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Morning Bell 24 January

Grady Wulff
January 24, 2024

The local market advanced 0.51% on Tuesday tracking Wall Street’s rally and led locally by the health care sector jumping 1.02%. Heavyweight healthcare stocks including CSL and Cochlear gained 1.4% and 1.7% respectively while sleep apnoea device maker ResMed lifted 1.9% on Tuesday.

As the recent story on the miner front has gone, Karoon Energy joined the lowered production guidance train yesterday as the company lowered its Brazil production guidance for 2024, blaming operational issues at its Bauna project in November for the downgrade. Investors sold out of Karoon shares yesterday sending the share price down 3.8%.

Judo Bank on the other hand soared 16.8% after the company posted a 24% jump in profit before tax for the first half, driven by continued above-system lending growth, and stronger net interest margins, which have peaked for the big four banks.

NAB Business Confidence data for December released on Tuesday also boosted market sentiment as business confidence rose to -1 point for the month, up from -8 points in November and well above economists’ expectations of -7 points in a sign business conditions are improving.

It was a mixed session on Wall St on Tuesday with the Dow Jones retreating from record territory to close the day down 0.25% following the release of some disappointing earnings results, while the Nasdaq and S&P500 ended the day up 0.43% and 0.3% respectively. Investors used Tuesday’s session to pause and take some profits after it was confirmed the S&P500 officially reached bull market territory and the Dow Jones hit a new record high on Monday. United Airlines rose more than 6% on Tuesday after reporting stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter results, however, the airline said it expects a first quarter loss due to the grounding of Boeing 737 Max 9 airplanes across the US.

General Electric shares slipped 1% on Tuesday following the issue of weaker-than-expected guidance, while Johnson & Johnson also dipped over 1% after the healthcare giant said the company’s pharma division sales will be lower in the second half of 2024.

In Europe overnight, markets retreated as euro zone flash consumer confidence data fell to -16.1 points for December from -15 points in January which was against economists’ expectations of an improvement to -14.3 points, in a sign consumer confidence in the European economy continues to slide. The STOXX600 fell 0.25% on Tuesday, while Germany’s DAX and the French CAC each lost 0.34%, and, in the UK, the FTSE100 ended the day mostly flat.

Across the Asia markets, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rebounded almost 3% on Tuesday to lead gains among the Asia markets, while Japan’s Nikkei closed marginally lower after the Bank of Japan maintained its ultra-low interest rate of -0.1% for another month. The Hang Seng rallied after Bloomberg reported Chinese authorities were considering a stimulus package worth $2 trillion yuan to stabilise the country’s stock markets.

What to watch today:

  • Ahead of the local midweek trading session here in Australia the SPI futures are anticipating the ASX to open 0.17% higher tracking gains on the Nasdaq and S&P500 overnight.
  • On the commodities front this morning, oil is trading 0.74% lower at US$74.2/barrel, gold is up 0.15% at US$2024/ounce and iron ore is flat at US$132.50/tonne.
  • AU$1.00 is buying US$0.66, 97.41 Japanese Yen, 51.96 British Pence and NZ$1.08.

Trading Ideas:

  • Bell Potter has maintained a buy rating on Coronado Global Resources (ASX:CRN) but has slightly decreased the 12-month price target on the leading pure-play metallurgical coal producer following the release of the company’s December quarterly sales that met Bell Potter expectations however, revenue fell significantly short of Bell Potter’s expected US$887m. CRN also reported full year CY23 saleable production was 15.8million tonnes at mining costs of US$107.60 which were 3% and 8% misses on guidance respectively.
  • And Trading Central has identified a bearish signal on Pengana Private Equity Trust (ASX:PE1) following the formation of a pattern over a period of 15-days which is roughly the same amount of time the share price may fall from the close of $1.42 to the range of $1.30 to $1.32 according to standard principles of technical analysis.

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