No dice for Crown’s Barangaroo casino

Saturday Money Mate — 13 Feb 2021

Tesla and BNY Mellon backed Bitcoin, Crown Resorts was in hot water and Redditors turned to weed stocks in a jam-packed week for finance.

The ASX lost 0.49% over the trading week as tech and mining stocks weighed on the market.

It’s no dice for Crown Resorts’ new Barangaroo casino in Sydney after an inquiry found the company was unfit to hold the gaming licence required to operate the facility.

Meanwhile, Bitcoin topped US$48,000 for the first time on the back of Tesla’s US$1.5 billion investment and US bank BNY Mellon announcing it will finance Bitcoin and digital assets.

The rally flowed over to the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency, Ethereum, which soared past US$1,800 for the first time.

The week as a chart

S&P/ASX 200

-0.49%

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High on pot stocks

Redditors were at it again — this time getting high on pot stocks.

A post on WallStreetBets — the same forum that sparked the GameStop boom — sent shares in Canadian cannabis producer Tilray soaring 140% over three sessions.

The buy on weed makers also extended to Aphria and Sundial Growers, though analysts are cautious on how long the rally will last given they’re not US companies and may not benefit from possible changes to US cannabis laws.

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Amazon and Google become new safe havens

  • Pandemic-driven volatility has seen little impact on premium-tech stocks.
  • Amazon and Google surge 55% and 37%, respectively, over 12-months.
  • Growth in demand for gold by central banks fuels investor appetite for tech stocks.

Google and other premium-tech stocks are fast becoming the new era of digital gold as traders place a greater value on premium-tech despite the prevalence of heightened volatility and uncertainty in global markets.

Despite the worst pandemic in more than a century, volatility that historically induced deep recessions has seen stock markets rebound, with the value of premium technology stocks acting as a safe haven.

During periods of high volatility, investors generally pour into safe haven assets such as US Treasury bonds and precious metal assets, most notably gold.

In 2020 when volatility spiked following a declaration by the World Health Organisation of the coronavirus pandemic, a sharp and relatively short dip in global equities hit alongside a solid but not boom-like take up of gold, despite its safe-haven status.

In fact at the time of the pandemic, Google was trading at US$1400/share versus US$1550/ounce for gold, while Amazon’s stock was higher at US$1800/share.

Fast-forward 12 months, gold remains anchored in an US$1800-$1900 trading range, while Amazon and Google have gained 55% and 37% respectively, as a changing mix of investors propel premium-technology stocks higher into must-keep territory in an investor portfolio.

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