Afternoon Report / Markets slide, last note for the year, Merry Christmas all from the entire MM team!

WHAT MATTERED TODAY

A very weak session today for the ASX as the market opened down and drifted throughout the session. Volumes were very low, and the conviction was light, still there was a clear lack of buyers that stepped up into the weakness and we saw the index close on its lows. Asian markets followed suit and it seemed like growing case counts in the UK / Europe and confronting coverage of border closers and huge lines of trucks trying to get in and out of the UK had the market on edge. Locally, cases were down again today with only 8 new locally acquired and all within the Northern Beaches cluster, fingers crossed that restrictions are lifted before St Nicholas slides down the Chimney (in his face mask).

News out of the US was positive today with the House passing a $US900 billion pandemic relief package plus they approved another $US1.4 trillion in regular Govt funding, plus another round of tax breaks for business. The bill is expected to pass the Senate and be signed off by President Trump shortly. This was all largely expected hence the lacklustre move by markets, however it’s an incremental position none-the-less.

The defensive areas of the market did best today, the property stocks and healthcare names while materials & energy gave back some recent outperformance.

Asian markets were all lower across the board, while US Futures are trading marginally higher into our close.

The ASX 200 finished down -70pts / -1.05% to close at 6599. Dow Futures are trading down -165pts / -0.55%

This will be the last MM note of the year, and I just wanted to take this opportunity to wish you and your families a wonderful festive period. Thank you for your continued support throughout 2020, a year like no other - the quickest bear in history, with the ASX 200 declining ~40% in a month as the Coronavirus swept the world, before Government’s and Central Banks globally unleashed an unprecedented level of liquidity, underpinning the quickest bull market on record – truly astonishing. Here’s to a better 2021 with lots of opportunities on the horizon, as I said this morning, I’m excited for it, although pretty keen for a break over the next couple of weeks. Cheers, James & the Market Matters Team.  

ASX 200 Chart

ASX 200 Chart

BROKER MOVES

No broker moves today as most have packed up shop. One note caught my eye this morning from UBS with their Fortescue analyst Glyn Lawcock suggesting that FMG’s FY21 Payout May Be Almost Double Previous Year's. They think they could pay as much as $3.40 in dividends in FY21 amid high iron ore prices and a strong operating performance. I doubt that will be the case however that would put the miner on a 14% fully franked yield!

OUR CALLS

No changes today

Major Movers Today

Have a great night

James & the Market Matters Team

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