Market Wrap

Morning wrap: Wall Street selloff amid Russian invasion warning, ASX set to plunge

Fri 18 Feb 22, 8:35am (AEST)

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ASX Futures (SPI 200) imply the ASX will open 82 points lower, down -1.2%. 

Wall Street sold off heavily amid renewed fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

NATO says Moscow has instead added more troops near Ukraine and a border skirmish could be used as a pretext for a full-scale invasion.

Overnight summary

Thu 17 Feb 22, 9:35pm (AEST)

Name Value Chg %
US Indices
S&P 500 4380.26 -2.12%
Dow Jones 34,312 -1.78%
NASDAQ 100 13,717 -2.88%
Russell 2000 2,029 -2.44%
Country Indices
Canada 21,176 -0.97%
China 3,468 +0.06%
Germany 15,268 -0.67%
Hong Kong 24,793 +0.30%
India 57,892 -0.18%
Japan 27,233 -0.83%
United Kingdom 7,537 -0.87%
Name Value Chg %
Commodities (USD)
Gold 1,900.60 +1.55%
Iron Ore 130.6 -
Copper 4.501 -0.78%
WTI Oil 91.70 -2.09%
Currency
AUD/USD 0.7190 -0.05%
Cryptocurrency
Bitcoin (AUD) 56,494 -8.61%
Ethereum (AUD) 4,014 -9.17%
Miscellaneous
U.S. 10 Year Treasury 1.972 -3.66%
VIX 28 +15.36%

Stocks 

  • Major US indices closed at session lows, not far off late January lows

  • Markets exhibited a classic flight to safety as tech stocks bore the brunt of the selling, bond yields slumped and gold rallied 

  • AFP White House correspondents reported President Joe Biden saying that “every indication we have is that they’re [Russia] prepared to go into Ukraine, attack Ukraine. My sense is it will happen in the next several days.” 

  • 74% of US stocks fell, indicating a broad-based selloff 

  • 62% of US stocks are below their 200-day moving average (+2% from Thursday)

  • Walmart shares rose 4% after reporting a December quarter profit and sales beat

Economy

  • Applications for unemployment benefits in the US jumped to a three-week high, up 23,000 to 248,000. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had expected a figure closer to 218,000

  • Layoffs and unemployment is expected to stay low as companies seek to fill a near-record 11 million job vacancies 

  • US housing starts and the Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Index slowed in January, falling short of estimates  

Commodities 

  • Iron ore prices plunged as Chinese buyers remained hesitant following recent announcements from local watchdogs 

  • “Most buyers remain reluctant to bid for cargoes despite a firmer demand outlook for iron ore in the coming months,” according to Fastmarkets 

  • Weakness in the all-important Chinese property market appears far from over, with Data from the Chinese Real Estate Information Corporation reporting that the top 100 property developers’ sales fell -46.3% in January 

  • A flight to safety has rallied gold back above US$1,900, the first time since last June

  • Not only is gold a safe-haven asset but also offers inflation protection at a time of elevated prices

 

US Sectors

Thu 17 Feb 22, 9:35pm (AEST)

Sector Chg %
Communication Services -2.96%
Consumer Discretionary -2.57%
Consumer Staples +0.91%
Energy -0.08%
Financials -2.41%
Health Care -1.60%
Sector Chg %
Industrials -1.86%
Information Technology -3.07%
Materials -1.70%
Real Estate -0.97%
Utilities +0.06%

Industry ETFs

Thu 17 Feb 22, 9:35pm (AEST)

Description Last Chg %
Commodities
Aluminum 68.7097 -0.03%
Copper Miners 41.61 -1.35%
Gold 174.86 +1.38%
Lithium & Battery Tech 78.14 -3.01%
Nickel 31.22 +2.05%
Strategic Metals 110.03 -3.82%
Steel 58.29 -2.57%
Silver 21.87 +0.78%
Uranium 21.62 -1.99%
Industrials
Aerospace & Defense 106.97 -1.24%
Global Jets 23.43 -2.56%
Healthcare
Biotechnology 129.91 -3.01%
Cannabis 5.77 -5.37%
Description Last Chg %
Cryptocurrency
Bitcoin 27.76 -7.38%
Renewables
CleanTech 15.06 -1.99%
Hydrogen 16.73 -2.99%
Solar 65.66 -2.68%
Technology
Cloud Computing 22.26 -5.35%
Cybersecurity 29.46 -3.56%
E-commerce 24.96 -2.92%
Electric Vehicles 29.04 -2.65%
FinTech 33.47 -4.96%
Robotics & AI 30.47 -3.31%
Semiconductor 490.25 -3.76%
Sports Betting/Gaming 22.72 -2.99%
Video Games/eSports 62.43 -2.76%

ASX Sectors to watch

#1 Gold

It only took 1 ½ years and a potential Russian invasion for gold to finally do something. 

“The latest move has seen gold hit its highest level since mid-June and there still appears to be momentum in the move so we could see US$1,900 tested. That’s the next big test for the yellow metal and a big escalation in Ukraine could be the catalyst for such a move,” said Oanda senior market analyst, Craig Erlam. 

Gold miners could be a pocket of strength on Friday as investors pivot towards safe haven assets. 

See a list of ASX gold stocks here.

Gold price
Gold pushes above the 17-month trend line, TradingView

#2 Iron ore 

Iron ore prices are beginning to give back recent gains amid weak Chinese economic data and regulatory concerns. 

According to Yuantalks, Chinese authorities asked some iron ore trading companies to release excessively high inventories and bring stocks to reasonable levels as soon as possible. 

The US-listed counterparts for BHP (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO) fell -1.2% and -2.4% respectively.

It looks like iron ore prices will move based off sentiment in the short-term as China seeks to take some heat out of surging prices.

#3 Oil

Nuclear talks between the US and Iran are progressing well. 

“Reports suggesting an agreement is days away. That would be huge as it could mean around 1.3 million barrels per day of crude quickly re-entering the market and easing some of those supply-side pressures,” said Erlam. 

On the flip side, Russia could face sanctions if it continues to escalate an invasion.

Russian imports account for 46% of Europe’s solid fuels such as coal, 26% of its crude oil and 38% of the region’s gas, according to Reuters. 

Sanctions against Russia could squeeze oil and gas prices even higher, especially amid tight supplies and the lack of available production capacity.

#4 Tech

Household US tech names sold off sharply, including: 

  • Affirm -12%

  • Coinbase -7.7% 

  • Nvidia -7.6%

  • Zoom -6.6% 

  • Tesla -5% 

  • Block -4.6% 

  • Facebook-parent Meta -4.1% 

Affirm shares hit fresh all-time lows and down -50% in the last six sessions (not a typo). 

The risk-off attitude will likely point to yet another challenging session for local tech stocks, notably BNPL companies. 

#5 Nickel

Nickel prices held near 11-year highs amid concerns that the Russian invasion could disrupt exports. 

Russia’s exports account for approximately 5% of global production.

 

Today's events

ASX corporate actions occurring today:

  • Ex-dividend: ARG, GUD, GMA, RYD, ZIM

  • Dividends paid: CMW, CVC

  • Issued shares: AEE, AZL, BNR, CAV, CE1, FPH, ICN, ILA, KNM, LRS, MFF, MIR, MOH, NAB, QRI, QXR, SIS, SYR, TKL, TMG, TMH, WAM

 

Written By

Kerry Sun

Finance Writer & Social Media

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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