Did you miss me? Maybe just a little? Probably not! Still back in the saddle today after a short break and it’s fair to say that the market is treading water. Seems we were all “Naval” gazing today especially in Sydney! After a big fall on overnight markets and our futures closing 40 points down, it was a surprisingly resilient day after an early expected fall, with most players content to sit on the sidelines and await developments in the US. It seems that we are living in denial about a US debt default. Never going to happen. We all know at the last minute they will see sense and there will be a deal down. Something cobbled together with an extensive use of gaffer tape. As everyone knows gaffer tape fixes everything, so why not the $16.7 trillion debt! News on Yellen nomination helped recovery.
Volume was woeful which reflects the lack of conviction in case of the worse-case scenario coming to fruition. After a weak start we fought back to close pretty much unchanged at 5153.Mixed action from the leaders with no real themes present, except do nought! In the finance sector Westpac Banking Corporation (A$32.17, +0.6%) was the stand out on the positive side whilst QBE Insurance Group Limited (A$14.25, -1.3%) was in negative country as were Macquarie Group Limited (A$47.12, -0.8%). Other insurers though were marginally better with Insurance Australia Group Limited (A$5.90, +0.9%) and AMP Limited (A$4.59, +0.2%) up a smidge. Stand out financial was Magellan Financial Group Limited (A$10.03, +3.4%) followed by Investa Office Fund (A$2.97, unch) and NIB Holdings Limited (A$2.18, +1.9%). In resource land BHP Billiton Limited (A$34.83, +0.4%) and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (A$4.78, +1.9%) poked their heads up above water whilst RIO Tinto Limited (A$60.20, -0.1%) sloshed about. Good news today for long suffering shareholders in Newcrest Mining Limited (A$10.93, +0.9%) as the Chairman and CEO look to be falling on their swords. Albeit pretty slowly! Gone by Xmas 2014!
In other sectors Woodside Petroleum Limited (A$37.81, +1.4%) did well as did Oil Search Limited (A$8.35, +0.7%) whilst consumer stocks like Wesfarmers Limited (A$41.07, +0.2%) and Woolworths Limited (A$34.00, +0.1%) perked up. Healthcare stocks were a little off colour led by Csl Limited (A$65.20, -0.6%) after their settlement and ‘mea culpa’ and Sonic Healthcare Limited (A$15.49, -1.5%) and Ramsay Health Care Limited (A$35.16, -1.4%) fell a bit as did Mesoblast Limited (A$5.50, -1.8%). In retail land Kathmandu Holdings Limited (A$3.12, -1.6%) ,JB Hi-Fi Limited (A$20.38, -3.0%),Harvey Norman Holdings Limited (A$3.16, -0.9%),David Jones Limited (A$2.78, -0.7%) and AP Eagers Limited (A$4.54, -4.6%) all a little soft as the interest rate cuts recede.
In the grinners circle today were Atlas Iron Limited (A$0.975, +8.9%),Transfield Services Limited (A$1.23, +6.0%),Mount Gibson Iron Limited (A$0.745, +5.7%),Bluescope Steel Limited (A$4.90, +3.6%),Pacific Brands Limited (A$0.73, +3.5%),Arrium Limited (A$1.215, +3.8%),Magellan Financial Group Limited (A$10.03, +3.4%) and G8 Education Limited (A$3.31, +3.4%) whilst chowing down on the bones were Linc Energy Ltd (A$1.085, -4.8%),AP Eagers Limited (A$4.54, -4.6%),Sfg Australia Limited (A$0.775, unch),Cedar Woods Properties Limited (A$6.76, -4.1%),WorleyParsons Limited (A$22.10, -2.9%),Chorus Limited (A$2.29, -3.8%),Energy Resources of Australia Limited (A$1.365, -2.5%) and Independence Group NL (A$3.64, -3.4%).
Volume was not even enough to rouse a supermodel from her slumber. Over in Asia as our Tony finished up with APEC, things were mixed to positive. I am sure the two events are not related!
Stocks and Stories
The big cheese war is now afoot after yesterday’s Canadian cash bid and Warrnambool Cheese & Butter Factory Co.Hold.Ltd (A$7.26, +1.1%) presented today at a conference ensuring a positive day again.
Global contract engineer WorleyParsons Limited (A$22.10, -2.9%) has flagged that earnings will decline in the December half, with earnings to be more skewed to the latter part of the year. This follows a quiet period of order flows earlier in the year.
Newcrest Mining Limited (A$10.93, +0.9%) announced this morning that long standing chairman Don Mercer would retire in December, with new director Peter Hay set to succeed him after just two months on the Newcrest board. Chief executive Greg Robinson will also step down before Christmas 2014, with former Rio Tinto executive Sandeep Biswas set to takeover. No hurry then. Things are going too well!
Transurban Group (A$6.95, +1.8%) has recorded a 14 per cent rise in revenue for the three months to the end of September, thanks in part to the end of upgrade work on Sydney’s M2 Motorway.
Bianca Rinehart has been nominated as the new trustee of a $5 billion family trust by her brother John, in a shock last-minute decision in the bitter feud between Gina Rinehart and her two eldest children. Xmas dinner will be fun!
AMP Limited (A$4.59, +0.2%) has announced a new CFO today in former Groucon CFO Gordon Lefevre as its new CFO, effective March 2014.Growcon seems an appropriate term for AMP sometimes!
McAleese Transport, the owner of the trucking group involved in the fatal fuel-tanker accident in Sydney last week, has delayed its $155 million initial public offering. The decision comes a day after NSW and Victorian authorities grounded 15 more trucks belonging to McAleese Transport’s oil-hauling business, a division called Cootes Transport.
Indian manufacturing and service sector activity fell for a third successive month in September, posting the steepest decline since March 2009, according to a HSBC report published on Wednesday.
Tomorrows News Today
Not drowning though but Yellen, as looks like Janet is going to get the nod from Obama to lead the Fed in 2014!Enough to spur some buying. If I was Ben I would be tearing my hair out around now with the politicians attitude. Maybe he has already. But he has spent $85bn a month in bond purchases and got the Dow to all-time highs and all that could be undone and more by a bunch of idiot congressman! Enough to make you want to retire! Wall Street will rally tonight on this news.100 points up I expect.
We’ve never had it so good! Australians remain the richest people in the world, by one measure at least. The median wealth of adult Australians stands at $US219,505 ($233,504) – the highest level in the world, according to the Credit Suisse 2013 Global Wealth Report, released on Wednesday.
IMF expects global growth of 2.9% this year, a cut of 0.3% from July’s estimate. In 2014 it expects global growth of 3.6%, down 0.2%.
As they say, the cheque is in the mail! The Royal Mail looks set for 80s style debut as demand for shares has gone postal! Insto investors have asked for 10 times more shares than are available. Ah the good old days indeed! A £3.30 share price values Royal Mail at £3.3bn and will see the government collect £2bn from the 60% of the business being sold. A further 10% is being given to Royal Mail’s 150,000 employees – each will collect shares worth about £2,200.
Facebook paid no corporation tax in Britain last year, according to its latest accounts, despite taking an estimated £223m share of the digital advertising market. The social network’s tax bill fell from £238,000 in 2011 to zero, while its reported UK income rose by 70%.Like.Comment.Share.
New iPad coming October 22nd!!
Yum Brands Inc.’s third-quarter profit fell 68% as the parent company of KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut continued to struggle with its Chinese operations. Not “So Good”
He’s back !!!!