Home / Daily Market Update / ASX records worst session in more than a month
ASX records worst session in more than a month
Daily Market Update

Market down as Brisbane locks down, AGL to split, USD rallies 

The ASX200 (ASX:XJO) finished 0.9% lower after the Queensland Government announced a lockdown amid surging virus cases in Brisbane and surrounding areas.

The retail sector was hit hard, falling 1.4%, as the likes of Flight Centre (ASX:FLT), -1.8% and Webjet (ASX:WEB), -2.0%, were hit with cancellations of Easter travel plans.

The rest of the pain came from the commodities and resources sectors, materials fell 1.9% and energy another 1.6% as the Suez Canal was once again opened.

Shares in AGL Energy (ASX:AGL) fell 3.5% after management announced the company would be split into two divisions; New AGL and PrimeCo.

Management is seeking to release value in the business by separating out the energy retailing and old-school power generation, likely with an eye to demerging given the ESG issues of operating coal mines.

Shares in popular gambling platform Pointsbet (ASX:PBH) suffered the worst decline, falling 9.3% after news that an all-important approval of online gaming in New York State had been delayed.

Maggie Beer seeks distribution, AMP discussions continue, NAB takeover approved, APRA flags property indicators.

Maggie Beer Holdings (ASX:MBH) continues to recover from a difficult few years, entering a trading halt after announcing the $40m acquisition of The Hamper Emporium and Gifts business.

The group is seeking to expand its distribution by any means necessary, with the purchase gaining some $46m in revenue and $9 million in earnings; it will be funded by a capital raising.

AMP’s (ASX:AMP) recalibration remains on track, albeit slower than expected after Ares Management confirmed there would be a “variety of conditions” placed on any deal to purchase AMP Capital’s infrastructure and real estate division; shares fell another 1.1%.

APRA today outlined the indicators they will be looking for amid the expanding property bubble, flagging credit growth that is outpacing income growth and higher loan-to-value ratios as their greatest concern. 

They will also have a keen eye on high debt to income ratios, which have been targeted by the NZ Government along with broker originated lending.

National Australia Bank (ASX:NAB) has received approval of neobank 86 400 for $200 million, shrinking the number of competitor banks.

Three markets lower, property boom spreads, Europe hits a new high

US markets all finished lower overnight, the Nasdaq down 0.1%, Dow 0.3% and the S&P500 0.3%, with falls in utilities and staples offsetting gains on the financial sector as losses from the Archegos Capital implosion became clear.

The hedge fund wind-up stands out as one of the worst since the Long-Term Capital Management disaster that shattered equity markets decades ago.

European markets hit the highest level in 13 months, benefitting from a release of many lockdowns, with cyclicals and banks the key beneficiaries.

President Biden is expected to offer more detail on his infrastructure and tax plan as he seeks to address expanding inequality in America, which has sent bond yields to a 14 month high.

According to data, the US housing sector has delivered the strongest 12-month return in 16 years, jumping 11% in the year to January, as sub 3% mortgage rates drive a boom. 

ARK Invest’s Space ETF (NYSE:ARKX) is set to list today whilst chip maker Arm Ltd, which is being acquired by NVIDIA (NYSE:NVDA) has flagged a significant overhaul of its technology as it seeks to increase pressure on the resurgent Intel Corp (NYSE:INTC).

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