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ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) share prices follows US lower

Bad news on the inflation front in the US carried over to the Australian market today, as a 3.8 per cent inflation print contributed to a 0.4 per cent fall in the S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX: XJO).

The majority of the weakness came from the technology and property sectors, which were down 0.5 and 1.8 per cent on the threat of higher bond yields and slower than expected rate cuts.

Despite this likely short-term hiccup, GPT Group (ASX: GPT) and Scentre Group (ASX: SCG) both fell by more than 3 per cent.

The highlights once again were the energy and materials sectors, which added 0.6 and 1.2 per cent with the former gaining on reports that Iran may be looking to strike against Israel; Karoon Energy Ltd (ASX: KAR) was the standout gaining 4.8 per cent.

Shares in super platform Netwealth Group Ltd (ASX: NWL) were 5 per cent lower despite the company reporting another $2.7 billion in platform inflows taking assets under administration to $84.7 billion.

Burns group Avita sinks on downgrade

Shares in burns treatment group AVITA Medical Inc (ASX: AVH) fell by more than 11 per cent after the company indicated that sales for the March quarter were well below guidance, set to finish at between US$11 and $13 million.

AVITA Medical share price

The weakness was due to slow uptake of its latest product rollout. Nextdc Ltd (ASX: NXT) remains in a trading halt as Next DC seeks to raise a further $1.3 billion in order to fund an expansion of its Sydney and Melbourne data centres amid an AI and computing power arms race. Next DC is clearly seeking to solidify its position as the market leader in Australia.

Gold miner Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) jumped 2.4 per cent as a blow out in the cost of production to $1,810 to $1,860 per ounce was less than expected by the market.

Markets rally as Amazon joins record high party

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX: .DJI) underperformed once again, falling 0.1 per cent, as the broader market was supported by a renewed rally in technology companies. The Nasdaq Composite (INDEXNASDAQ: .IXIC) finished at a record, gaining 1.7 per cent and the S&P 500 (INDEXSP: .INX) finished 0.7 per cent higher as both Inc (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Alphabet Inc Class A (NASDAQ: GOOGL) gained strongly.

Amazon is the latest tech giant to reach a record high, hitting a market value of US$2 trillion as management highlighted hopes the company would be able to ‘democratize’ parts of the AI ecosystem. Earnings season is set to commence with the banking sector on Friday, in which all eyes will be on net interest margins, experts are predicting profit growth of just 3.8 per cent from the market, but 38 per cent from the Magnificent Seven.

The latest producer price data showed slowing in price growth in key areas, while the ECB has all but confirmed rate cuts will begin sooner rather than later as they seek to stimulate the struggling economy.

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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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