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ASX shakes COVID blues to close at new record high

Daily Market Update

Australia in rare air, ASX hits another record, Keypath IPO falls flat 

The ASX 200 (ASX: XJO) has taken the mantle of overseas markets, hitting another record on Wednesday after moving 1% higher.

The energy sector was the biggest contributor with the oil price hitting a two-year high in overnight trading, sending the entire sector up 4% on Wednesday.

  • Pure play energy companies including Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) and Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) jumped by 6.5% and 4.6% respectively, with diversified energy retailer Origin Energy Ltd (ASX: ORG) also jumping 5.8% on the news.

    The utilities sector, which includes pipelines and electricity transmission, added 2.6% whilst only the healthcare and IT sectors detracted.

    Predictions that the iron ore price had peaked were clearly wrong with the commodity jumping 10% in Chinese trade, hitting US$209 per tonne once again.

    This sent BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP), Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO), and Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) up 3% and 2% respectively.

    Other highlights were chicken producer Inghams Group Ltd (ASX: ING), up 6.6%, and Vicinity Centres (ASX: VCX), which overcame another seven days of lockdown in Melbourne to increase 3.2%.

    Australia among world leaders, savings rate remains high, spending increases

    Australian GDP came in below most analyst estimates, with the economy growing by 1.8% in the March quarter. This took the year-long result to 1.1%, suggesting the Australian economy is now larger than it was prior to the pandemic.

    Australia is one of just five countries around the world that has managed this sort of recovery, putting us in rare air.

    There is little doubt what has driven the recovery, with iron ore, coal, and other commodity exports continuing to reach records and benefitting from huge price increases.

    That said, net exports actually detracted in the March quarter as imports grew amid a loosening of trade border restrictions.

    The key drivers were household spending and private investment, with a 14.8% jump in spending at hotels and restaurants overcoming a 0.5% fall in spending on goods, food, and alcohol.

    It is clear where the government stimulus has been directed, with housing investment jumping 6.4% as the Home Builder program hit full stride and equipment purchases 11.6% thanks to the tax write-offs on offer.

    On the negative side, the savings rate remains stubbornly high at 11.6% compared to last quarter’s 12.2%, suggesting predictions of a spending boom haven’t quite come to fruition.

    Five straight days of gains, meme stocks taking off again, Tesla falls on market share loss

    The Dow Jones managed a fifth straight day of gains, albeit only slightly, adding 0.1% with both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq up by the same amount.

    Value stocks continue to be the driver with well-known ‘meme stock’ movie theatre chain AMC Entertainment (NYSE: AMC) jumping 95%, taking its gain for the year to over 3,000%.

    More than 710 million shares changed hands on Wednesday as management seeks to benefit from huge day trading retail investor interest. The company has embraced the retail crowd, launching a new platform on its website for its retail investors, offering promotions and events. 

    President Biden has outlined a plan to have 70% of the US population vaccinated by Independence Day, set to offer tax credits, whilst large companies are offering beer and tickets to sporting events for those who take up their vaccines.

    Long-time bear, Jeremy Grantham has flagged concerns about an impending crash in markets, a similar call he made in January this year, highlighting the frothiness in SPACs and recent IPO valuations.

    Shares in Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) fell 3% overnight after the group saw its global market share drop from 29% in March to 11% in April. This adds to the pressures of a growing competitive landscape and an ongoing global chip shortage.

    Industrials, property push ASX lower, RBA hikes again, Woolworths guides to higher sales

    The local market fell sharply on the back of an unexpected 0.25 per cent interest rate increase by the Reserve Bank of Australia. The news took the cash rate to 3.85 per cent, adding more pressure to household balance sheets and came despite most experts suggesting hikes had come to an end. The hardest hit…

    Drew Meredith | 3rd May 2023 | More
    ASX boosted by the energy sector, Origin upgrades outlook, Best & Less gets a bid

    The local sharemarket finished 0.4 per cent higher on Monday, buoyed by the energy and utilities sectors, which gained 1.3 and 1 per cent, despite the oil price continuing to fall. The sector was buoyed by an earnings upgrade from Origin Energy (ASX:ORG) which sent shares 0.5 per cent higher with AGL Energy (ASX:AGL) also…

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    Upbeat start to week – and month – likely for Aussie market

    After a strong session for global markets on Friday, Australian shares will take a positive lead into the new week – and month. The Australian benchmark index, the S&P/ASX 200, added 16.5 points, or 0.2 per cent, on Friday, to 7,309.2, but eased 53 points, or 0.7 per cent over the week. ASX futures trading…

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