• S&P/ASX 200 SPI futures are pointing up despite a continued sell-off in the US markets.
  • Today’s Announcements: James Hardie Industries (JHX) terminates CEO, provides upgrade in guidance | Magellan Financial Group (MFG) releases funds under management update | West African Resources releases update ahead of record December quarter | Pinnacle Investment Management (PNI) discloses fees for the 1st half of FY22 |

The ASX is expected to rebound, ignoring another sell-off in the US markets.

  • The SPI futures index is up 79 points or 1.1 per cent following a sell-off in the US markets overnight. US markets continued to face pressure as investors responded to fears that interest rates could rise earlier than expected. The US Dow Jones index closed down 171 points or 0.5 per cent. The S&P 500 index slipped by 5 points or 0.1 per cent. And the Nasdaq index lost 19 points or 0.1 per cent.
  • In commodities markets, the Brent crude oil price gained US$1.19 or 1.5 per cent to US$81.99 a barrel and the US Nymex crude price added US$1.61 or 2.1 per cent to US$79.46 a barrel. Oil prices rose on Thursday after production disruptions continued in Libya, and fears of production disruptions arose in Kazakhstan. The continued rally in oil prices may support the energy sector.
  • Bullion lost ground, with the gold futures price falling $35.90 or 2.0 per cent to $1,789.20 an ounce. But spot gold was trading only marginally lower, near US$1,788 an ounce at the US close.
  • Iron ore added US$2.90 or 2.3 per cent to US$128.25 a tonne overnight. Share prices of London-listed iron ore miners diverged however, with RIO up 0.9 per cent, and BHP falling by 1.0 per cent.

James Hardie Industries (JHX) terminates current CEO, appoints Harold Wiens as interim CEO.

  • James Hardie Industries (JHX), a producer of high performance cement and gypsum building solutions, has appointed Harold Wiens as an interim CEO, after terminating the employment of former CEO Jack Troung. The Board found that Mr Troung “had materially breached the James Hardie Code of Conduct”, resulting in his termination. JHX has also upgraded its earnings guidance. The building solutions company now expects adjusted net income to be between US$605-US$625 million, a rough 4 per cent increase on the previous guidance. This comes as JHX notes synergies from its strong execution of its global strategy, and expectations for continued residential and market growth in the USA.
  • Magellan Financial Group (MFG) has released an update on their funds under management (FUM). The institutional fund manager saw a 15.7 per cent fall in its total FUM over the quarter (and an 18 per cent fall over a month), after UK wealth manager St James’s Place terminated a contract with MFG. The termination of the contracted resulted in a $23 billion reduction in institutional FUM. Excluding the St James impact, MFG experienced a net outflow of $1.5 billion.
  • West African Resources (WAF), an unhedged gold miner, has seen  record 2021 gold production of 288,720 ounces. This exceeds its upper end of guidance. A record December quarter also saw the miner deliver record gold sales of 285,220 ounces.
  • Pinnacle Investment Management (PNI) has advised the market of its performance fees, which are $18 million (net share after tax: $6.2 million).

Originally published by CommSec

Authors: Divik Nigam, Associate Equity Market Analyst and Craig James, Chief Economist.