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ASX shares morning update – ASX 200 moving up the ranks

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Fed to the rescue

The ASX 200 (ASX:XJO) caught up to Wall Street’s Friday falls, dropping another 2.2% and taking the losing streak to three consecutive days. The weakness was driven by a combination of cyclicals and the financial sector, with energy down another 3.4% along with consumer discretionary.

Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX:WES) lead the sector lower falling -3.4%, whilst Myer Holdings Ltd (ASX:MYR) announcement that KPMG had been engaged to advise the company was not well received, falling 6.0%. The losing streak, however, appears to be coming to an end as quickly as it started as all three US indices including the S&P 500 (IND:SPX) managed to recoup initial falls of 2.5% to finish up between 0.6% and 1.4%.

The driver was the Federal Reserve’s follow through on its pledge to buy US corporate bonds on the secondary market. The outlook is also improving in China with industrial production, -4.4%, unemployment falling to 5.9% and retail sales down just -2.8% on the previous year in May, which compared to a drop of -7.5% in April; this bodes well for the Australian economy despite increasing trade rhetoric, expect BHP Group Ltd (ASX:BHP) to bounce today.

  • Weakness to be expected

    The FTSE 100 (IND:UKX) couldn’t manage a similar recovery, falling 0.7%, as investors struggle to come to terms with one of the weakest economies in history falling a 20% contraction on the previous month and -25% on the same time the previous year.

    It was another busy day for the Australian companies seeking to navigate the post-COVID-19 malaise with Super Retail Group Ltd (ASX:SUL), announcing a $203 million capital raising at $7.19 to ‘support strategic initiatives’ for the business. Despite reporting a strong recovery in sales from its Rebel Sport and Super Cheap Auto franchises, up 26.5% in May, the company seems to be preparing for the end of the Job Keeper program like many others.

    Building product supplier Boral Ltd (ASX:BLD) bucked the trend, adding 1.7% as the board announced Zlatko Todorsevski as its new CEO, bringing a strong track record in charge of the financials of both Brambles Ltd (ASX:BXB) and Oil Search Ltd (ASX:OSH) in recent years. This is a positive move and may trigger a revaluation of the company as non-core business lines are demerged or sold to free up capital.

    Private equity is just warming up

    BGH Capital continued strategy of capitalising on short-term weakness announcing it will acquire the Primary Care, or General Practice business of Healius Ltd (ASX:HLS) previously Primary Healthcare, for close to $500 million.

    City Chic Ltd (CCX) as specialist supplier of so call ‘plus-size’ ladies clothing rallied close to 6% after management elected to close 14 of its 100 stores due to lack of progress in renegotiating new leases with its landlords. This move is a positive and a sign of the power once again moving to the tenant.

    CCX is a popular holding among small cap managers including Pendal Group Ltd (ASX:PDL) and Wilson Asset Management. Globally, BP Plc (LON:BP) continues its transition to a lower carbon business under the new CEO, writing down the value of assets by some $17.5 billion and cutting its workforce by 14% or 10,000 people. It is a direct reaction to changing expectations for cleaner energy and fragile energy markets that may actually put the company in a stronger long-term position.

     

    The daily report is written by Drew Meredith, Financial Adviser and Director of Wattle Partners.




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