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Market update; ASX opens weaker


ASX opens weaker, travel rallies on Tasman bubble, strong open ahead

The ASX 200 (ASX:XJO) finished 0.2% lower to open the week, increasing the likelihood of the first negative month since March.

The real estate of A-REIT sector was among the few positives, with Scentre Group (ASX:SCG) and GPT Group (ASX:GPT) finished over 2% higher as Victorian coronavirus cases continued to decline and hopes for an economic reopening increased.

Webjet (ASX:WEB) and Qantas Airways (ASX:QAN) were the other beneficiaries, adding 6.6% and 6.4% respectively, after discussions with NZ on a Trans-Tasman bubble were announced.

  • The financial sector lost ground, falling 0.6%, after the strong gains on Friday as investors attention once again returned to the economy.

    Small cap lithium miner Piedmont Lithium Ltd (ASX:PLL) rallied 83% after announcing it had signed a five year supply agreement with global electric car leader Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA).

    The company’s mine is based in North Carolina with the deal to represent at least one third of sales over its term.
    Daigou drought hitting A2 Milk (ASX:A2M), Ardent Leisure  fined $3.6 m

    Specialist ‘feel good’ milk producer A2 Milk Ltd (ASX:A2M) unexpectedly downgraded their expectations for the financial year, flagging a 6% fall in revenue to $725 million in the first half; down from a forecast of $775 million.

    The full year result is expected to be similar, down to $1.8 billion from $1.9 billion with an important caveat that future COVID-19 impacts are limited.

    Management flagged a slowdown in the Daigou channel, which represents a large but difficult to measure portion of Australian sales and involves foreigners buying and on-selling product in their home countries, typically China.

    That said, the direct Chinese sales are expected to remain strong, suggesting a change in approach may be warranted. The share price fell 11.5% on the news and dragged the Consumer Staples sector down 2.2%.

    Potential COVID-19 treatment producer, Mesoblast Ltd (ASX:MSB) stood out once again, increasing 12%, whilst Ardent Leisure Group Ltd (ASX:ALG) the owner of Dreamworld received a fine of $3.6 million relating to deaths in 2016. 

    Markets higher across the board, Tik Tok ban on hold, HSBC rallies 10%

    Global markets staged a strong recovery overnight, the S&P 500 finished 1.6% higher, Nasdaq, 1.9%, but European markets lead the way adding 2.8%.

    The major contribution came from British bank, HSBC Inc. (LON:HSBA) which rallied 8.9% after its largest shareholder Ping An Insurance increased its holding.

    This came following a fourth straight month of growth in Chinese industrials profits, the first step in the ‘wall of worry’ facing investors.

    The rally was broad based, with just 32 constituents of the S&P 500 finishing lower, travel and energy companies delivering the largest gains on the growing hope of stimulus.

    The recent banning of Tik Tok app downloads by the White House has been questioned by the Federal Court, blocking the decision by suggesting exceeded their authority, this should support Chinese tech companies in the months ahead.

    The week ahead sees Chinese industrial production results, British and US GDP along with the long awaited debate between President Trump and Joe Biden on Wednesday.

    Drew Meredith

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

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