Yesterday the ASX200 closed in the green. The materials sector made strong gains as iron ore in the spot market rose. Meanwhile tech shares declined the most, as Australia’s 10-year bond yield exceeded 2.1%, reaching the highest level since the beginning of 2019. This saw a sell-off in tech stocks, which tend to be more sensitive to interest rates.
On the ASX200, travel stocks gained for a second session. Webjet (ASX:WEB), Flight Centre (ASX:FLT) and Corporate Travel Management (ASX:CTD) all made the leaderboard. Casino owner Skycity Entertainment (ASX:SKC) and Star Entertainment (ASX:SGR) also made the top 10, boosted by confidence for tourism.
The most traded stock yesterday by Bell Direct clients was A2B Australia (ASX:A2B), which is home to brands such as 13cabs, Cabcharge and EFT Solutions. Its share price gained over 12% yesterday, after the departure of chief executive Andrew Skelton. The company also launched a strategic review of operations.
European markets closed mixed as investors await US inflation data, out later this week, while US equities gained. The Dow closed up 1.06%, the S&P500 up 0.84 and the Nasdaq up 1.28%.
The ASX200 is set open higher. The SPI futures are suggesting a 0.27% rise at the open this morning.
What to watch today:
- In economic news, yesterday NAB’s business confidence Index for January was released, with confidence bouncing back to 3 index points, from -12 points in December. Today, Westpac’s Consumer Confidence Index for February will be released at 10:30am AEDT.
- The oil price has fallen to US$89.64 a barrel, as attention was turned to the Iran nuclear talks that are set to resume today.
- Gold is higher, trading at US$1,826 an ounce, as the dollar rebounded ahead of US inflation data later in the week.
- The seaborne iron ore price is trading at US$148.83 a tonne.
- Commonwealth Bank (ASX:CBA) reported its half-year results this morning, delivering strong financial and operational performance. Statutory NPAT increased by 26% and CBA declared a $1.75 fully franked interim dividend, up 17% from this time last year. Look out for our full report on CBA later today.
- Other companies reporting their earnings results today include Centuria Capital Group (ASX:CNI), Dexus (ASX:DXS), Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) and Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST).
- ResMed (ASX:RMD) is set to go ex-dividend today, which may see its share price fall as investors take their profits.
- Bell Potter and Macquarie have different views on global mining-tech company Imdex (ASX:IMD), after the company reporting its earnings this week. Half-year revenue is up 35% to $167.8 million and NPAT is up more than 80% at $24.4 million. And Imdex declared a fully franked interim dividend of 1.5 cps. Following the report, Bell Potter have downgraded IMD from a BUY to a HOLD, maintaining a $3 price target. On another note, Macquarie retain their Outperform rating on IMD and have increased their price target from $2.90 to $3.30. IMD’s revenue and earnings beat Macquarie’s expectations by 13%.
- Trading Central have identified a bullish signal in Mincor Resources (ASX:MCR), indicating that the stock price my rise from the $1.71 to the range of $2.06 – $2.14, within 18 days, according to the standard principles of technical analysis.