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AI boom supports ASX, Block Payments profit jumps, Next DC hits all-time high


The Australian sharemarket posted a positive finish to the week, gaining 0.4 per cent, but with the S&P/ASX200 still managing to lose 0.2 per cent across the five days. The technology sector was buoyed by NVIDIA’s massive result overnight, with data centre operator Next DC (ASX:NXT) adding 1.9 per cent and hitting another all-time high on hopes that AI adoption will drive more data centre investment. Block Payments (ASX:SQ2) boosted the sector, gaining 16.5 per cent, and sending it to a 3.3 per cent gain for the week. The company, which owns Afterpay, delivered on its cost cutting focus, posting strong revenue growth to US$5.8 billion. Shares in pallet owner Brambles (ASX:BXB) gained 0.6 per cent as the company managed to lift profit by 17 per cent, having been able to pass on cost increases to customers, while increasing the dividend by 22 per cent.

Dow, S&P hit new records, as NVIDIA rally continues, Carvana surges, Warner Bros. weakens

  • Both the Dow Jones and S&P500 finished at new records on Friday, adding 0.2 and 0.1 per cent respectively, while the Nasdaq gained 0.3 per cent. Across the week the result was a solid 1.3, 1.7 and 1.4 per cent gain, with NVIDIA’s incredible earnings report supporting the tech-heavy benchmarks. Some ‘lesser known’ names reported on Friday, including Warner Bros. (NYSE:WBD) and Carvana (NYSE:CVNA) both of which suffered different fates. On one hand, Warner Bros. fell by close to 10 per cent after reporting an unexpected loss and seeing subscriber growth continue to weaken. Studio, network and advertising revenue were all down close to 10 per cent. Carvana, on the other hand, was a big winner, gaining close to a third, albeit off a low base, as the used car seller reported a better than expected loss for the quarter.

    NVIDIA, concentration risk, records everywhere, lithium, nickel weakness continues It was all about NVIDIA this week after the most important chip producer in the world delivered a monster earnings result, growing profit sales three times and profit close to seven times in the quarter. The company powers almost every major computer and data centre assets and has grown to be one of the largest in the world in the space of less than 12 months. Much of the attention remains on the concentration risk within equity markets, particularly the Magnificent Seven, however, the story is quite similar or even worse in many other parts of the world, including Europe and the UK, where as much as 60 per cent of the benchmark is accounted for by the ten largest companies. This week also offered a reminder of the cyclicality of the mining sector, with both nickel and lithium prices seeing significant weakness, despite being central to our electric vehicle driven future.

    Drew Meredith

    Drew is publisher of the Inside Network's mastheads and a principal adviser at Wattle Partners.

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