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S&P/ASX 200 dips on healthcare, Mesoblast tanks on FDA queries

The S&P/ASX 200 (ASX: XJO) managed a 0.2% gain on Friday, overcoming significant weakness in the healthcare sector, which fell 1.2%.

Broader strength in the ASX 200’s energy and technology sectors, up 1.1% and 1.3%, was enough to overcome the weakness, with Karoon Energy Ltd (ASX: KAR) gaining 4.2% higher on energy prices.

Karoon Energy Ltd share price

Resmed CDI (ASX: RMD) was the biggest detractor, with the company falling 9.3% as investors looked past the 18% recent increase, to the narrowing of profit margins. Embattled healthcare research firm Mesoblast Ltd (ASX: MSB) saw shares fall by more than 56%, after the company confirmed that the US regular had requested more data on a key pediatric treatment that management were hoping to monetise.

Shares in ANZ Group Holdings Ltd (ASX: ANZ) gained 0.8% with management vowing to fight the ACCC’s decision to block the proposed merger with Suncorp Group Ltd (ASX: SUN), close to 12 months after it was initially announced.

Over the week, the market finished 1.1% lower, with retailers the only winner, finishing 0.8% higher and utilities dropping 3.4%.

S&P500 snaps three-week winning streak

Abroad, all three US benchmarks weakened on Friday, with news of another 187,000 jobs being added and the unemployment rate falling to 3.5%, reopening the threat of rate hikes.

The Dow Jones and Nasdaq fell 0.4% and the S&P500 0.5%, with the Dow and S&P500 ending three straight winning weeks, to finish 1.1% and 2.3% lower. All eyes were on reporting season, with shares in Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL) falling close to 5% after the company reported a slight fall in quarterly revenue to USD$81.8 billion.

iPhone and iPad sales were the largest detractors, albeit only marginally, with the wearables business continuing to offset this with stronger growth. The flat result wasn’t unexpected given the incredible year thus far.

The, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) stock price gained 8.3% after the company doubled profit expectations for the quarter, with cloud sales surging 12%. Overseas sales also continued to improve.

China tariffs unwind, margins under pressure

News that the Chinese government had reserved anti-dumping tariffs on Australian barley is a massive positive for the economy and a number of other sectors, including wine exports. The tariffs had been in place for three years as part of a ‘trade war’ with the news sending the Treasury Wine Estates Ltd (ASX: TWE)  share price 5% higher for the week.

After the likes of Alphabet Inc Class A (NASDAQ: GOOGL) and NVIDIA Corp (NASDAQ: NVDA) smashed expectations on higher growth expectations, the result from Apple offered a reminder that growth and sales don’t continue in a straight line. While there were positives, it showed that pressure remains on the consumer.

Another key takeaway was the fact that traders are increasingly focused on the sustainability of profit margins, rather than solely on profit or revenue growth.

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Information warning: The information on this website is published by The Rask Group Pty Ltd (ABN: 36 622 810 995) is limited to factual information or (at most) general financial advice only. That means, the information and advice does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It is not specific to you, your needs, goals or objectives. Because of that, you should consider if the advice is appropriate to you and your needs, before acting on the information. If you don’t know what your needs are, you should consult a trusted and licensed financial adviser who can provide you with personal financial product advice. In addition, you should obtain and read the product disclosure statement (PDS) before making a decision to acquire a financial product. Please read our Terms and Conditions and Financial Services Guide before using this website. The Rask Group Pty Ltd is a Corporate Authorised Representative (#1280930) of AFSL #383169.

At the time of publishing, Drew does not have a financial or commercial interest in any of the companies mentioned.

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Wattle Partners is a financial advice firm, servicing clients around Australia, specialising in retirement planning (pre and post retirement). 

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