Best January ever for ASX200 with 6.2pct rise
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 closed down five points, or 0.07 percent, at 7,476.7 on Tuesday, while the broader All Ordinaries fell 14.3 points, or 0.19 percent, at 7,686.1.
For the month, the ASX200 gained 438 points, or 6.2 percent, in its best month since March 2022 and best January in the index’s nearly 23-year history.
“It’s been an absolutely amazing start to 2023 after so much gloom and doom at the start of last year,” said Tony Sycamore, an analyst at IG Market.
“And as the saying goes, as January goes, so goes the rest of the year. So it’s good forewarning that 2023 will be a very different year from 2022.”
However, Mr Sycamore cautioned that price action appeared to be a little tired as the market failed to settle above 7,500, a level that the ASX200 briefly broke on Tuesday for the first time since April following weaker-than-expected domestic retail sales data for December .
“That was the market tipping point that the RBA may not need to hike rates as aggressively, but I feel like they’ve been backed into a corner after last week’s very hot inflation numbers,” Mr Sycamore said.
He said the selling later in the session could have been the result of profit-taking ahead of the Federal Reserve’s crucial meeting, scheduled for Thursday morning, Australian time, and month-end rebalancing flows by portfolio managers.
There is also domestic building permit, home finance and CoreLogic home price data to be released later this week, he noted.
“Huge macro and micro events are happening over the next three days and it could go either way, so it makes sense for traders to take some profit and go to the sidelines ahead of these major macro and micro events,” Mr said Sycamore.
The 11 official sectors of the ASX were mixed on Tuesday, with six losing ground, four gaining ground and industrials essentially flat.
Consumer staples were the biggest gainers overall as Woolworths and Coles both closed at four-month highs.
The former rose 3.8 percent to $36.08, while the latter rose 2.4 percent to $17.76.
The Commonwealth Bank rose 0.3 percent to $110.06, Australia’s second-largest company to close above $110 for the first time.
ANZ rose 0.2 percent to $25.09, while NAB and Westpac both fell 0.1 percent to $31.79 and $23.72, respectively.
In the mining sector, the big iron ore giants were higher, but the lithium miners sold off, although IGO reported that its half-year after-tax net income had increased more than six-fold to $591 million.
IGO closed down 7.1 percent from $14.57, while Allkem was down 7.5 percent and Pilbara was down 5.0 percent.
BHP rose 0.3 percent to $49.38 as iron ore prices touched $130 a ton, the best level since June. Fortescue was up 0.2 percent to $22.24 and Rio Tinto was up 0.9 percent to $126.64.
Tech stocks fell 1.0 percent, thanks in part to double-digit losses at Megaport, Pointerra and Dubber.
Megaport was down 24.7 percent to $5.78 after the communications infrastructure provider announced it sold just 762 new services in the December quarter, less than half what analysts had forecast.
Pointerra fell 21.7 percent to 18c and Dubber fell 11.2 percent to 39.5c after both companies’ quarterly results also disappointed the market.
On the other hand, in the financial sector, MoneyMe rose 64.3 percent to a four-month high of 46 cents after the personal lender announced it had posted a statutory profit of $8 million in the first half after reporting six months earlier posted a loss of $34 million.
“We are proud of the agility and adaptability MoneyMe has shown in managing interest rates,” said Managing Director and CEO Clayton Howes.
The Australian dollar bought 70.29 US cents, versus 70.87 US cents at the ASX close on Monday.
ON THE ASX:
* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 ended Tuesday down five points, or 0.07 percent, at 7,476.7.
* The broader All Ordinaries fell 14.3 points, or 0.19 percent, to 7,686.1.
One Australian dollar buys:
* 70.29 US cents versus 70.87 US cents at the ASX close on Monday
* 91.56 Japanese yen, from 91.83 Japanese yen
* 64.85 euro cents, from 65.24 euro cents
* 56.94 British pence, from 57.20 pence
* 108.94 NZ cents, up from 109.25 NZ cents.