ASX 200 rallies to end a tough month for stocks

James Gerrish

Market Matters

I was at fathers day breakfast this morning and a picture of Boris Johnson flicked up….my 8 eight year old asked if that was Donald Trumps son! Classic call. Happy Fathers day to all the dads out there…

The final trading day of August and the market put on a strong performance to finish up on the day, the week but not the month.

At the index level, the market did finish around mid range after hitting a 6396 low, before closing today at 6604.

Stocks in Asia were also strong today while US Futures were only marginally higher during our time zone – Iron Ore Futures rallied providing a decent backdrop for stocks locally. Comments from the Chinese Trade Minster saying that conflict won’t benefit either side in these trade talks seemed to do the trick – its amazing what happens when calmer heads prevail!

On the economic front today, building approvals were weak both month on month and year on year which put pressure on the Aussie Dollar + its supportive of lower rates, which the market liked hence the buying accelerated post this release.

Harvey Norman (HVN) reported today, the last cap off the rank and while the trends in the business actually seemed to be improving, particularly the growth in the international operation, shares closed down -6.21% after a strong run up in recent months.

Overall, the ASX 200 added +96pts today or +1.49% to 6604, Dow Futures are now trading up +8pts /+0.03%.

ASX 200 Chart

ASX 200 Chart


Monthly Performance – Sectors

The healthcare stocks provided most support in August, strong results from some of the majors headlined by CSL which is such an influential member of the sector composition while it also accounts for more than 5% of the broader ASX 200. Real

Estate stocks were also strong while the sectors exposed to global growth, namely the materials & energy sectors were sharply lower – we used this weakness in resources to add BHP, RIO & FMG to the MM Platinum Portfolio.

Monthly Performance – Stocks

Some big stock volatility during August with Speedcast (SDA) the main casualty, although ~20% moves seemed to be fairly customary during the period at various stages. Nanosonics (NAN) took the gong as top pick adding +21%.

Broker moves;

• Ausdrill Upgraded to Buy at Moelis & Company; PT A$2.33
• Appen Upgraded to Buy at UBS; PT A$30
• Appen Downgraded to Hold at Canaccord; PT A$26
• Appen Upgraded to Buy at Bell Potter; PT A$27.50
• Independence Group Downgraded to Sell at Citi; PT Set to A$5
• Link Administration Upgraded to Buy at Citi; PT A$6.20
• Link Administration Cut to Neutral at Credit Suisse; PT A$5.75
• Vista Group Downgraded to Hold at Deutsche Bank; PT Set to NZ$4
• GTN Ltd Downgraded to Neutral at Macquarie; PT A$0.86
• Crown Resorts Downgraded to Neutral at Macquarie; PT A$11.25
• Autosports Upgraded to Outperform at Macquarie; PT A$1.76
• Atlas Arteria Cut to Neutral at Macquarie; Price Target A$8.12
• NextDC Upgraded to Outperform at Macquarie; PT A$7.75
• Australian Vintage Cut to Hold at Morgans Financial; PT A$0.52

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James Gerrish
Portfolio Manager
Market Matters

James is the Lead Portfolio Manager & primary author at Market Matters, a digital advice & investment platform with over 2500 members that offers real market intel & portfolios open for investment. He is also a Senior Portfolio Manager at Shaw and...

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