December 6 2022
US equites fell on the back foot on Monday, falling for the third day
The pull back in US stocks was largely fuelled by the US economy’s service gauge unexpectedly rising, fuelling speculations that the Fed can keep hiking interest rates and keep policy tight. As such, in a typical risk off fashion, the 10-year bond yield jumped almost 11 bps to 3.59%, which helped push up the US dollar up against board, with the yen sliding 1.8%. Money is essential being taken off the table ahead of Friday’s US producer prices report, which will be one of the final pieces of data Fed officials see before their December 13 meeting. 95% of the S&P500 stocks closed underwater, with all major sectors all in the red. The S&P500 fell 1.8%, moving further away from its 200-day average; with the technical indicators flagging another potential pull back could occur. While the tech heavy Nasdaq Composite fell 1.9%, almost wiping out last week’s rally as tech stocks are the most sensitive to rate hikes as they are deemed expensive, with a PE ratio of over 40 times earnings.
As for big sock moves in the US; Tesla tumbled and airlines rallied
Tesla shares fell 6.4% on reports its plans to lower production at its Shanghai factory, as China’s demand isn’t meeting expectations. Tesla shares are now down 53% from their high and what’s keeping their shares at this level is that the raw material costs are still high, for example the price of lithium is back at record highs, and the market consensus suggests earnings growth will remain at near the 20% mark. As always, there were pockets of green, United Airlines shares gained 2.6% after Morgan Stanley upgraded the airliner on expecting 2023 travel to be a ’goldilocks’ year with earnings to pick up.
In commodities moves
Oil pulled back 3.8% as the US dollar rallied, gold plunged 1.6% as the USD and bond yield rose, and iron ore (SCOA) fell 1.7% but held onto its fresh highs of $106.50.
Australia’s share market rally halts, metal prices head lower, coal stocks surge RBA decision ahead
The Australian benchmark index, the ASX200 (ASXSP200.1) today is lower on Tuesday, following global markets; with selling in oil, gas, and gold stocks dragging down the market. As a result the ASX200 stumbled from its seven month high on expectations the Fed might keep rates higher for longer, which is also why interest rate sensitive stocks such as Block (SQ2) are in the loser board, down 5.3%, taking its year to date loss to 51%. While on the upside, coal stocks such as New Hope Corp (NHC) are up 2% with Whitehaven (WHC) up 1.2% supported higher by the coal Newcastle futures price head back toward its record all time high, on expectations coal demand will pick up.
The major focus in Australia is on the outcome of the RBA meeting today
At 2.30pm Sydney time, Australia’s central bank is expected to hike rates by 0.25% for the third straight month, which will take the cash rate from 2.85% to 3.1%. Focus will be on RBA commentary potentially ending its rate hike cycle, given Australian households have the highest debt to income ratios in the world; with indebted households highly vulnerable of tightening, with loan arrears and insolvencies increasing. Look for colour in the RBA statement that may allude to the RBA pausing rate hikes in early 2023. Lenders in Australia, Commonwealth Bank (CBA), ANZ (ANZ), Westpac (WBC) and National Australia Bank (NAB), as well as Suncorp (SUN) and Bank of Queensland (BOQ) will be on watch as they have been experiencing smaller profits as the property market is at breaking point with mortgage holders under stress. However, note, insurance companies are continuing to benefit from higher rates. Insurance company QBE Insurance (QBE) is trading up 9.2% this year and is a buy side analyst favorite. For more Australian buy side analyst favouities, click here. If the RBA mentions a potential rate hike pause, you could expect banks to rally as well as REITs. For a list of Australian REITs, refer to Saxo’s Australian REIT stock basket.
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