Hi there! Welcome to the new look Pendal website... Take a two minute tour to see what we’ve changed.

Mainstream Online Web Portal

Investors can view their accounts online via a secure web portal. After registering, you can access your account balances, periodical statements, tax statements, transaction histories and distribution statements / details.
Advisers will also have access to view their clients’ accounts online via the secure web portal.

What’s driving ASX stocks this week

Here are the main factors driving the ASX this week according to Aussie equities analyst ELISE MCKAY. Reported by portfolio specialist Chris Adams

WE remain in a stock-picker’s market, after emerging from the largely macro-driven environment of the pandemic.

This is emphasised by the still-clouded outlook for the economic cycle and interest rates on one hand — and the extraordinary AI-driven uplift in revenue guidance from chip-maker NVIDIA on the other. 

The outlook for US rates remains uncertain. Fed-speak remains mixed.

Last week Christopher Waller — a member of the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) — suggested a pause may be appropriate while tighter credit conditions continued to dampen inflation.

But April’s Personal Consumption Expenditure index — a measure of US inflation — came in hotter than expected, increasing the chance of another hike in June.

Other economic data from last week suggests the US outlook is stronger than expected, while much of the rest of the world looks weaker.

China is not contributing as much as expected and Germany is now in technical recession.

We saw a positive development on the US debt ceiling. The Biden administration and House speaker Kevin McCarthy over the weekend agreed to raise the debt limit and cap federal spending until after the 2024 election.

A lack of visibility in the macro narrative compares with high levels of market conviction in the emerging micro-narrative of AI.

NVIDIA reported a blow-out quarter. Its second-quarter revenue guidance was more than 50% ahead of consensus expectations on the back of AI-related demand for its GPU (graphics processing unit) chips, driving huge bottom-line upgrades. 

This drove a 2.5% gain in the NASDAQ, despite two-year US bond yields rising 30bps.

The S&P500 rose a more subdued 0.35%, while the S&P/ASX 300 was down 1.74%.

Fed speak

We continued to receive mixed communications from the Fed, with no clear direction. This overshadowed the release of May’s FOMC meeting minutes. 

While inflation remains too high, concerns continue over the impact from tightening credit conditions due to stress in the banking system.

Midcaps on
the move

Hear from lithium industry pioneer
Ken Brinsden and Pendal’s
Brenton Saunders

On-demand webinar

The question is whether this will do some of the work that further rate hikes would otherwise do.

Governor Waller gave a “Hike, Skip or Pause” speech on Wednesday, focusing on the case for “skipping” a rate-hike in June and increasing the odds for another rise in July.

“If lending does slow, this can obviate the need for at least some monetary policy tightening,” he said. “It is important to account for this other form of tightening in setting the stance of monetary policy.

“If not considered appropriately, the Fed could tighten too much and needlessly raise the risk of a recession.”

The market saw this as a more hawkish signal than Chair Powell’s comments from the previous week.  

Fed-fund futures are pricing a 69% probability of a June-rate hike and markets are shifting expectations to rates remaining higher for longer.

US inflation and economic data

The PCE – the Fed’s preferred inflation indicator – was released on Friday, with core PCE prices rising 0.38% in April versus 0.30% consensus expectations. It is running at 4.7% year-on-year, up from 4.6% in March. 

This print was higher than expected and represents a stall from its downward trajectory, further complicating the debate regarding a rate rise in June. 

PCE Core services ex-rent rose 0.42%, the biggest increase in 3 months, suggesting stickiness and disappointingly limiting the break to the downside. 

This measure has shown no meaningful improvement since Fed officials started to highlight it late last year. 

Consumer spending rose 0.8% in April, up from 0.1% increases in both February and March. 

This was largely driven by vehicles and financial services. 

Motor vehicle consumption surged 3.8% and remains a lumpy category with pent-up demand and low inventories supporting pricing. Used car prices have rolled over again, which should be supportive to the downside in future months. 

Elsewhere economic data in the US has been coming in stronger than expected, including the Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) last week where the Composite index is at 54.5 versus consensus at 53.0 and the Services index at 55.1 versus 52.5 expected.

US debt ceiling

President Biden and House Speaker McCarthy reached an “in-principle” agreement over the weekend to raise the US debt ceiling and increase the borrowing limit for two years.

US equities rallied on Friday on the expectation this would eventuate, ending fears of a default on US government debt and any potential flow-through impact on the global economy. 

Pendal Horizon Fund

A concentrated Aussie equities portfolio aligned with the transition to a sustainable, future economy

Spending levels should remain roughly flat for the next two years, which should minimise fiscal headwinds to the economy. 

Republican demands for tightened handouts were met through a temporary increase to the top-age threshold for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (“SNAP”). 

This now means that low-income adults without dependents or disabilities between ages of 18-54 (previously 18-49) can only receive benefits for up to three months in a three year period unless they are working or enrolled in a work program. 

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) funding will also be reduced, which was intended to boost tax enforcement and modernise technology. 

The agreement still needs to move through the House and Senate by the 5th of June to ensure the government does not run out of money to pay its bills. 

Rest of the world

UK inflation surprised to the upside at 8.7% year-on-year, 50bps above consensus and with core inflation 60bps higher than expected at 6.8% YoY. 

There is pressure on the Bank of England, with the market pricing 90bps of tightening over the next three meetings. 

Germany officially entered recession with GDP -0.3% in 1Q23, following a 0.5% decline in 4Q22. 

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) hiked interest rates for the twelfth consecutive time, this time raising by 25bps to 5.50% – the highest level since 2008. 

The Board also suggested that the interest rate hiking cycle is done, with the view that rates are sufficiently contractionary to lower demand, but may stay higher for longer.

The market had been expecting one further hike to 5.75%

Generative AI and accelerated computing

The NVIDIA result was a standout, adding US$200bn of market cap (+28%) following a blow-out guidance upgrade for 2Q23. 

This was followed up by Marvell Technology, which was up +32% after signalling a strong outlook.

Find out about

Crispin Murray’s Pendal Focus Australian Share Fund

This underpinned by rapid adoption of accelerated computing to support generative AI.

NVIDIA’s guidance for revenue gains of 53% quarter-on-quarter to $11bn was well above consensus expectations of $7.2bn.

It implies sales of graphics processing unit (GPU) microchips to data centres almost doubling quarter-on-quarter as they rapidly gain share over central processing units (CPU) chips.

GPUs process data several orders of magnitude faster than CPUs, making them better suited to generative AI applications. 

Marvell Technology also guided for AI revenue to more than double in FY24 (from ~$200m in FY23) and more than double again in FY25. 

The question is whether recent market moves reflect the start of a multi-year bull-cycle on the back of AI-driven efficiency gains.

Or are we reaching bubble territory with just seven US mega cap tech names (Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, Amazon, NVIDIA, Meta and Tesla) up 70% in 2023 and driving the majority of the 24% NASDAQ rally YTD, leaving us at risk of a pullback?

We do note that valuation metrics for this group do not seem stretched given they are growing, are making efficiency gains, have strong balance sheets and are buying back stock, and may be moving into a more favourable macro / interest rate backdrop.

There is a bigger conversation around what generative AI means for the economy in terms of productivity, jobs, and wages.

Politicians and the business community must also grapple with the implications in terms of accuracy, regulation, ethical considerations, privacy issues, IP protection and data ownership — with no straightforward answers apparent.

Accelerated computing and storage infrastructure also still needs to be built to support mass usage of generative AI at scale. 


Commodities continued to weaken over the week and have been the worst performing asset class in 2023, after topping the charts in both 2021 and 2022. Oil bucked the trend last week, with Brent crude up 1.8%. 

The US dollar (measured by the DXY) bounced with US economic strength relative to weakening China and Europe data. 

In Australia, technology stocks tended to outperform.

While Technology One (TNE, +9.90%) delivered a decent result and was the best performer in the ASX 100, the other leaders such as Altium (ALU, +7.91%), NextDC (NXT, +6.8%) and Wisetech (WTC, +5.20%) were largely driven by the broader tech thematic. 

About Elise McKay and Pendal Australian share funds

Elise is an investment analyst with Pendal’s Australian equities team. Elise previously worked as an investment analyst for US fund manager Cartica where she covered a variety of emerging market companies.

She has also worked in investment banking and corporate finance at JP Morgan and Ernst & Young.

Pendal Horizon Sustainable Australian Share Fund is a concentrated portfolio aligned with the transition to a more sustainable, future economy.

Pendal Focus Australian Share Fund is a high-conviction equity fund with a 16-year track record of strong performance in a range of market conditions. The Fund is rated at the highest level by Lonsec, Morningstar and Zenith.

Pendal is an independent, global investment management business focused on delivering superior investment returns for our clients through active management. 

Contact a Pendal key account manager here

This information has been prepared by Pendal Fund Services Limited (PFSL) ABN 13 161 249 332, AFSL No 431426 and is current at May 30, 2023.

PFSL is the responsible entity and issuer of units in the Pendal Focus Australian Share Fund (Fund) ARSN: 113 232 812. A product disclosure statement (PDS) is available for the Fund and can be obtained by calling 1300 346 821 or visiting www.pendalgroup.com. The Target Market Determination (TMD) for the Fund is available at www.pendalgroup.com/ddo. You should obtain and consider the PDS and the TMD before deciding whether to acquire, continue to hold or dispose of units in the Fund.

An investment in the Fund or any of the funds referred to in this web page is subject to investment risk, including possible delays in repayment of withdrawal proceeds and loss of income and principal invested.

This information is for general purposes only, should not be considered as a comprehensive statement on any matter and should not be relied upon as such. It has been prepared without taking into account any recipient’s personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of this, recipients should, before acting on this information, consider its appropriateness having regard to their individual objectives, financial situation and needs. This information is not to be regarded as a securities recommendation.

The information may contain material provided by third parties, is given in good faith and has been derived from sources believed to be accurate as at its issue date. While such material is published with necessary permission, and while all reasonable care has been taken to ensure that the information is complete and correct, to the maximum extent permitted by law neither PFSL nor any company in the Pendal group accepts any responsibility or liability for the accuracy or completeness of this information.

Performance figures are calculated in accordance with the Financial Services Council (FSC) standards. Performance data (post-fee) assumes reinvestment of distributions and is calculated using exit prices, net of management costs. Performance data (pre-fee) is calculated by adding back management costs to the post-fee performance. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

Any projections are predictive only and should not be relied upon when making an investment decision or recommendation. Whilst we have used every effort to ensure that the assumptions on which the projections are based are reasonable, the projections may be based on incorrect assumptions or may not take into account known or unknown risks and uncertainties. The actual results may differ materially from these projections.

For more information, please call Customer Relations on 1300 346 821 8am to 6pm (Sydney time) or visit our website www.pendalgroup.com

Keep updated
Sign up to receive the latest news and views