The local market managed to close with a small gain of 0.08% yesterday, a 10-week high for the benchmark ASX200 index. Sectors wise, the materials sector posted the biggest gain, and the financials, utilities and consumer staples sectors also lifted. While the remaining sectors posted losses, with the tech sector down the most.
Looking at the ASX200 leaderboard, materials stocks led the way, with seven making the top 10 list, including BHP Group (ASX:BHP) up 2.3%, fertiliser company, Incitec Pivot (ASX:IPL) up 2.3% and Champion Iron (ASX:CIA) up 2.2%. On the flipside, tech shares were amongst the worst performers, with Xero (ASX:XRO), Tyro Payments (ASX:TYR), Novonix (ASX:NVX) and WiseTech Global (ASX:WTC) posting losses.
The most traded stocks by Bell Direct clients yesterday, included Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL), Westpac (ASX:WBC) and Telstra (ASX:TLS). Westpac’s share price is up about 10% from the start of this year and Citi are optimistic on the stock, naming Westpac as its top choice compared to the other big four banks.
Moving to the US, all three benchmarks are in the green, with the Nasdaq up the most. This was thanks to a modest 8% jump in Telsa’s share price, after the electric vehicle maker said it wants to split its stock to pay a stock dividend. Energy stocks slid alongside the price of oil, which we will touch on shortly.
What to watch today:
- The futures are suggesting that the Aussie share market is set to open 0.52% higher this morning.
- Economic news wise, retail sales for February will be released today. This estimates the turnover and volumes for retail businesses, including store and online sales.
- Tonight, all eyes will be on the 2022-23 Federal Budget that will be announced at 7.30 pm (AEDT). It’s a pre-election budget, with the election less than a couple of months away.
- In commodities, the oil price slid over 9% as new lockdowns in Shanghai prompted fears of a slowdown in demand, given China is the world’s largest oil importer. The WTI crude oil price has fallen to around US$103 a barrel. The gold price also fell about 1.8% on a firmer US dollar and yields. On the flipside, the spot iron ore price is trading 2.8% higher to US$146 a tonne.
- Sigma Healthcare (ASX:SIG) is set to release its financial year 2022 results.
- Bell Potter have maintained its BUY rating on electric services company, GenusPlus Group (ASX:GNP) and have increased its price target to $1.72 (previously $1.40). Bell Potter maintain their positive view on GNP’s demand outlook. This is supported by planned upgrades to east coast interconnector infrastructure, ageing distribution infrastructure and structural tailwinds in renewables investment. GNP closed about 0.8% lower yesterday to $1.21, which implies about 42% share price growth in a year.
- Trading Central has a bullish signal on NEXTDC (ASX:NXT), indicating that the stock price may rise from the close of $11.08 to the range of $12.40- $12.70 in the next 24 days according to standard principals of technical analysis.