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Morning Bell 20 July

Sophia Mavridis
July 20, 2022

Our local market closed 0.6% lower yesterday, partly due to comments made by the RBA’s deputy governor, who stated that the official interest rate will move “a fair bit higher than where we currently are.” This put pressure on tech shares, which are interest rate sensitive. They declined 3%. And only two of the 11 industry sectors gained: energy was the best performer, up 2.5% and utilities gained 1%.

While Xero (ASX:XRO) and EML Payments (ASX:EML) declined with the broader tech sector, the top performers on the ASX200 were Lake Resources (ASX:LKE), Pendal Group (ASX:PDL) and Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC).

WHC was also the most traded stock by Bell Direct clients. Its share price closed 5.5% higher, following its Q4 update where the company reported that it expects to deliver an EBITDA worth $3 billion for the 2022 financial year. And WHC reported a strong quarter off the back of record coal prices. A number of brokers yesterday released positive reports on the coal miner as well. Bell Potter rate WHC a Buy. Citi upgraded WHC from Neutral to Buy. Morgans have an Add rating and Macquarie and Credit Suisse have an Outperform rating. So, brokers are optimistic on WHC at the moment. Its current share price is $6.21, and broker price targets range from $6.70 by Morgans, to $7.85 by Citi.

Overseas, European stocks rallied with earnings season kicking off, and positive momentum from Wall Street. The STOXX 600 index closed with a gain of 1.4%, and this week investors will be waiting for the European Central Bank’s policy meeting on Thursday in Frankfurt, as policymakers have given advance notice of the first-rate hike in 11 years.

US equities saw a strong session overnight. The Dow Jones gained more than 750 points, up 2.4%, the S&P500 gained 2.8% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq closed with a 3.1% gain. This is off the back of strong corporate earnings reports coming in, bringing all three major averages above their 50-day moving averages for the first time since April.

What to watch today:

  • The Australian market is set to open higher, with the SPI futures suggesting a rise of 1.21% at the open this morning.
  • In commodities,
    • The price of oil is trading 2.5% lower currently, around US$100 per barrel, with reports that in at least the near term, it’s unlikely that supply gaps will be filled by additional output from OPEC. This is despite efforts from the US government to bring more oil to markets, in the aim of taming energy costs.
    • The price of gold is trading slightly higher, however remains close to its lowest levels in almost a year, with the constant pressure of US monetary tightening.
    • Seaborne iron ore has dropped 2%.
    • Coal is trading higher. China is the world’s largest coal consumer and they’ve announced that they may lift an almost two-year ban on Australian coal. So, keep watch of coal stocks today.
  • A few companies are set to release their quarterly reports, so keep watch of their share price movements today as well. These include 29Metals (ASX:29M), Allkem (ASX:AKE), Atlas Arteria Group (ASX:ALX), Beach Energy (ASX:BPT), Cooper Energy (ASX:COE), Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST), Perseus Mining (ASX:PRU) and Megaport (ASX:MP1).
  • BHP released its quarterly report yesterday, and its production for copper and iron ore was in line with guidance. Following the report, Goldman Sachs reiterated its Buy rating, but trimmed their price target to $40.80. Macquarie, however, have a $50 price target, with an Outperform rating.

Trading Ideas:

  • Bell Potter maintain their Buy rating on Alkane Resources (ASX:ALK), as its June quarter update saw several important business development milestones. Bell Potter’s price target is $1.30, and at ALK’s current share price of $0.72, this implies 81.8% share price growth in a year.

Trading Central have identified a bearish signal in ResMed (ASX:RMD), indicating that the stock price may fall from the close of $31.65 to the range of $26.75 to $27.75 over 22 days, according to the standard principles of technical analysis.

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