Market Wraps

Morning Wrap: ASX 200 to rise, S&P 500 logs best February in 9 years + Lithium futures rally

Fri 01 Mar 24, 8:37am (AEST)

ASX 200 futures are trading 20 points higher, up 0.26% as of 8:30 am AEDT.

The S&P 500 finished last month up 5.2% and marked its best February since 2015, numbers for the Fed's preferred inflation gauge came out in-line with market expectations, Shell is selling its solar assets and rolling back climate initiatives, French inflation comes in at a slightly hotter-than-expected 2.9% in February and Chinese lithium futures soared on Thursday.

Let's dive in.

Overnight Summary

Fri 01 Mar 24, 8:31am (AEDT)

Name Value % Chg
Major Indices
S&P 500 5,096 +0.52%
Dow Jones 38,996 +0.12%
NASDAQ Comp 16,092 +0.90%
Russell 2000 2,053 +0.63%
Country Indices
Canada 21,364 +0.56%
China 3,015 +1.94%
Germany 17,678 +0.44%
Hong Kong 16,511 -0.15%
India 72,500 +0.27%
Japan 39,166 -0.11%
United Kingdom 7,630 +0.07%
Name Value % Chg
Commodities (USD)
Gold 2,052.6001 +0.47%
Iron Ore 125.36 -0.38%
Copper 3.8455 +0.54%
WTI Oil 78.25 -0.17%
AUD/USD 0.6499 +0.05%
Bitcoin (AUD) 95,306 +3.08%
Ethereum (AUD) 5,225 +3.28%
US 10 Yr T-bond 4.252 -0.51%
VIX 13.37 -3.40%

US Sectors

Fri 01 Mar 24, 8:31am (AEDT)

Communication Services +1.20%
Information Technology +1.17%
Consumer Discretionary +0.90%
Real Estate +0.85%
Materials +0.79%
Energy +0.43%
Industrials +0.34%
Utilities +0.04%
Financials -0.01%
Consumer Staples -0.29%
Health Care -0.73%


SPX 2024-03-01 08-15-09
S&P 500 closes at best levels despite a choppy open (Source: TradingView)


  • ASX 200 set to open higher on Friday and on track to mark a fresh all-time high

  • Resources and tech set for a strong session after overnight big tech outperformance, fading bond yields and firmer commodity prices

  • Collins Foods downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Citi and target cut to $10.60 from $11.93

  • Orica downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citi but target increased to $18.50 from $17.00

  • Pepper Money upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Macquarie and target increased to $1.70 from $1.35 

  • Ramsay Healthcare downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Macquarie and target cut to $57.50 from $60.00

  • South32 upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Macquarie and target increased to $3.40 from $3.10

  • Service Stream upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Macquarie and target increased to $1.25 from $0.91 


  • S&P 500 finished higher and near best levels

  • Gains were largely driven by big tech while defensive sectors such as Healthcare, Staples and Utilities lagged

  • Treasury yields were very choppy after US core PCE rose 0.4% month-on-month and up 2.4% year-on-year in January – The Personal Consumption Expenditures Price Index is the Fed's preferred inflation measure and the numbers were in-line with market expectations

  • US 2-and-10-year yields both finished relatively unchanged from 5-6 bp intraday rallies

  • February major benchmark performances – Nasdaq +6.12%, Russell 2000 +5.52%, S&P 500 +5.17% and Dow +2.22%

  • February's biggest story was the shift in market rate cut expectations from March to June following hotter-than-expected inflation data and a hawkish Fed

  • Markets hit a defensive tone in the second half of last month but the path of least resistance remained to the upside

  • Ray Dalio says US stock market is not in a AI speculative bubble (CNBC)


  • Apple resellers in China cut iPhone 15 prices on persistent demand slump (Bloomberg)

  • Salesforce's solid quarterly sales, dividend cushion weak outlook (Bloomberg)

  • Snowflake slumps on CEO retirement, softer product revenue guide (CNBC)

  • HP misses first-quarter revenue estimates on weak PC demand (Reuters)

  • Shell's solar unit launches asset sale, as company rolls back climate initiatives (Reuters)


  • Fed officials voice support for rate cuts but emphasize data dependent stance (Bloomberg)

  • BoJ odds of March rate hike rising (Bloomberg)

  • BoE's Mann says price rises increasingly driven by people who do not feel the impact of higher interest rates (FT)

  • RBNZ Governor Orr confident on inflation trajectory (Bloomberg)


  • South Korea and US to begin defense cost-sharing talks in near future (Yonhap)

  • China's Wang Yi invited to Australia in March to discuss unresolved issues (SCMP)

  • Putin warns of nuclear war in annual address if NATO send troops to Ukraine (CNBC)


  • Fed’s preferred inflation metric increases by most in a year (Bloomberg)

  • French inflation eased to weakest level since September 2021 (Bloomberg)

  • India GDP rose 8.4% in the Oct-Dec quarter (Reuters)

  • UK business confidence dips but firms plan to increase hiring (CityAM)

  • Japan factory output falls at fastest pace in nearly four years (Reuters)

  • Australian retail sales recover but growth remains negligible (Bloomberg)

  • US congressional leaders avert weekend shutdown and plan to wrap up funding bills in March (Bloomberg)

  • Stronger US economy, vibrant growth could boost tax revenue, potentially stabilising debt-to-GDP ratio (Reuters)

  • Chinese long bond yields plunge as investors bet on more easing to support the country's poor economic recovery (Bloomberg)

  • Chinese regulators to tighten scrutiny of financial derivatives (Bloomberg)

Industry ETFs

Fri 01 Mar 24, 8:31am (AEDT)

Name Value % Chg
Strategic Metals 52.555 +3.57%
Lithium & Battery Tech 46.045 +3.54%
Gold Miners 26.38 +2.33%
Copper Miners 36.03 +1.35%
Silver 20.735 +0.90%
Steel 70.68 +0.30%
Uranium 27.35 -0.62%
Construction 69.49 +1.61%
Global Jets 20.15 +0.20%
Agriculture 22.175 +0.02%
Aerospace & Defense 127.81 -0.25%
Cannabis 5.15 +0.78%
Biotechnology 136.84 -1.85%
Name Value % Chg
Bitcoin 29.22 +2.71%
CleanTech 9.11 +2.94%
Solar 43.07 +2.52%
Hydrogen 5.45 +0.37%
Semiconductor 652.09 +2.71%
Cybersecurity 30.68 +1.59%
Electric Vehicles 24.15 +1.51%
Video Games/eSports 61.6 +1.27%
Sports Betting/Gaming 17.975 +1.20%
Robotics & AI 31.18 +1.20%
Cloud Computing 21.96 +1.10%
FinTech 26.5 +0.57%
E-commerce 22.85 +0.46%

It's Lithium Time

Chinese lithium carbonate futures rallied 9.2% on Thursday to 119,200 yuan a tonne, supported by ongoing production cuts and environmental inspects in Jiangxi. Prices have now rallied almost 22% in the last five sessions.

Here are some important things to note as we head into Friday's session:

  • Timing: Chinese lithium futures were up around 4.3% when the ASX closed and continued to rally through to their market close

  • Peers: China and US-listed peers rallied pretty strongly, including Ganfeng (+7.0% and up 26.7% since 5 Feb), Albemarle (+4.3% and up 26.7% since 5 Feb) and SQM (+8.0% and up 26.3% since 5 Feb)

  • Shorters: Lithium stocks are heavily shorted. Some of the most shorted names as of 23 February include Pilbara Minerals (21.24%), Core Lithium (11.66%), Sayona (8.64%) and Liontown Resources (7.56%)

  • ETFs: The VanEck Rare Earth/Strategic Metals ETF (+3.54%) and Global X Lithium & Battery Tech ETF (+3.58%) were among the best performing ETFs in our above watchlist. The Rare Earth/Strategic Metals ETF has been in a rather persistent downtrend for around 8 months. Let' see if it can buck that trend over the coming days.

REMX 2024-03-01 08-26-37
VanEck Rare Earth/Strategic Metals ETF daily chart (Source: TradingView)

Key Events

ASX corporate actions occurring today:

  • Trading ex-div: 44 companies and ETFs are trading ex-div today. Check out the full list here

  • Dividends paid: Diverger (DVR) – $0.10, Dicker Data (DDR) – $0.15, National Storage REIT (NSR) – $0.055, Hotel Property Investments (HPI) – $0.095 

  • Listing: None

Economic calendar (AEDT):

  • 12:30 pm: China NBS Manufacturing and Services PMI (Feb)

  • 4:00 pm: Japan Consumer Confidence (Feb)

  • 9:00 pm: Eurozone Inflation (Feb)

  • 9:00 pm: Italy GDP (2024)

  • 2:00 am: US ISM Manufacturing Services (Feb)

Written By

Kerry Sun

Content Strategist

Kerry holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Monash University. He is an avid swing trader, focused on technical set ups and breakouts. Outside of writing and trading, Kerry is a big UFC fan, loves poker and training Muay Thai. Connect via LinkedIn or email.

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