Provides a market round up, a selection of useful data points we use for our investment analysis, and some interesting articles/charts we have noticed recently.
Most of the market’s moves came at the end of the week as central bankers gathered at the Kansas City Fed’s annual symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming—and most of investors’ focus appeared to center around Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s speech on Friday morning which took a noticeably hawkish tone with phrases like "raise & hold".
On top of this much of the week’s economic data surprised on the downside and arguably offered evidence that growth had slowed considerably in recent weeks in response to tightening financial conditions.
On Tuesday, S&P Global announced that its composite gauge of service and manufacturing activity had fallen further into contraction territory and hit its lowest level since early 2020.
Sales of new homes (US) in July fell for the sixth month so far this year to the slowest pace since early 2016, and both personal income and spending rose much less than consensus expectations (0.2% versus roughly 0.6% and 0.1% versus 0.4%).
On the positive side, new orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft, a proxy for business investment, rose 0.4% in July, and weekly jobless claims fell back to their lowest level in a month. The University of Michigan’s index of consumer sentiment also rose more than expected, hitting 58.2 in August after bottoming at a record low of 50 in June.
Down under, with the earnings season coming to a close, analysts suggest the deluge of company results have alleviated investors’ concerns over inflation’s effect on corporate profitability, although the extent to which Australia is lagging the world in terms of the inflation/business cycle is yet to be solved for.
Earnings standouts included Bega Cheese, with shares finishing 11.8 per cent higher, after it unveiled a 45 per cent uptick in revenue to $3 billion despite a 69 per cent drop in statutory profits. Bunnings and Target Australia owner Wesfarmers’ stock jumped 0.6 per cent to $47.95 after the conglomerate posted a 2.9 per cent drop in net profits after tax to $2.3 billion for fiscal 2022. Elsewhere, Oz Minerals shares closed 0.8 per cent weaker at $25.99 after it reported a 59 per cent fall in first-half profit to $109.2 million.
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