Market Wraps

Morning wrap: US markets slide amid interest rate fears, ASX set to fall

Tue 11 Jan 22, 8:36am (AEST)

ASX Futures (SPI 200) imply the ASX will open 46 points lower, down -0.6%.

The ASX is expected to slide as global markets falter ahead of key US inflation data and more comments from the US Federal Reserve about interest rate hikes. 

Globally, investors are repositioning their portfolios in anticipation of higher interest rates as soon as March.

Deutsche Bank has gone as far as saying there’s a possibility that the Fed needs to consider hiking interest rates at almost every meeting this year.

Overnight Summary

Tue 11 Jan 22, 8:36am (AEST)

Name Value Chg %
US Indices
S&P 500 4713.0698 +0.92%
Dow Jones 36,252 +0.51%
NASDAQ 100 15,153 +1.41%
Russell 2000 2,194 +1.05%
Country Indices
Canada 21,275 +0.96%
China 3,597 +0.84%
Germany 15,942 +1.10%
Hong Kong 24,402 +2.79%
India 61,150 +0.88%
Japan 28,766 +1.92%
United Kingdom 7,491 +0.62%
Name Value Chg %
Commodities (USD)
Gold 1,820.30 +0.10%
Iron Ore 128.66 -
Copper 4.427 -0.06%
WTI Oil 81.28 +0.07%
AUD/USD 0.7209 0.00%
Bitcoin 59,192 +1.82%
Ethereum 4,481 +4.56%
U.S. 10 Year Treasury 1.746 -1.91%
VIX 18 -5.10%

The Dow Jones (blue-chip) dropped -0.5%. The S&P 500 (large-caps) fell for a fifth straight session, down 0.1%. The Nasdaq Composite (tech) managed to eke out a small gain of 0.05%. 

The benchmark US 10-year Treasury yield is in breakout mode, closing at 2-year highs of 1.76% after starting the year at just 1.51%. 

Yields are rallying with the expectation that the Fed will get aggressive with rate hikes this year in an attempt to curb inflation.  

US10Y 2022-01-11 07-41-26

Benchmark US 10-year Treasury yield, weekly chart, TradingView

The only piece of encouraging news was that all three major US indices managed to close well above session lows. The Nasdaq was selling off as much as -2.7% within the first hour of trade. This could help cushion the losses expected for the ASX.

US Sectors

Tue 11 Jan 22, 8:36am (AEST)

Sector Chg %
Communication Services 0.00
Consumer Discretionary 0.00
Consumer Staples 0.00
Energy 0.00
Financials 0.00
Health Care 0.00
Industrials 0.00
Information Technology 0.00
Materials 0.00
Real Estate 0.00
Utilities 0.00

Broad-based selling across the US market is expected to drive weakness across most ASX-sectors. 

▲ Healthcare 

Vaccine makers Pfizer, Modern and BioNTech buoyed the healthcare sector after rallying between +1% and +9.3%. 

Omicron cases continue to push all-time highs globally, with recent headlines including China testing more than 14 million citizens to curb omicron. As well as reports from Cyprus that a new strain of covid has emerged, which combines the delta and omicron variant. 

According to Bloomberg, Leondios Kostrikis, professor of biological sciences at the University of Cyprus, called the strain “deltacron,” because of its omicron-like genetic signatures within the delta genomes. 

▼ Technology 

Fast growing and richly valued technology stocks have struggled as yields jumped. The Nasdaq is now down more than -5% this year. 

▼ Materials 

Material stocks fell amid broad-based weakness across commodity prices.

In terms of the all-important iron ore price, traders told Fastmarkets that emerging covid cases in north China, combined with the upcoming Chinese Lunar New Year and Winter Olympics, could lead to some bearishness in the iron ore market. 

The US-listed counterparts of BHP Group (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO) were mixed, with a respective -1.9% decline and +0.7% gain in overnight trade.

Industry ETFs

Tue 11 Jan 22, 8:36am (AEST)

Description Last Chg %
Nickel 27.55 +4.65%
Strategic Metals 108.75 +3.78%
Copper Miners 37.48 +2.80%
Lithium & Battery Tech 79.74 +2.56%
Steel 55.16 +1.58%
Silver 20.76 +1.40%
Uranium 23.78 +1.26%
Gold 168.26 +1.19%
Aluminum 62.13 +0.79%
Global Jets 21.91 +1.60%
Aerospace & Defense 105.42 +1.16%
Cannabis 5.8 +1.90%
Biotechnology 142.16 +0.96%
Description Last Chg %
Bitcoin 26.31 +2.66%
Hydrogen 18.5355 +1.80%
Solar 70.7 +1.71%
CleanTech 16.19 +1.54%
FinTech 36.44 +3.49%
E-commerce 25.81 +3.22%
Video Games/eSports 62.45 +2.80%
Sports Betting/Gaming 23.43 +2.39%
Semiconductor 521.43 +1.88%
Cloud Computing 24.5 +1.88%
Electric Vehicles 30.42 +1.58%
Cybersecurity 29.78 +1.54%
Robotics & AI 33.43 +0.60%

ASX Sectors in play

#1 Aluminium 

Aluminium was flagged as a potential sector to watch last week amid tightness in the European market. Aluminium prices have continued to march higher, closing above US$2,900/t as expectations of large deficits set in.

  • South32 (ASX: S32) briefly hit 3-year highs last week, with its eyes set on another crack at multi-year highs after rallying +3.6% on Monday

  • Alumina (ASX: AWC) has lagged behind recent aluminium tailwinds and has largely been trading sideways since early November 2021

#2 Hydrogen

Looking over at losing sectors, the Hydrogen ETF hit yet another all-time low (listed on 14 July 2021).

The prospect of rising interest rates and a broad pivot away from risky sectors has likely weighed on speculative, loss making hydrogen companies.

There is a long-term bull case for the hydrogen industry, with the International Energy Agency forecasting that current hydrogen pipeline can only meet circa 18% of 2030 demand.

Unfortunately, the current market appears more fixated on what will happen in the near term with interest rates, less stimulus and inflation.

The ETF's weakness could pressure local names like:

#3 Uranium

The Uranium ETF has experienced a lot of volatility in recent days amid civil unrest in the world's largest uranium producing country, Kazakhstan.

There has been mixed updates from Kazakhstan's Kazatomprom, the world's largest uranium producer responsible for 22% of global supply in 2020, according to the World Nuclear Association.

On Friday 7 January, Kazatomprom's CEO said "we are fulfilling all our obligations easily, there are no problems with uranium shipments and we will meet all delivery deadlines," according to Bloomberg.

The next day, a Kazatomprom spokesman said "of course there's going to be an impact when you have cities and towns in lockdowns, limited telecommunications, and a financial system temporarily shut down."

The situation is rapidly evolving and investors should expect choppy trading for ASX companies like:

#4 FinTech

The FinTech ETF hit a fresh 15-month low amid a global rotation out of technology stocks. Encouragingly, the ETF bounced off session lows of -5.4% to close just -1.8% lower. The strong rebound could help cushion the fall for local ASX tech companies.

#5 Lithium

The Lithium ETF is coming under pressure, briefly touching its 200-day moving average for the first time since May 2020.

LIT 2022-01-11 08-11-43

Global X Lithium ETF, daily chart, TradingView

The Australian Government's commodity forecaster, the Office of the Chief Economist, expects spodumene prices to rise to an average US$1,185/t in 2022 from an estimated US$720/t in 2021.

Despite the continued tailwinds for lithium demand and prices, the sector could come under pressure from recent interest rate fears.

Investors should keep an eye out for whether or not the ETF can hold the all-important 200-day moving average.

Today's events

ASX corporate actions occurring today:

  • Ex-dividend: No companies going ex-div

  • Dividends paid: MOT, MXT, PCI


Other things of interest:

  • Balance of Trade: Trade figures will be released at 11:30 am AEDT with expectations of a $10.5bn surplus, according to TradingEconomics

  • Retail Trade: the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) will release November 2021 retail sales figures at 11:30 am AEDT

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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