We tried, we really tried today to shrug off the initial negative vibes as the RBA released its minutes and suggested that the easing cycle wasn’t over just yet. Having opened down around 1% we had a valiant effort at a rally and got to within a whisker of square before regional weakness took over and we closed down 34 at 5078. The usually two worse banks were responsible for some of the turnaround as National Australia Bank Limited (A$31.57, +0.7%) did ok following the results and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (A$29.56, +0.4%) continued to draw strength however the rest of the sector was firmly in the red with Commonwealth Bank of Australia (A$70.27, -1.2%) and Westpac Banking Corporation (A$31.14, -1.4%) easing. QBE Insurance Group Limited (A$16.10, -5.5%) results did nothing to help with AMP Limited (A$4.74, -0.8%), Insurance Australia Group Limited (A$5.82, -0.9%) and Suncorp Group Limited (A$12.41, -0.5%) falling in sympathy.

In resource land BHP Billiton Limited (A$36.54, -1.3%) eased before their figures due on our close. Eyes will be firmly focussed on expenditure and expansion plans. RIO Tinto Limited (A$59.51, -1.0%),Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (A$4.05, unch) and Atlas Iron Limited (A$0.935, -1.6%) took a hit despite a rise in the Iron Ore price last night whilst Gold shares were walloped as the shiny stuff eased. Newcrest Mining Limited (A$12.28, -2.9%) led the falls with others like Kingsgate Consolidated Limited (A$2.31, -0.4%),St Barbara Limited (A$0.71, -6.0%),RRL# following their fine example .One of the bright spots today was health care as Sonic Healthcare Limited (A$15.41, +5.8%) reported and Ansell Limited (A$19.10, +3.5%) bounced on their results. Also in the green was Csl Limited (A$65.30, +1.6%) and Ramsay Health Care Limited (A$34.82, +0.5%). Consumer stocks fell led by Wesfarmers Limited (A$39.48, -3.7%) that went ex-dividend today with retailers mixed with David Jones Limited (A$2.79, +0.7%),Myer Holdings Limited (A$2.62, +0.8%),JB Hi-Fi Limited (A$18.40, -1.1%),Kathmandu Holdings Limited (A$2.55, -0.4%)

In the winners enclosure today were Arrium Limited (A$1.15, +16.8%), Breville Group Limited (A$8.22, +10.9%),Challenger Limited (A$4.95, +5.8%),Sonic Healthcare Limited (A$15.41, +5.8%),Ansell Limited (A$19.10, +3.5%) and Toll Holdings Limited (A$5.28, +2.3%) whilst the canine club today included Energy World Corporation Ltd (A$0.485, -8.5%),Coca-Cola Amatil Limited (A$12.04, -5.5%),Monadelphous Group Limited (A$17.54, -6.9%),Aquila Resources Limited (A$2.16, -4.8%),Platinum Asset Management Limited (A$5.63, -5.7%) and Paladin Energy Ltd (A$0.59, -4.1%).

Around the grounds, we saw pressure on currencies and markets in Asia with investors pulling $8.4bn from ETF funds this year. Malaysia and Thailand the worse hit with Jakarta down nearly 5% and Thailand 3%.Seems India is not the only one struggling to keep their currency afloat.

Volume was back in the moderate again after a better day yesterday mainly due to option exercises for the dividends. Waiting for FOMC and Jackson Hole.
Stocks and Stories
House star G8 Education Limited (A$2.87, +0.7%) resulted today and the market seemed to be pleased with what they saw .This stock has been a star performer and called beautifully by our team here.

Sonic Healthcare Limited (A$15.41, +5.8%) doing well following their numbers with an increased dividend and a 7% increase in net profits.

National Australia Bank Limited (A$31.57, +0.7%) ticked a few boxes but importantly started to talk up the UK business as things improve in the economy there. Should be interesting going forward. Over the first nine months of the year, NAB’s profits are $4.42 billion, which is 4.5 per cent more than the first nine months of 2012, when profits were $4.22 billion.The so called bad bank in the UK saw its loan book shrink from 5bn pounds to 4.4bn.The run off continues and a cause for optimism.

Coca-Cola Amatil Limited (A$12.04, -5.5%) Disappointing numbers which should not have taken the market by surprise but they did! Net income fell 12 per cent to $216 million from $246 million a year earlier, coming in below analyst expectations of $220 million. Earnings before interest and tax (Ebit) bit fell 6.9 per cent during the first half excluding onetime items. Seems they are still having some issues with their grocery channels..think that is management speak for a price war and low consumer demand! Cola wars back again!

QBE Insurance Group Limited (A$16.10, -5.5%) Nasty. Lower investment income and a halving of the dividend never good. At least now though the investment income should be getter better as US rates rise and the Aussie Dollar falls. Apparently this is a transition year. To what?

Monadelphous Group Limited (A$17.54, -6.9%) has reported a net profit after tax of $156.3 million for the year to June 30, a 13.8 per cent increase from the previous corresponding period.

The engineering group declared a fully franked final dividend of 75 cents per share.

Oil Search Limited (A$8.21, -0.5%) has flagged a review of its dividend payout policy once the PNG gas export project is completed, and once it has reviewed expansion prospects. It flagged “materially higher dividend payments, after financial completion of the PNG” gas project.

Spending across the economy has grown at its slowest pace in 10 months, showing confidence remains subdued. Economy-wide spending lifted 0.2 per cent, in trend terms, its slowest pace since September last year, according to the latest Commonwealth Bank Business Sales Indicator (BSI).
Tomorrows News Today

Seems we are on the verge of a full blown Asian currency crisis at the moment as the Indian Rupee falls to record levels again, the Rupiah takes a hit and Thailand has fallen into recession after the economy shrank unexpectedly in the second quarter of the year. The 0.3% contraction in gross domestic product between April and June followed a previous fall of 1.7% during the first quarter of 2013.Money flowing to US and Europe out of Asia!

(N)Everbrite Securities, the Chinese brokerage whose trading error whipsawed stocks last week, plunged by the 10% daily limit in Shanghai. The firm faces possible fines and more restrictions on business as the error threatens to erode confidence in China’s market.

The spiritual leader of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood was arrested in Cairo as part of an army crackdown on supporters of ousted President Mohamed Mursi that has killed about 1,000 people.

Mohammed Badie was detained in an apartment in the Rabaa district and accused of giving instructions to Muslim Brotherhood supporters nearby who were protesting Mursi’s removal by the military on Feb. 3.

Meanwhile in Zombieland, Rich Ricci, who stepped down as chief executive of Barclays’ corporate and investment banking division in June, is reported to be one of several wealthy supporters of the Aquis Exchange. Aquis was founded last year by exchange industry executive Alasdair Haynes. Among its other investors is said to be Bob Diamond, the former chief executive of Barclays and Mr Ricci’s former boss. Just what we need another exchange for the computers to work.

Good god it’s a Mac attack.. It takes 34 minutes working at the U.S. minimum wage to earn enough to buy a Big Mac, 22 minutes in France and New Zealand, and just 18 minutes in Australia. In India, it takes 6 hours. But then who would want one anyway?