The Match Out: The unusual combination of Tech & Coal stocks forge ahead

The market close report for Thursday March 9th.
James Gerrish

Market Matters

Local equities opened slightly lower with likes of BHP, Rio Tinto, Mineral Resources, South32, CSL, and ASX all trading ex-dividend initially weighing on the index. 

However, the concerted steady broad-based buying across the market saw over 70% of the index finish up on the day led by some standout performances across the coal and tech names ably supported by a strong day for the banks where we saw NAB, Westpac, and ANZ all pass on the RBA’s rate hike to mortgage holders. This should make Philip Lowe happy!

 However his recent dovish appears to have ignited some buying into the local market which is continuing to outperform its peers.

  • The ASX 200 finished up +3pts/ +0.1% at 7311 after surrendering some of its gains into the close.
  • The Tech sector was best on ground (+2.70%) while Healthcare Stocks closed lower (-1.5%) although it should be noted that the influential CSL did trade ex-dividend for the latter.
  • As we mentioned earlier significant dividends skewed that markets performance on the day but overall there was very little to encourage the many ASX bears.
  • Xero (ASX: XRO) soared +10.7% after new CEO Sukhinder Singh Cassidy announced huge redundancies as the previous growth-focused business cast at least one eye back towards profitability.
  • The largely forgotten Myer (ASX: MYR) soared over +17% after the retailer rewarded patient investors with a huge 4c dividend plus a 4c special dividend as their same-store sales soared 20% in Myer CBD stores for the half year.
  • The coal stocks roared ahead with Whitehaven (ASX: WHC) +5.86% and New Hope (ASX: NHC+5.6% after the underlying coal price bounced higher.
  • The lithium names also enjoyed a solid return to the winner’s enclosure following gains by overnight ETFs in the US e.g. Pilbara Minerals (ASX: PLS) +4.4%, Liontown (ASX: LTR) +4.3%, and Core Lithium (ASX: CXO) +3.1%.
  • Iron Ore was ~0.5% lower in Asia today, although, with most of the bulk commodity facing names trading ex-dividend today, it was hardly noticed.
  • Gold was very quiet in Asia falling just $US2/-0.1% settled at $US1817 at out close.
  • Asian stocks were mixed, Nikkei +0.6%, Hong Kong down +0.2% but Chinese equities slipped -0.3%.
  • US Futures were lower when the ASX closed -0.15% again illustrating the individual relative strength in the local index.

ASX 200 Intraday

ASX 200 Daily

Broker Moves

  • ALS Rated New Neutral at Barrenjoey; PT A$12.35
  • Raised to Accumulate at CLSA; PT A$26
  • Leo Lithium Ltd Rated New Outperform at Macquarie; PT A$1.35
  • Piedmont Lithium GDRs Rated New Outperform at Macquarie
  • Sayona Mining Rated New Outperform at Macquarie

Note: No market pricing tables today due to technical issues.

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James Gerrish
Portfolio Manager
Market Matters

James is Portfolio Manager & Primary Author at Market Matters, a daily investment report with over 2500 subscribers that offers real market insight. He is also Senior Portfolio Manager within Shaw and Partners heading up a team that manages...

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