the RBA will deliver its 10th straight interest rate hike. The announcement will be at 2:30pm AEDT today, when the cash rate is expected to rise to 3.6%.
- In commodities,
- Oil is rallying, extending gains for the fifth session as a weaker US dollar boosted the appeal of greenback-priced commodities, and offsetting concerns about China’s demand and economic growth targets. So, keep watch of energy producers.
- Gold is lower ahead of the US Fed chief testimony, and iron ore is trading flat.
- Bell Potter maintain a HOLD rating on PWR Holdings (ASX:PWH), a leading provider of customised cooling solutions to the global motorsports and automotive industry. Bell Potter reviewed their forecasts after the release of the company’s H1 results last month, and have made some modest changes, including increasing FY24 and FY25 revenue forecasts and reducing NPAT forecasts. They have decreased their price target by 2% to $10.75 for the earnings changes, as well as market movements and time creep.
- Bell Potter have upgraded their recommendation on Arafura Rare Earths (ASX:ARU) from a Hold to a Speculative BUY. Their valuation remains unchanged at $0.72, which at ARU’s current share price of $0.55, implies 32% share price growth in a year.