The S&P/ASX 200 (ASX: XJO) is tipped to rise when the market opens on Thursday according to the latest SPI futures. Here’s what’s making headlines.
ASX share market recap
The ASX 200 eeked out a 0.1% gain for the day on Wednesday, with the ‘value’ rotation in full swing.
The strengthening oil price combined with a weaker USD sent the sector 4.2% higher, Origin Energy Ltd (ASX: ORG) and Oil Search Limited (ASX: OSH) the key beneficiaries, up 3.0% and 6.0% respectively. Origin has been further supported by an incredible spike in the price of exported gas as Asian markets experience cooler than expected wealth.
Most weakness is coming from the defensive sectors like groceries and healthcare, with Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW) down 1.5% as investors position for the recovery.
The Solomon Lew-backed Premier Investments Limited (ASX: PMV) hit a record high, jumping 12.7% after flagging an 85% increase in earnings for the first half of 2021; a stunning result given the pandemic. The upgrade was driven by a 5% increase in global sales and a 26% increase in Australian like-for-like sales and the continued shift online. Management reported a 60% increase in online sales to $146.2 million across its Smiggle, Peter Alexander and Just Group brands, which still represent just 20.4% of its total.
Job market recovery continues, Praemium powers up
The ABS has reported a strong recovery in job vacancies across Australia, with available positions growing 23% in the three months ending in November to 254,400. The result reflects the growing confidence in the business sector and the huge shortage of employees across various industries. There is hope this will support the so-called JobKeeper cliff when it is cut off later this year.
Investment platform Praemium Ltd (ASX: PPS), which acquired smaller competitor Powerwrap Ltd (ASX: PWL) in 2020, continues to benefit from a flood of advisers leaving major financial institutions, reporting a record quarter of investment inflows, $1.1 billion. That represents an increase of 128% on the same period in 2020.
Praemium’s management has flagged strong growth in all three business units, the Australian platform growing 10% for the quarter, International 9% and the managed discretionary account solution 9%. The acquisition of Powerwrap has seen total assets under administration hit $34 billion, 69% higher than 2020, an important milestone for a business model that requires scale to deliver consistent profitability. The Praemium share price finished 15.6% higher on the news.
US markets rally, Intel stock buoyed by leadership change
US markets were buoyed by dual comments from the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank, with the Fed confirming they did not intend to taper QE purchases any time soon and the latter taking an ‘easy stance’ for as long as is needed by the economy.
This sent bond rates lower, the technology sector the biggest beneficiaries with Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Microsoft all gaining on the news. The S&P 500 finished 0.2% higher and the Nasdaq 0.4%.
Struggling chip manufacturer Intel Corp (NYSE: INTC) jumped over 8% after announcing that 20-year employee Pat Gelsinger would return to lead the business through a difficult transformation. Markets were buoyed by his extensive engineering experience, which comes at a time when Intel has lost market share to companies including Taiwan Semiconductor (2330: TPE) and Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA), and the likes of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) deciding to begin manufacturing its own chips.
Data provider IHS Markit (NYSE: INFO), which produces a significant amount of economic data including the leading PMI indicators, reported weaker than expected sales, down 1% to US$1.11 billion with shares falling a similar amount on the news.