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Energy, retailers push market higher, good news for AdBri, Wesfarmers trading update

Daily Market Update

The S&P/ASX200 managed to start the week on a relatively strong footing with corporates awakening from their slumber to deliver some first half updates.

The energy and retailing sectors were the highlights on Monday, gaining 1.4 and 2.2% respectively.

The biggest influence on the market was Wesfarmers (ASX: WES) which gained 2.6% despite delivering a ‘difficult’ trading update.

  • Management reiterated their expectations for a net profit of around $1.18 to $1.24 billion for the first half of 2021 but noted serious challenges in their KMART and Target businesses which were closed for 25% of the half-year.

    The result was a 10% fall in sales growth for the half and only 1% growth in the Catch of the Day online business.

    The nature of their conglomerate, however, meant that surging demand for home improvement and building products at Bunnings and strong mining activity in Western Australia made up for the weakness in traditional retail.

    BeforePay tanks on debut, Praemium delivers another record

    The IPO of BeforePay (ASX: B4P) could well have been better timed, with the first trading day seeing shares tank by over 40% as investors flocked to the exits.

    It comes after an incredibly challenging period for the traditional BNPL players listed on the ASX, with BeforePay’s concept of lending against future salary seemingly not attracting the ‘growth investor’ interest.

    Shares finished at $1.905 after raising $34 million at $3.41 per share. 

    After a challenging few years with long-term supply agreements, Adbri (ASX: ABC) subsidiary Cockburn Cement announced they had agreed on an extension to their supply of lime for a further year, with the deal set to end at the end of this month.

    The deal is expected to deliver at least $25 million in sales to Alcoa.

    Shares in wrap platform Praemium (ASX: PPS) gained 4.2% despite reporting quarterly inflows of $1.25 billion.

    This took the annual result to $4.9 billion, a near 90% improvement in 2020, levels.

    This saw the company announce record funds under administration of $49 billion and follows the sale of their international business to Morningstar and an offer from competitor Netwealth (ASX: NWL).

    US markets closed for Martin Luther King Day

    Global markets were broadly positive, following US futures higher despite markets being closed for MLK Day.

    All eyes are on the impending quarterly earnings season to see if 2021’s growth rates can be continued.

    On a macro level, the Chinese economy beat forecasts to grow 4% in the final quarter of 2021, far better than the 3.6% expected and resulting in an 8.1% growth rate for the year.

    As expected, the lockdown hit economy will be supported by another 10-basis point cut to the Peoples Bank of China’s short-term borrowing facility to spur credit growth.




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