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ASX to edge up, US megatechs rally, bitcoin tumbles


FedEx is forecasting a 10 per cent increase in holiday package deliveries over a previous record peak season in 2020 as consumers remain hooked on internet shopping even as stores reopen from last year’s lockdowns.

In a note, LPL Financial said the S&P 500 Information Technology Sector has gained 27 per cent in the past six months, outperforming the broader S&P 500 by more than 10 per cent.

LPL Financial said the info tech sector just broke out to fresh relative highs for the first time since September 2020 and it could be setting up a favourable outlook heading into 2022.

Bloomberg reported that Apple is pushing to accelerate development of its electric car and is refocusing the project around full self-driving capabilities, according to people familiar with the matter, aiming to solve a technical challenge that has bedevilled the auto industry.

In a note, Wedbush Securities reiterated its bullish position on tech: “The tech bull cycle will continue in our opinion its upward move into 2022 given the scarcity of growth names/winners in this market on the heels of the 4th Industrial Revolution playing out among enterprises/consumers.”

The next six months could see the S&P 500 hitting 5200 in an environment of reduced monetary stimulus and outperformance by cyclical companies, according to Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management. That would imply an 11 per cent rally from Wednesday’s close.

Iron ore futures in China sank on Thursday to their lowest in more than a year, dragged down by a dismal demand outlook for steel products and raw materials in the world’s biggest steel producer.

The most-traded iron ore for January delivery on the Dalian Commodity Exchange ended daytime trading 5.1 per cent lower at 511.50 yuan ($US80.21) a tonne, after touching 510.50 yuan earlier in the session, its lowest since November 4, 2020.

“The price of iron ore has not yet bottomed out,” analysts at Zhongzhou Futures wrote in a weekly note, citing continuing steel production curbs in China in line with its decarbonisation goals and the turmoil in the country’s property sector.

Today’s agenda

Local data: NZ credit card spending October

Overseas data: Japan October CPI; UK November GfK consumer sentiment, October retail sales, October public sector borrowing

Market highlights

ASX futures up 4 points or 0.1 per cent to 7371 near 7am AEDT

  • AUD +0.1% to 72.77 US cents
  • Bitcoin on -3.7% to $US57,930.81 as of 7.20am AEDT
  • On Wall St 3.10pm: Dow -0.1% S&P 500 +0.3% Nasdaq +0.4%
  • In New York: BHP +0.1% Rio -1.2% Atlassian +1.4%
  • Tesla -0.03% Apple +2.9% Amazon +3.5% Alphabet +1%
  • In Europe: Stoxx 50 -0.4% FTSE -0.5% CAC -0.2% DAX -0.2%
  • Spot gold -0.3% to $US1861.59/oz at 12.44pm New York time
  • Brent crude +1% to $US81.05 a barrel
  • US oil +0.7% to $US78.87 a barrel
  • Iron ore -4.2% to $US87.27 a tonne
  • 2-year yield: US 0.50% Australia 0.64%
  • 5-year yield: US 1.23% Australia 1.36%
  • 10-year yield: US 1.59% Australia 1.79% Germany -0.28%
  • US prices as of 3.13pm in New York

From today’s Financial Review

RBA warns of ‘faddish’ crypto crash: The value of $US2.6 trillion in cryptocurrencies could crash when central banks decide to assert control over their monetary systems, the Reserve Bank has warned.

Push on for 3pc annual wages growth: Employers have warned against increasing salary bills based on pandemic price pressures and want to see productivity gains before accepting union demands.

MinRes will ‘probably’ demerge lithium: Ellison: Rich Lister Chris Ellison has cut iron ore exports, flagged a future demerger of his lithium business and revealed his wife has bought an electric Ferrari.

United States

Macy’s raised its full-year sales and profit outlook, signalling the department store chain had sidestepped supply chain snarls and was well stocked for the all-important holiday season.

The retailer also beat market estimates for quarterly sales and said it was reviewing a potential spin-off of its e-commerce business, sending its shares soaring more than 20 per cent to a three-year high.

Pfizer said the U.S. government would pay $US5.29 billion for 10 million courses of its experimental COVID-19 antiviral drug, as the country rushes to secure promising oral treatments for the disease.

J&J expects to file for approval of 14 new drugs by 2025, and has projected average peak sales of $US4 billion a year for each, a top J&J scientist said ahead of a strategy review of the company’s pharmaceuticals unit.

CVS will shut about 900 stores over the next three years, it said as the company tries to adapt to changing consumer preferences by pivoting to new store formats that offer more health services.


European shares ended lower on Thursday, weighed by weakness in commodity-related stocks amid declining oil and metal prices, and breaking a record-breaking six-day rally fuelled by strong earnings.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index dropped 0.5 per cent, its first fall in seven sessions, with energy stock and miners dropping about 2 per cent each.

Oil stocks were hit by plunging crude prices on worries of a supply overhang and the prospect of China moving to release strategic fuel reserves, while miners slipped as copper prices fell to their lowest in more than a month.

European stocks started the day on stable footing, with Germany’s DAX, Switzerland’s SMI and France’s CAC 40 all touching record highs earlier in the session, but giving up those gains by the close.

Stronger-than-expected earnings season and accommodative monetary policy have helped drive the STOXX 600 to record highs recently. However, uncertainty has crept in about a resurgence in COVID-19 cases and the extent of lockdowns needed to curb the spread of the disease.

“Speculation over a Christmas lockdown in the UK does raise risks for stocks, but questions over how wide-reaching such measures would be does bring uncertainty over who the winners and losers would be in such an instance,” said Joshua Mahony, senior market analyst at IG.


China’s Alibaba forecast annual revenue to grow at its slowest pace since its 2014 stock market debut as second-quarter results missed expectations due to slowing consumption, increasing competition and a regulatory crackdown.

US-listed shares of Alibaba Group Holding, which expects fiscal year 2022 revenue to grow by 20 per cent to 23 per cent, tumbled near 10 per cent at midday in New York.

China stocks closed lower on Thursday, led by metaverse-related shares as the state media flagged risks, while real estate developers fell amid liquidity woes.

The blue-chip CSI300 index fell 1.0 per cent, to 4,837.62, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.5 per cent to 3,520.71 points.

Media companies lost 2.7 per cent, led by metaverse-related stocks, after state media People’s Daily published an article telling people to think rationally on metaverse.

Real estate developers declined 2.1 per cent amid concerns over liquidity woes in the sector.

Lithium stocks extended gains from the previous session, with Tibet Summit Resources Co, Chengxin Lithium Group and Tianqi Lithium Corp up between 5 per cent and 10 per cent.

China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said the country will guide lithium battery makers to enhance technological innovation and improve products quality.

Coal shares gained 1.1 per cent. China will establish a special relending facility worth 200 billion yuan ($31.35 billion) to support the clean use of coal, state broadcaster CCTV said on Wednesday.


RBA warns of ‘faddish’ crypto crash: The value of $US2.6 trillion in cryptocurrencies could crash when central banks decide to assert control over their monetary systems, the Reserve Bank has warned.

Inflation outlook lifts NZ dollar ahead of policy meeting: The New Zealand dollar bounced on Thursday after elevated inflation expectations backed the chance of a steep increase in the cash rate next week.


China Baowu Steel Group released its priorities for decarbonisation in Shanghai on Thursday, though without providing a timeline for their implementation.

It also announced plans for a fund that will spend $US5.5 million each year to research low-carbon metallurgy and an alliance with 62 mills and institutions to reduce the sector’s greenhouse gas releases.

The company has previously pledged to reach peak emissions in 2023 and be carbon neutral by 2050, though the latter goal doesn’t include Scope 3 emissions. China has vowed to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.

ArcelorMittal — the world’s second-biggest steelmaker — is targeting a 35 per cent reduction in its Scope 1 and 2 emissions in Europe by 2030 and 25 per cent globally.

Australian sharemarket

ASX edges up as banks dumped anew by nervous shareholders: The sharemarket posted a mixed day amid a slew of AGM, trading, and acquisition updates framed by another day of selling from nervous bank investors.

Why this fundie is bullish on Tyro and bearish on AGL: Bennelong’s Kristiaan Rehder explains why he thinks Tyro Payments is oversold, lithium is the superior commodity, and the fund’s short position in AGL.

Street Talk

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ASX to edge up, US megatechs rally, bitcoin tumbles

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