Market Wrap

Morning wrap: Wall Street tumbles on economic growth concerns, ASX set to open flat

Tue 08 Mar 22, 8:36am (AEST)

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ASX Futures (SPI 200) imply the ASX will open flat.

Major US indices entered bear market territory, failing to rally and close to late February lows.

Overnight markets sold off after reports the US and Europe were looking to impose a ban on imported Russian oil.

Overnight summary

Tue 08 Mar 22, 8:36am (AEST)

Name Value Chg %
US Indices
S&P 500 4201.09 -2.95%
Dow Jones 32,817 -2.37%
NASDAQ Comp 12,831 -3.62%
Russell 2000 1,952 -2.46%
Country Indices
Canada 21,304 -0.46%
China 3,373 -2.17%
Germany 12,835 -1.98%
Hong Kong 21,058 -3.87%
India 52,843 -2.74%
Japan 25,221 -2.94%
United Kingdom 6,959 -0.40%
Name Value Chg %
Commodities (USD)
Gold 2,002.40 +1.82%
Iron Ore 152.28 -
Copper 4.755 -3.70%
WTI Oil 120.13 +3.85%
Currency
AUD/USD 0.7320 -0.44%
Cryptocurrency
Bitcoin (AUD) 51,514 -4.13%
Ethereum (AUD) 3,382 -6.55%
Miscellaneous
U.S. 10 Year Treasury 1.751 +1.57%
VIX 36 +12.76%

Stocks

  • The Dow Jones (blue chip), S&P 500 (large cap) and Nasdaq (tech) sold off heavily on fears that the Russia-Ukraine war will weigh on economic growth

  • Stagflation is becoming a cause for concern - where economic growth slows but inflation remains high

  • Europe and the US are looking to impose a ban on imported Russian oil. This could serve as a massive problem for Europe as there aren’t any alternatives

  • Germany signals that Russian energy imports are essential to Europeans’ daily lives and cautions against oil and gas sanctions

  • The US consumer discretionary sector fell the most as surging oil prices will elevate costs and curb consumer purchasing power. Notable losers include McDonalds, Starbucks, Nike and travel stocks

  • US financials were not much better off. Major banks sold off more than -3% amid concerns about slowing economic growth 

  • 72% of US stocks fell, indicating a broad-based selloff 

  • 68% of US stocks trade below their 200-day moving averages (64% yesterday, 63% a week ago)

Economy

  • The US added 678,000 jobs in February, beating consensus estimates of 423,000

    • Leisure and hospitality, business services and healthcare posted strong job gains

  • The US will release inflation data for February later this week, economists are forecasting an annual reading of 7.9% 

Commodities 

  • Iron ore prices surged as the Russia-Ukraine conflict is sparking supply concerns for China

  • Brent crude oil briefly hit US$138 a barrel, a 14-year high 

  • Gold briefly broke above US$2,000 right after Europe considered a ban on Russian oil

  • Nickel prices spiked 70%, the biggest percentage gain on record

 

US Sectors

Tuesday, 08 March 2022

Sector Chg %
Communication Services -3.74%
Consumer Discretionary -4.80%
Consumer Staples -1.87%
Energy +1.57%
Financials -3.66%
Health Care -1.71%
Sector Chg %
Industrials -2.69%
Information Technology -3.70%
Materials -3.43%
Real Estate -1.80%
Utilities +1.31%

Industry ETFs

Tuesday, 08 March 2022

Description Last Chg %
Commodities
Aluminum 81.77 -2.47%
Copper Miners 44.5 -3.10%
Gold 183.68 +1.48%
Lithium & Battery Tech 71.78 -5.14%
Nickel 39.83 +69.62%
Strategic Metals 105.22 -3.47%
Steel 63.88 -1.49%
Silver 23.64 +0.25%
Uranium 23.27 +2.11%
Industrials
Aerospace & Defense 109.33 -2.00%
Global Jets 19.03 -11.19%
Healthcare
Biotechnology 122.57 -1.59%
Cannabis 4.65 -3.23%
Description Last Chg %
Cryptocurrency
Bitcoin 24.78 -4.88%
Renewables
CleanTech 15.03 +1.60%
Hydrogen 16.41 +2.44%
Solar 67.96 +2.99%
Technology
Cloud Computing 20.2 -3.71%
Cybersecurity 30.22 -3.08%
E-commerce 21.52 -5.11%
Electric Vehicles 25.54 -4.86%
FinTech 29.33 -4.94%
Robotics & AI 28.09 -5.23%
Semiconductor 449.36 -5.02%
Sports Betting/Gaming 19.41 -7.11%
Video Games/eSports 56.43 -3.30%

ASX Sectors to watch

The ASX is in a vulnerable position where the index needs to bounce over the next few sessions to avoid falling below late February lows.

Things begin to look ugly if the index fails to rally and marks a 'lower low'.

#1 Nickel

Nickel prices shot up 70% overnight, briefly hitting US$50,000 a tonne compared to US$24,200 at the end of February.

Nickel spot price
Nickel spot price (Source: TradingView)

Approximately 70% of nickel is used for stainless steel production, with a growing role in electric vehicle batteries. 

Global nickel inventories were already low, and a supply shock from Russia has sparked a sudden scramble for supply. 

Most local nickel stocks have struggled for upside despite the jump in spot prices. That said, if a 70% spike in spot prices doesn't move them, what will?

See a list of nickel stocks here

#2 Oil

Energy and utilities were the only two sectors to finish in positive territory on Wall Street. 

Oil prices have surged to unimaginable levels, reflecting Russia’s foothold on global supply. 

“The market has shown its vulnerable side now though and it’s quite concerning. On the one hand, without German support, an EU ban on Russian oil imports looks highly unlikely and the pivot away will take years,” said Oanda senior market analyst, Ed Moya. 

“The risks remain firmly tilted to the upside as far as oil prices are concerned … Even a nuclear deal would only provide partial relief compared to Russian supply disruptions and that isn’t even progressing as hoped.”

See a list of energy stocks here

#3 Gold

“I told you so,” said a gold bull that’s waited 15-months for prices to break out. 

The market is finally waking up to gold as the Russia-Ukraine situation remains highly uncertain and markets extremely volatile. 

“All-time highs are not that far away and in the current environment, there’s every chance that we see it surpassed at some point,” said Moya. 

Up until last month, most large cap gold stocks were trading around 2 year lows. Gold's recent comeback has seen names like Newcrest Mining (ASX: NCM) and Northern Star (ASX: NST) rally back up to 3-6 month highs.

See a list of gold stocks here.

#4 Travel

In Monday's morning wrap, we flagged that the US Global Jets ETF hit a fresh 15-month low and looked increasingly bearish amid surging oil prices and the Russia-Ukraine war. 

For the uninitiated, the ETF comprises US airlines and a small percentage exposure to international airlines, including Qantas (ASX: QAN).

Qantas shares tanked -8% on Monday, while most travel management stocks fell at least -2.8%.

The Jets ETF plunged -11% overnight. It's now trading at a level before a vaccine was even developed. 

US Global Jets ETF
Source: TradingView

The travel industry has been plagued with bad luck, now having to deal with a crisis that will shun consumers from travelling to many parts of Europe. Persistent inflation will also curb consumer purchasing power, while surging oil prices could mean more expensive flights.

#5 Tech

Tech valuations continue to spiral lower as investors flee towards value and safe haven assets. Notable losers include: 

  • Block -8.4% 

  • Affirm -6.2% 

In addition, the Global X FinTech, eCommerce and Cloud ETFs all declined at least -3.5%.

This will flag another decline for local Block (ASX: SQ2) shares, which will likely weigh on the broader BNPL sector.

The tech-led selloff could also flag negative flow for local names like:

 

Today's events

ASX corporate actions occurring today:

  • Ex-dividend: CLX, EAI, ILU, LGL, LOV, MAD, PSI, QUB, SHL, SIQ, SRV, TPC, VEE

  • Dividends paid: GCI, MFG, MOT, MXT, VCX, ZIM

  • Listing: USQ

Other things of interest: 

  • Australian Business Confidence (Feb) at 11:30 am AEDT

 

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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