The ASX 200 continues the rally up 76 points to 7215 (+1.0%) as tech stocks lead the charge higher. Bombed out and oversold tech stocks rallied hard after HK Tech and US Nasdaq gains. KGN up 12.0%, BET up 10.1% and PBH up 10.3% doing well as buyers return. BNPL stocks in focus as SQ2 bounces hard up 10.2%. The All-Tech Index rose 3.3%. WTC and XRO showing good gains. Banks were also strong with the Big Bank Basket up to $188.50 with MQG also up 1.1%. MFG up 6.6% continuing its run after the buyback was announced. Industrials firmed with CSL up 0.8%, ALL up 1.8% and REA better by 4.8%. Resources were better but not spectacular, BHP up 1.0%, FMG better by 4.3% and RIO up 1.4%. Lithium stocks in demand again, CXO up 3.9%, PLS rose 3.9% and MIN up 3.4%. Gold miners were ignored, energy stocks mixed. In corporate news, POS returned with a government grant to build a new plant in WA, up 9.2%. On the economic front, headline unemployment came in at 4% putting more pressure on the RBA to lift rates, shows what happens when immigration and international students are blocked. Asian markets firm again with Chinese tech stocks surging as authorities back the sector. HK up 5.8% Japan up 3.2% and China up 3.2%. 10-year bonds back to 2.52%.

End of Day Podcast – Thursday, March 17

Major Movers:

  • Winners: NEU, KGN, PBH, SQ2, Z1P, BET, TPW, PNV, QAL
  • Losers: MCR, PAN, CRN, IFM, GOR, KAR
  • Positive sectors: Tech. Banks. Iron ore. Healthcare
  • Negative sectors: Staples
  • High 7297 Low 7204
  • Big Bank Basket: Jumps to $188.50 on jobs data and Fed
  • Oil up 2% in Asian trade.
  • All-Tech index: Up 3.3%
  • Gold: Lower at $2645
  • Bitcoin: Rises to US$41086
  • Aussie Dollar:  Rises to 73.14c
  • 10-Year Yield: Steady at 2.50%
  • Asian markets rally again, HK up 5.8% Japan up 2.6% and China up 2.6%.
  • US Futures: Dow down 47, Nasdaq up 11

Stocks on the Move

  • KGN +12.02% tech shorts get squeezed.
  • BET +10.08% tech bounce.
  • Z1P +10.14% follows Block higher.
  • RNU +7.55% broker upgrade.
  • NVX +7.46% battery tech rallies further.
  • 4DX +19.86% first dedicated lung scanner.
  • MAY +31.03% total depth for Alameda – 1.
  • DUB +15.19% solid bounce off bottom.
  • BKY +19.40% response to ASX price and volume.
  • JRL +17.80% huge lithium intercepts at McDermitt.
  • STP +1.22% undies are up.
  • TVL -9.52% slip-sliding away.
  • MCR -5.77% nickel stocks under pressure.
  • KAR -3.20% oil price falls.
  • GNC -2.76% sell-off continues.
  • Speculative stock of the Day: Imagion Systems (IBX) +46.51% MagSense imaging agent study progress update. Safe and well-tolerated and agent reaching patients’ lymph nodes. Good volumes too.

In the News 

  • Poseidon Nickel (POS) – announced a $119.6m manufacturing initiative grant for an integrated battery material refinery hub in Kalgoorlie.
  • New Zealand Commerce Commission has cleared Ampol (ALD) for its bid on Z Energy (ZEL).
  • Electric Optic Systems (EOS) – will have Greenhill’s bankers testing buyer appetite in the business, as part of a strategic review aimed at maximising value for shareholders. EOS is due to drop out of the top 300 index next week.
  • Air New Zealand (AIZ) – has tapped UBS, Citi and Forsyth Barr for its twice-delayed $1bn odd capital raise, in what would be one of the last COVID-19 recapitalisation for airlines.
  • Clinuvel (CUV) – has hired a manufacturing partner to scale up production of its adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), used for the treatment of degenerative disorders.

Economic News/Bond Markets

  • Headline unemployment fell to 4%
  • Full-time roles soared by 121,900, while part-time positions fell by 44,500
  • The underemployment rate fell 0.1% point to 6.6%
  • Underutilization decreased 0.3% to 10.6%
  • The participation rate climbed to 66.4% from 66.2% a month earlier
  • Who would have thought that to get unemployment down to 13-year lows, you just stop immigration and international students?
  • Sydney and Melbourne are in the top five least affordable cities in the world to buy property. Property in Sydney is 15.3x the average household income, in Melbourne it is 12.1x.
  • The International Energy Agency (IEA) has lowered its forecast for oil demand and supply following the jump in prices, conflict in Ukraine and lower than previously anticipated global growth estimates.

Asian Markets

  • South Korea nation reported 621,328 infections and 429 deaths Thursday. In China, a total of 2,432 infections were reported today. The financial hub of Shanghai found 158 new infections.
  • Toyota and Nissan halt production following the earthquake near Fukushima.

US and European News

  • Fed rate decision to be picked apart today after 25bps rise.
  • Russian bond default looms as rubles won’t cut it.
  • Howard Schultz is back as chief of Starbucks.
  • Walmart Aims to Hire 50,000 U.S. Workers by End of April
  • France’s OVHcloud has filed a complaint that Microsoft is abusing its position to hurt competition in the cloud-computing market.

And finally…..