Market wraps 14th December 2021
Morning Bell - Paulina Peters
The Aussie share market pushed 0.4% higher yesterday, to start the new trading week off on a positive note. Most sectors posted gains, with the energy, real estate and materials sectors leading the way, while the financial and healthcare sectors came under a bit of pressure.
Netwealth (ASX:NWL) was the biggest gainer, while Charter Hall Group (ASX:CHC) rose 5.6% to a new all-time high, following the company announcing an upgraded FY22 earnings guidance and funds under management growth update. Other top stocks included material stocks St Barbara (ASX:SBM), Champion Iron (ASX:CIA), Iluka Resources (ASX:ILU), Regis Resources (ASX:RRL) and Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS). Meanwhile, the worst performing stocks yesterday included NIB Holdings (ASX:NIB), GUD Holdings (ASX:GUD) and Insurance Australia Group (ASX:IAG). IAG closed 3.4% lower after UBS dropped its price target to $4.20 and rated the stock a SELL.
The most traded stocks by Bell Direct clients yesterday included Liontown Resources (ASX:LTR), BHP Group (ASX:BHP), and Brickworks (ASX:BKW). Another most traded stock was gold miner and lithium developer Firefinch (ASX:FFX). The company successfully completed a $100m Institutional Placement, whereby proceeds from the placement will be used to fast track the production growth at the Morila Gold Mine.
In the US, stocks retreated as investors remained cautious about how the Omicron variant will impact the economy, as well as what the Federal Reserve will announce on Wednesday. All three benchmarks closed lower, with the Nasdaq down the most. The S&P500 fell 0.91%, and the Dow lost 320 points.
For today, following the negative session on Wall Street, the futures are suggesting the Aussie share market will open 0.6% lower.
What to watch today:
- Afterpay (ASX:APT) is one to watch as today its shareholders will vote on the Square takeover. Now Square recently changed its name to Block, to house the company’s various products. And since the offer was made back in August, Block’s share price has sunk more than 30%, meaning the value of the transaction is now less than where Afterpay’s shares were trading prior to the offer being made.
- In economic news, business confidence data for November will be released this morning. Business confidence is determined via a monthly telephone survey conducted by NAB, where 600 small, medium, and large sized non-agricultural companies are surveyed on their expectations of business conditions for the upcoming month. In October, business confidence surged to 21 points from 10 in September, and November’s reading is expected to come in at 23 points.
- Oil prices fell due to new doubts about the Omicron variant. However, OPEC predicted in its monthly report that the variant’s impact on fuel demand will be mild. The gold price lifted as the focus turns to the upcoming Fed meeting, which will give investors an indication of when stimulus measures would wind down. And the seaborne iron ore price lifted 3.3% to US$108.51 a tonne.
- HUB24 (ASX:HUB) is holding its AGMs today.
- Engineering services company, Cardno (ASX:CDD) is set to go ex-dividend today.
- Citi upgraded its rating on investment advice business, Perpetual (ASX:PPT) from NEUTRAL to BUY, with a price target of $40.40. PPT closed 1.25% lower yesterday to $35.68, which implies about 14% share price growth.
- Trading Central has a bullish signal on lithium developer, Lake Resources (ASX:LKE). This signal indicates that the stock price may rise from the close of $0.89 to the range of $0.97 - $0.99 in the next 20 days, according to standard principles of technical analysis.