The S&P/ASX 200 (ASX: XJO) is tipped to rise at the open on Monday according to the latest SPI futures. Here’s what’s making headlines.
Another positive week for global markets
It was another positive week for global markets, the ASX 200 finishing 1.2% higher despite falling 0.5% on Friday.
Similarly, US markets have overcome the ‘will they or won’t they’ stimulus discussions, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq up 0.2% and 0.8%, respectively.
It was a mixed day on Friday, with Australia’s largest company, CSL Limited (ASX: CSL), falling 0.7% after an otherwise solid week.
The ASX property sector took a major hit on Friday, with GPT Group (ASX: GPT) and Scentre Group (ASX: SCG) down 4.7% and 3.5%, respectively, as investors grow wary of increasing vacancies and falling rents after a strong rally.
Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (ASX: URW) shares bucked the trend, rallying 12.1% after a number of large shareholders questioned the discounted capital raising proposal.
Elsewhere, toll road owner Atlas Arteria Group (ASX: ALX) flagged higher tolls, but was met with a 3.6% share price fall on the back of regulatory concerns. After recovering strongly post March, some reality is sinking in for toll roads and airports. I’d suggest below-average traffic will be the norm for some time to come, placing pressure on dividends.
Aussie Broadband stags, Tyro makes a deal
Management of Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PPE) flagged its intention to request approval for a potential COVID-19 vaccine in November, which would trigger an emergency FDA review before Christmas. Pfizer shares finished 3.8% higher on Friday.
Morwell second-tier NBN retailer Aussie Broadband Pty Ltd (ASX: ABB) jumped over 90% on debut on Friday, offering a stark difference to the negative sentiment around market leader Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS).
EFTPOS terminal provider Tyro Payments Ltd (ASX: TYR) announced an important deal with Bendigo Adelaide Bank Ltd (ASX: BEN), through which it will install Tyro terminals in all Bendigo sites. This consolidates Tyro’s position as the fifth-biggest network behind the big four banks; Tyro shares jumping 5.9% on the news.
Meanwhile, Chinese importers placed further pressure on the Australian economy, flagging bans on imports of cotton. Nonetheless, Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) is still likely to hit its export targets with iron ore not yet challenged.
My key takeaways from the week
As per usual, here are my three key takeaways from the week.
RBA setting sights on the dollar
The Reserve Bank of Australia finally delivered on calls for more economic support this week, indicating it will be expanding quantitative easing (QE) policy into purchasing 10-year government bonds as it seeks to stimulate borrowing and investment as well as weaken the currency.
Australia’s 10-year government bond yield remains one of the highest in the world which has kept our currency stubbornly high, something hurting exports.
ASX blue chips ex-growth
Another round of IPOs last week jumping over 50% is highlighting that ASX blue chips have clearly become ex-growth. Investors are being forced to chase growth in much smaller companies. In my view, the better opportunities lie offshore in Asia and the US.
Big week(s) ahead
I spoke with the team at Coolabah Capital during the week, their bond and credit strategies the best performing in the country. The team remains highly positive on hopes for a vaccine and continued strength in property prices, highlighting Chinese demand remains strong.
The next few weeks standout as the most important of the year with a number of vaccine trials due. If successful, the market may be in for a strong rally. Despite headlines, vaccine hopes are, in my view, more powerful than the US election result.