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S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) passes 7,800 on real estate strength: ALS Ltd (ASX:ALQ) sinks on acquisition

Here’s today’s latest market update by Drew Meredith, CFP, from Wattle Partners: The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX: XJO) share price is up +0.5% to 7,800.90.

The S&P/ASX 200 posted a strong positive start to the week, gaining 0.5 per cent with only the consumer discretionary sector detracting, down 0.01 per cent.

The sector was hit by news that several leaders at casino operator Star Entertainment Group Ltd (ASX: SGR) would depart the business ahead of the results of an inquiry.

Star Entertainment share price

The real estate sector continues to drive the market, gaining 1.8 per cent, following last weeks commentary by the Reserve Bank which buoyed hopes of rate cuts coming in 2024.

The sector was boosted by a 3.7 per cent gain in data centre owner Goodman Group (ASX: GMG) as valuation concerns dissipate.

It was the opposite story for laboratory testing group ALS Ltd (ASX: ALQ) with ALS sinking close to 5 per cent after management announced they would be acquiring the remaining 51 per cent of embattled drug research business Nuvisan, which they had previously indicated could be sold.

MMA Offshore jumps on takeover bid: McGrath Real Estate finally taken off the ASX

Both the energy and materials sectors were stronger on Monday, gaining 1.1 and 0.7 per cent, with Fortescue Ltd (ASX: FMG) gaining 3.5 per cent after management suggested a pivot towards copper production given recent strength in demand.

FMG share price

Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) also gained 1.1 per cent as the oil price remains strong following an attack in Russia.

Vessel owner MMA Offshore Ltd (ASX: MMA) gained more than 10 per cent after MMA received a bid from Cyan Renewables valuing MMA at more than $1 billion.

MMA Offshore generates less than a quarter of profit from servicing offshore wind farms, but is clearly attractive from an infrastructure owners perspective.

Shares in struggling real estate agency, Mcgrath Ltd (ASX: MEA) will be taken private by a consortium led by Knight Frank, as the residential agency ends a long decade on the market; shares surged more than 20 per cent on the news.

US markets drop for second straight day: Valuations under pressure

All three US benchmarks finished lower on Monday, ahead of a shortened week as traders grow concerned about the market being ‘priced to perfection’ following a 30-per cent increase in just five months.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX: .DJI) dropped 0.4, the S&P 500 (INDEXSP: .INX), 0.3 and the Nasdaq Composite (INDEXNASDAQ: .IXIC) 0.3 per cent, as each of the major technology stocks including Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Alphabet Inc Class A (NASDAQ: GOOGL) felt the brunt of a potentially extended legal pressure following the introduction of new laws in the EU.

Apple share price

Shares in Boeing Co (NYSE: BA) surged after the company announced it’s CEO would be stepping down at the end of the year, while game producer TAKE-TWO INTERACTIVE SOFTWARE, INC Common St (NASDAQ: TTWO), fell on concerns that the popular Grand Theft Auto VI game release would be delayed.

Drug maker Novo Nordisk A/S (CPH: NOVO-B) gained slightly after announcing the acquisition of Cardior Pharmaceuticals for US$1.1 billion, marking an expansion into cardiovascular disease treatment.

The Golden Rules of Investing

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In mid-2023, our senior team at Wattle Partners Financial Planning put the finishing touches on a brand-new report “The Golden Rules of Investing“.

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You’ll find the free report on my Author page. Simply click the button below to view the Golden Rules.

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At the time of publishing, the author or their clients may have a financial interest in some of companies or securities 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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