ASX 200 rose 25 points to 7502 (+0.3%). Some caution crept in ahead of the FOMC meeting. Resources firmed but unspectacular, BHP up 0.3%, RIO bouncing 1.4% and FMG up 0.4%. Lithium stocks slightly better but no great shakes, PLS up 0.4% and IGO up 1.0%. Gold miners eased back, especially in the second liners, SBM, DEG and SLR. NST one of the few positive moves up 0.7%. Oil and gas slid with WDS down 1.4% and STO falling 1.0%. Coal stocks eased with WHC down 1.6%. In the industrials, tech was varied, WTC down 1.7% with XRO eking out some small gains. REITS firmed, GMG up 1.2% and GPT up 1.3%. Healthcare better, CSL leading up 1.2%, RMD up 0.4%. Banks mixed with CBA coming off record highs, WBC down 0.5% and the Big Bank Basket steady at $190.76. In corporate news, FLT returned from the cap raise and acquisition with the shorts running for cover, up 8.1%, well off highs. CCP turned positive after 1H results up 1.7%. TRS CEO has resigned. NUF reaffirmed guidance. On the economic front, RBA’s head economist said inflation had peaked in late 2022. In Asian news Caixin manufacturing PMI not as strong as hoped at 49.2 in January. Asian markets choppy on the news. Barely changed though. 10-year yields up to 3.58%. Dow Jones futures down 74 points. NASDAQ futures down 46 points.
- Winners: ARU, MSB, JRV, FLT, SDR, CTT, GRR
- Losers: PNI, CVP, SBM, MAD, RED, SYR, DYL, CUV
- Positive sectors: Iron ore. Lithium. REITs. Healthcare. Insurers.
- Negative sectors: Oil and gas. ‘Old skool’ platforms.
- High 7538 Low 7488. Caution creeps in ahead of FOMC.
- Big Bank Basket: Unchanged $190.76
- All-Tech index: Down 0.8%
- Gold steady at $2724
- Bitcoin: Rallying to US$23115
- Aussie Dollar: Back up to 70.68c
- 10-Year Yield: Up to 3.57%
- Asian markets: Choppy HK up 0.3% Japan and China little changed.
- US Futures: Dow down 69 Nasdaq down 45
- ARU +10.91% new REE player attracting buyers still.
- JRV +8.16% bouncing back.
- FLT +8.09% investors love acquisition. Shorts squeezed.
- SDR +7.98% broker upgrade.
- JHX +4.29% finding buyers on US housing outlook.
- MEI +29.17% great run on quarterly/drill results
- TNT +5.00% bounces back.
- PMT +6.54% back.
- FDV -6.74% profit taking.
- PLY -1.89% broker research.
- SBM -5.26% on the nose again.
- SYR -4.55% slip sliding.
- DVP -6.41% profit taking.
- PNI -7.21% fund managers under pressure.
- NTO -unchanged-Alludo says 215c offer is final.
- Speculative Stock of the Day: Lode Resources (LDR) +179.17% on good volume and high-grade drill intercepts at Webb Consol silver project.
- Above Average Volumes: LDR, TTB, HVM, KNG, K2F, WOO and AL3
- Argosy Minerals (AGY) – Completed 98% of the development works for its Rincon Lithium Project in Argentina, with the commissioning phase at 91% completion and battery quality 99.76% lithium carbonate product successfully produced. The company is on track to become the 2nd ASX-listed commercial scale lithium carbonate producer and plans to complete the ramp-up phase and achieve steady-state continuous production by end of Q2 2023.
- Credit Corp Group Limited (CCP) reported a 32% growth in their consumer loan book to $331m. On track for a record year in consumer lending earnings, Credit Corp saw a significant increase in US resourcing. Despite this, first-half NPAT fell 30% to $31.8m, due to increased costs from rapid loan book growth, increased US resourcing, and a run-off in the AU/NZ debt buying segment.
- Flight Centre Travel Group Limited (FLT) has completed its institutional placement, raising $180m. The proceeds will be used to acquire Luxury Travel Holdings.
- Atlas Arteria (ALX) announces €410m investment plan signed by APRR and AREA. The plan includes motorway upgrades, environmental protection, safety improvements and more, to be compensated by the French government through toll increases and other measures.
- Nufarm Limited (NUF) held its AGM and reaffirmed its outlook for FY23 and is expecting modest growth in FY23 EBITDA with earnings weighted towards H1. Strategic growth initiatives, including new product launches, are on track and supported by a healthy balance sheet.
- Race Oncology LTD (RAC) has received approval for its Phase 1/2b clinical trial of Zantrene in breast cancer patients being treated with doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide. The data from the study will guide the design of a future interventional trial. The human trials are fully funded and the CEO is optimistic about the potential of Zantrene in addressing the unmet need for cardioprotection in breast cancer patients.
- Kingsgate Consolidated Limited (KCN) has announced that its subsidiary, Akara Resources intersected significant gold in Thailand during exploration drilling. A drill hole revealed several significant gold zones, including 26m at 3.02 g/t and 7m at 5.77 g/t. Although it’s too early to describe the results as a new discovery, the mineralization is similar to the Chatree Gold Mine 20 kilometres away and the results are significant because they have yet to be tested further.
- Mesoblast Limited (MSB) has resubmitted its Biologics License Application (BLA) to the US FDA for the approval of remestemcel-L for the treatment of children with steroid-refractory acute graft versus host disease (SR-aGVHD). The resubmission includes new long-term survival data and analysis of data from trials and manufacturing, showing the treatment’s effectiveness and consistency. The resubmission will have a review period of up to 6 months and is considered a high priority for the FDA.
ECONOMIC & OTHER NEWS
- RBA head of economic analysis Marion Kohler said the peak in inflation was at the end of 2022, at around 8%, and that inflation will begin to ease over the course of this year.
- UBS says thermal coal prices are past their peak, but Chinese imports will help metallurgic coal to hold above $US250 per tonne over the next six to 12 months.
- Chinese manufacturing activity shrank in January, the Caixin survey showed, as the country re-emerges from three years of anti-COVID lockdowns. The Caixin Manufacturing (PMI) was 49.2 in January, higher than December’s reading of 49.0, but still below estimates of 49.5.
- South Korea recorded a trade deficit of US$47.5bn for 2022, the worst trade deficit since the customs agency started compiling data in 1956. January exports fell US$46.3bn, or 16.6% – while imports fell US$59bn, or 2.6%
- The number of people in Hong Kong whose homes are worth less than their mortgages surged to an 18-year high.
- Adani still under pressure despite the IPO success. Nine of the 10 stocks tied to billionaire Gautam Adani dropped in early Mumbai trading, with Adani Total Gas leading the declines with a 10% plunge, a daily limit.
US AND EUROPEAN HEADLINES
- Boeing is about to deliver the very last 747. The elephant in the room.
- Snap predicts revenue will fall up to 10% this quarter as ad woes persist.
- GM invests US$650mn in US Lithium Americas to secure EV battery materials. Production at the project, the Thacker Pass mine can support production of up to 1m EVs per year. Production expected to start in second half of 2026.