The local market advanced an impressive 1.2% yesterday, with 10 of the 11 industry sectors posting gains. The financial sector boosted the market the most, while the materials sector was slightly down 0.3%.
Agribusiness, Elders (ASX:ELD) was the best performer, lifting 11% to a decade high. This was off the back of a positive trading update, where the company announced it expects its underlying earnings before interest tax (EBIT) to increase 20% in financial year 2022. It was also a good day for capital market company, Pendal Group (ASX:PDL) and holding company, Virgin Money UK (ASX:VUK). Meanwhile, materials stocks like Chalice Mining (ASX:CHC), Nickel Mines (ASX:NIC) and Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) led the losses.
As for the most traded stocks by Bell Direct clients yesterday, Lake Resources (ASX:LKE) was on top of the list, along with Brickworks (ASX:BKW) and Core Lithium (ASX:CXO). Also highly traded were CBA, NAB & Bendigo & Adelaide Bank (ASX:BEN).
Moving to the US, the market closed in the red, as oil prices fell rapidly. Also investors await the latest Ukraine developments and anticipate the first rate hike by the Federal Reserve this week. This saw the Dow close flat, while the S&P500 fell 0.74% and the Nasdaq slipped over 2%.
What to watch today:
- Following the negative session over in the US, the futures are suggesting that the Aussie share market is set to open 0.8% lower this morning.
- In commodities, the oil price has retreated about 7% to US$101 a barrel. This comes as Russia and Ukraine were slated to resume peace talks on Monday, while China’s March demand is set to be revised lower due to new COVID-19 lockdowns.
- The gold price slipped 1.6% to US$1,952 per ounce as US Treasury yields rose on rate hike expectations. And silver, copper and palladium were also trading lower, with the palladium price down over 15%.
- Keep watch of Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) today, after the company announced a non-binding proposal to acquire the remaining 49% of the Canadian miner, Turquoise Hill, that it doesn’t already own. If the deal is successful, RIO’s share of the Oyu Tolgoi operation will increase to 66%.
- Economic news wise, the RBA will release its meeting minutes for March. The RBA currently views the war in Ukraine as a source of uncertainty and expects underlying inflation to increase further in the coming quarters to around 3.25%, before declining to around 2.75% in 2023.
- ASX200 stocks going ex-dividend today, include media companies News Corp (ASX:NWS) and IVE Group (ASX:IGL), copper miner Sandfire Resources (ASX:SFR) and telco TPG Telecom (ASX:TPG).
- Bell Potter have maintained its BUY rating on Uniti Group (ASX:UWL) with a price target of $4.50. Bell Potter believe the stock represents value and is also a potential takeover target. UWL closed 0.96% higher yesterday to $3.15, which implies about 43% share price growth in a year.
- Trading Central has a bullish signal on testing, inspection and verification services company, ALS (ASX:ALQ), indicating that the stock price may rise from the close of $12.84 to the range of $14.60 – $15 in the next seven days according to standard principals of technical analysis.