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ASX shares update; 9 in 10 stocks fall

Defensive assets

9 in 10 stocks fall, energy under pressure, but ASX to open higher after US relief

As the saying goes, sharemarkets take the stairs up and the elevator down. The ASX 200 (ASX:XJO) followed the global lead finishing 2.2% lower, with all but 13 stocks in the index finishing lower.

Energy companies including Woodside Petroleum Ltd (ASX:WPL) and Santos Ltd (ASX:STO) fell by 4.4% and 5.4% respectively, as oil prices took another hit from signs of another round of global lockdowns.

  • Predictably, consumer staples and materials, outperformed, albeit delivering less negative results for the day. The sell down was initially triggered by the Nasdaq 100 entering a correction falling 11% in three days, however, given the market is up 41% over the last 12 months, recent volatility should be kept in context.

    GrainCorp Ltd (ASX:GNC) was among the worst hit falling 8.9% after it was forced to make a $70 million insurance payment following a better than expected 2020 crop.

    ‘As goes retail, so goes the world’, Patrick Terminal contract extended, home loans beat expectations

    Australian Retailer’s Association CEO Paul Zahra confronted the Victorian Government’s lockdown measures head on, suggesting “around 50% of small (retail) small businesses in Victoria will permanently close” and reiterating the importance of a retail sector in an eventual economic recovery.

    Qube Holdings Ltd (ASX:QUB) announced that their Patrick Terminals business secured an extended to the Port of Melbourne lease until 2066, solidifying their already strong position.

    The company is committed to improving supply chain efficiency across Australia and stands out as a key beneficiary of the re-shoring of capacity post this pandemic.

    According to Morgan Stanley, Scentre Group (ASX:SCG) may be forced to suspend dividends, undertake a dilutive capital raising or consider divesting a portion of their portfolio to get their gearing levels back under control; shares fell 4.0%.

    Technology leads turnaround, China in the crosshairs, Tiffany & Co. sues

    The ASX will open higher on Thursday after US markets stemmed the bleeding, the S&P 500 up 2.0% and the Nasdaq 100, 3.0%. Telsa Inc. (NASADAQ:TSLA) was among the leaders recovering 11% after yesterday missing out on a position in the S&P 500.

    Investors were expecting its addition which would force ETF providers around the world to increase their stakes; but were left disappointed.

    The rally was broad-based but with cyclical airline and consumer sectors feeling the rotation back into technology; Tiffany and Co (NYSE:TIF) fell 6.4% after announcing it would be suing LVMH (EPA:MC) for pulling out of their $16 billion deal; a sound decision in my view given the changing nature of the economy post COVID.

    Athleisure wear provider Lululemon Inc. (NASDAQ:LULU), popular among stay at home workers, fell 7.5%, despite growing revenue 3% to $903 million following a 160% increase in online sales.

    The ECB will meet again overnight.

    Drew Meredith

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

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