2 ASX shares to buy before US interest rates rise

Credit: Federalreserve

Late last week all eyes were on one of the most anticipated economic summits of the year in the ski resort town of Jackson Hole in the US state of Wyoming. Although the leaders of some of the world’s most powerful central banks were in attendance, it was always going to be US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen that took the headlines.

She didn’t disappoint. According to the Federal Reserve’s press release Yellen has stated that:

In light of the continued solid performance of the labor market and our outlook for economic activity and inflation, I believe the case for an increase in the federal funds rate has strengthened in recent months.

Just when many were ruling out rate hikes in the United States in 2016, there’s now a distinct possibility of two rate hikes before the end of the year with one coming as soon as September 22.

If this were to happen then it is likely that the Australian dollar will finally weaken and head below 70 US cents in my opinion. Whilst this wouldn’t be helpful for companies that import products from abroad such as ARB Corporation Limited (ASX: ARB), there are a number of companies that it would be a boost to. Here are two:

Ardent Leisure Group (ASX: AAD)

The company’s US-based Main Event family entertainment centres are the main draw to Ardent Leisure in my opinion. In FY 2016 they contributed over a third of EBITDA, or almost half on a pro forma basis which excludes the recently offloaded Goodlife Health Clubs. That divestment will allow management to execute on the pipeline of new high‐yielding Main Event centres throughout the United States. According to its annual report a 10% drop in the Australian dollar against the US dollar would have boosted its $42.4 million full year earnings by a further $8.4 million in FY 2016.

Treasury Wine Estates Ltd (ASX: TWE)

The global wine company recently reported a hugely impressive 131% rise in full year statutory net profit after tax of $179 million. Playing a big part in this result was the 30% lift in sales in the Americas to just over $1 billion. Treasury Wine Estates’ FY 2016 results were based largely on an average exchange rate of 72.8 US cents. If the Australian dollar drops beneath this level then its forecast strong organic earnings growth should receive an added boost.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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