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Closing Bell 2 February

Grady Wulff
February 3, 2023

The ASX followed in Wall Street’s footsteps on Thursday after the Fed eased its rate hike pace for February. The local market rallied 0.13% on Thursday driven by a surge in technology stocks after the Nasdaq rose more than 2% in the US overnight.

CBA economist Gareth Aird today said there’s a risk the Reserve Bank raises interest rates by 40-basis points next Tuesday coupled with a statement of an intention to pause. The prediction comes as wider markets expect a 20-basis point rate hike from the RBA on Tuesday.

Pinnacle Investment Management shares took a dive today after the company missed earnings expectations in half year results. The company reported profits down 24% in the prior corresponding period which fell short of UBS estimates, and EPS fell 8% below Macquarie’s expectations. The hardest hit to Pinnacle was the company reporting affiliates generated performance fees which contributed only $900k to Pinnacles profits, down from $6.4m prior. UBS also downgraded Pinnacle to a sell rating from neutral prior to the results being released.

The winning stocks from today’s session were Megaport (ASX:MP1) adding 11.11%, Xero (ASX:XRO) rallied 7.5% and Wisetech Global (ASX:WTC) rose 6.77%.

And on the losing end of the market QBE (ASX:QBE) Insurance fell 4.76%, Computershare (ASX:CPU) lost 3.63% and Virgin Money UK (ASX:VUK) lost 3.6%.

The most traded stocks by Bell Direct clients were Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO), Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) and CSL (ASX:CSL).

On the commodities front, oil is up 1.21% at US$77.33/barrel, gold is up 0.13% at US$1952/ounce and iron ore is down 0.78% at US$128/tonne.

The Aussie dollar is buying 71 US cents, 91.84 Japanese Yen, 57.43 British Pence and 1 New Zealand dollar and 9 cents.

The bank of England interest rate decision is out later tonight with the market expecting a 50-basis point hike, which is likely to impact the FTSE100’s session on Thursday in the UK.

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