• After a firm start we turned negative before the financials powered things up again. The big four were their usual green blob on the market map plus Woolworths Limited (A$34.08, +0.4%) following their AGM,Telstra Corporation Limited (A$5.08, unch) and Csl Limited (A$68.64, +0.3%) also kicked in. Energy stocks were also surprisingly better given the Iran deal and the price of crude. Santos Limited (A$14.53, +0.6%),Oil Search Limited (A$8.38, +1.0%) and Origin Energy Limited (A$14.30, -0.1%) were positive as were some of the second liners like Drillsearch Energy Limited (A$1.345, +4.3%),Cooper Energy Limited (A$0.44, unch) and AWE Limited (A$1.215, +1.3%). It was however a quiet day as the Thanksgiving holiday set to dominate the US this week. The big resource stocks failed to inspire with BHP Billiton Limited (A$37.80, -0.2%) fighting a brave fight-back as did RIO Tinto Limited (A$65.04, -0.6%) and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (A$5.74, -1.4%) but remained in red territory at the death. A little bit of love crept into the Golds today following a topsy turvy expiry in Gold in the US last night and we had gains for Kingsgate Consolidated Limited (A$1.24, +4.6%),Silver Lake Resources Limited (A$0.535, +4.9%),Regis Resources Limited (A$3.16, +5.3%),Evolution Mining Limited (A$0.615, +1.7%) and even Newcrest Mining Limited (A$8.10, -1.9%)(just!) today. In the final analysis the market moved up 4 points to close at 5357 as we grind upwards reluctantly. Dips are for buying seems to be the traders mantra this US holiday season.
• Retailers continue to feel warm and Xmassy with David Jones Limited (A$3.05, +2.3%),Harvey Norman Holdings Limited (A$3.29, +2.2%),Super Retail Group Limited (A$13.92, +0.7%),Kathmandu Holdings Limited (A$3.37, -0.6%) and JB Hi-Fi Limited (A$20.20, +0.6%) all going Ho! Ho! Ho! Few healthcare stocks coming in for some profit taking today with Sigma Pharmaceuticals Limited (A$0.58, -1.7%),Sonic Healthcare Limited (A$16.65, -2.6%) and ResMed Inc. (A$5.46, -1.6%). Industrials with a mining bent eased again with Macmahon Holdings Limited (A$0.11, -8.3%),Calibre Group Limited (A$0.38, -9.5%),Mastermyne Group Limited (A$0.71, -11.3%),UGL Limited (A$6.84, -1.3%),Downer EDI Limited (A$4.96, -2.0%) and Coffey International Limited (A$0.295, -3.3%) down but Monadelphous Group Limited (A$17.72, +1.0%),Lycopodium Limited (A$4.49, +2.0%) and Cardno Limited (A$6.95, +0.6%) better.
• Big winners today included Technology One Limited (A$2.40, +11.6%),Regis Resources Limited (A$3.16, +5.3%),Mesoblast Limited (A$6.30, +4.7%),Beadell Resources Limited (A$0.79, +3.9%),Amcom Telecommunications Limited (A$2.10, +1.9%) and Panaust Limited (A$1.62, +3.2%) whilst losing the good fight were Transfield Services Limited (A$1.21, -5.5%),#XRO#,Yancoal Australia Limited (A$0.67, -4.3%),Bluescope Steel Limited (A$5.55, -3.8%),Energy World Corporation Ltd (A$0.38, -5.0%) and Aristocrat Leisure Limited (A$4.63, -2.9%) following their numbers. Asia was modestly lower as they paused for breath given the huge runs we have seen from Japan. And Bitcon knocking on the door of 900 in Aussie dollars! Really?
• Volume was again on the low side as AGMs and IPO meetings dominated the fund managers day.
Stocks and Stories
• Woolworths Limited (A$34.08, +0.4%) AGM today and the Chairman urged investors not to give up hope that Masters hardware business will one day make money. One day. Real soon.
• In life science land Mesoblast Limited (A$6.30, +4.7%) and “Mini-Me” soblast Regeneus both taking heart from the Japanese moves on Stem cell technology. Although there do seem to be a few sellers from the recent IPO hurting the price of RGS today.
• Harvey Norman Holdings Limited (A$3.29, +2.2%) AGM as Gerry Harvey once again called for the Government to impose GST on overseas and online purchases as did every other retailer in the country. Must be only a matter of time before the new Government gives in on this one too.
• Aristocrat Leisure Limited (A$4.63, -2.9%) also announced today and they were a little underwhelming on the quality front. lower tax rate, FX gains and interest savings driven. Although with 50% of facebook users playing some form of online gaming, suspect there is so scope there to expand their business model.
• Brickworks Limited (A$13.80, +2.1%) has said things are stacking up ‘nicely nicely’ in the brick business in the last quarter .Suspect it will be a fiery meeting with the shareholders Mark Carnegie and Perpetual stirring thing up.
• Ansell Limited (A$19.46, unch) has agreed to buy US gloves maker BarrierSafe Solutions International for about $US615 million, a move to expand its position in the hand protection market in North America.
• New figures show banks wrote $10.8 billion in loans with a loan-to-valuation ratio of 90 per cent or more in the September quarter – 14.1 per cent of all housing loan approvals
Tomorrows News Today
• China has launched an antitrust probe against one of the world’s biggest chipmakers, the US firm Qualcomm. Qualcomm said the probe involved China’s anti-monopoly law, but added that regulators told it the “substance of the investigation is confidential”.
• Argentina has reached an agreement in principle to compensate Spain’s Repsol for the nationalisation of energy firm YPF. Argentina seized YPF last year without paying anything. The Spanish company had been demanding $10.5bn (£6.5bn) in compensation.
• Blackberry has moved to shake up its management, they created a smoothie perhaps. The firm’s chief financial officer, Brian Bidulka, will be replaced by James Yersh who has previously served as controller and head of compliance. This does feel like shuffling the deckchairs on the Costa Cordia.
• As the global economy continues to recover next year Australia will be left behind, according Goldman Sachs, which tips it as the only developed market likely to see lower growth. They are calling growth to be around 2% next year. Seems the Coalition is the magic bullet that everyone thought. Guess we will see in time.
• According to WealthInsight, the Chinese wealthy now have about $658 billion stashed in offshore assets. And it seems that they are following their investments too as they snap up real estate around the globe and send their kids to local schools and look to exit China with all the corruption crackdowns, pollution and environmental issues.Can hardly blame them and everyone is so keen to give them help coming to their country, nice really.
• The European Union (EU) plans to close a loophole that allows companies to slash their tax bills by setting up offices in softer tax regimes, amid rising anger over the practices of multinationals such as Google, Amazon and Starbucks.
• Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government approved a plan to end a four-decade long policy that has helped to sustain the nation’s 1.2 million rice farms. The gentan system, which has paid landowners to reduce crops since 1970, will be dismantled by the end of the Japanese fiscal year through March 31, 2019.
• Tickets to the new Monty Python show sold out in 43 seconds! They are not the Messiah’s, just very naughty boys…