The Match Out: ASX up again as stocks knock on the door of all-time highs

James Gerrish

Market Matters

A bullish day to end another positive week for equities taking the ASX 200 to within 1% of its all-time high. Strength across the tech stocks in the US overnight permeated into the local market again today, however what really caught or eye was CSL finally breaking out on a flow of broker upgrades while the Real-Estate sector is now heating up.

  • The ASX 200 finished up +46pts/ +0.62% at 7558
  • The Healthcare sector was best on ground (+2.51%) while Property (+2.37%) & Financials (+1.21%) were also strong.
  • Materials (-1.39%) and Utilities (-0.15%) the weakest links.
  • Comm Bank (ASX: CBA+1.29% hit another record high today at $111.43, the bulls expecting a strong result when the bank reports on Feb 15. We own, but wouldn’t be chasing this strength.
  • Pinnacle (ASX: PNI) +9.58% ripped higher today after a tough few sessions – Morgans turning bullish on the fund manager platform.
  • Gold stocks were weak with Evolution (EVN) -4% and Newcrest (NCM) -3% - as we suggested this morning, the $US bounced just +0.5% overnight but it was enough to see gold surrender almost $US50 of its recent gains illustrating our point perfectly that if the Greenback (DXY) can rally back towards the 105-107 area the Resources Sector could be in for a tough period (short term).
  • Centuria Capital (ASX: CNI+4.39% was strong today and the 4th best performer in the ASX 200 – we own across both our Income + Emerging Companies Portfolios and think the stock looks great for further gains, initially targeting ~$2.20.
  • IAG Insurance (ASX: IAG) -2.07% fell after downgrading margin guidance, they say insurance margins will be ~10% versus prior guidance of up to 16%.
  • Bega (ASX: BGA) -3.96% is changing CEO, with Pete Findlay stepping up to the plate with immediate effect – the cherry on a tough 12 months for BGA.
  • CSL Limited (ASX: CSL) + 3.03% broke out today on positive flow, accounting for ~30% of the advance by the ASX 200.
  • Iron Ore was ~2% lower in Asia, now trading $US125.tonne
  • Gold was down overnight to ~US$1913 before tracking up -US$3 in Asian trade today, settled $US1916 at our close.
  • Asian stocks were mixed, Hong Kong down -1.70%, Japan +0.33% while China was off -1.18%
  • US Futures are mostly lower.

ASX 200 Chart

Sectors this week – Source Bloomberg

Stocks this week – Source Bloomberg

Broker Moves

  • Pinnacle Investment Raised to Add at Morgans Financial Limited
  • Neuren Cut to Neutral at Evans & Partners Pty Ltd; PT A$8.70
  • Harvey Norman Cut to Underperform at Jefferies; PT A$3.60
  • Domino's Pizza Enterprises Cut to Underperform at Jefferies
  • Lynas Rated New Hold at Bell Potter; PT A$9.05
  • Pepper Money Rated New Neutral at Citi; PT A$1.60
  • Resimac Group Rated New Sell at Citi; PT A$1.20

Major Movers Today

Have a great night

The Market Matters Team

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James Gerrish
Portfolio Manager
Market Matters

James is Portfolio Manager & Primary Author at Market Matters, a daily investment report with over 2500 subscribers that offers real market insight. He is also Senior Portfolio Manager within Shaw and Partners heading up a team that manages...

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