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An abundance of economic numbers today conspired to hurt our market. And fall we did as the day wore on we continued to slide closing around 40 points down at 5280. Falls were led by the big red blob today ,that of banks as media reports of rising mortgage risk from Bloomberg and house prices rising at their slowest for a year in capital cities prompted some to take some profits. The news that a class action against ANZ started in court today certainly didn’t help things.

The big four were in the firing line with Commonwealth Bank of Australia (A$76.85, -1.2%) leading the pack followed Westpac Banking Corporation (A$32.60, -0.9%),National Australia Bank Limited (A$34.31, -0.8%) and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (A$31.85, -0.2%).Macquarie Group Limited (A$53.56, -1.1%) also fell in a hole today as did Insurance Australia Group Limited (A$5.96, -1.5%),Suncorp Group Limited (A$13.05, -1.1%),QBE Insurance Group Limited (A$15.55, -0.6%) and AMP Limited (A$4.63, -0.6%). The big resources were also out of favour as BHP Billiton Limited (A$36.90, -1.3%),RIO Tinto Limited (A$65.85, -0.3%),Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (A$5.57, -1.9%),Atlas Iron Limited (A$1.15, +0.4%) and Woodside Petroleum Limited (A$37.00, -1.1%) slipped away whilst surprisingly Newcrest Mining Limited (A$7.77, +1.0%) actually went up today .Only took a 1% move in the Gold price to do it!.

• Another day another hit for mining services as Ausenco Limited (A$0.66, -38.1%) came back from suspension with a nicely discounted rights issue and ‘Trouble at Mill”. Monadelphous Group Limited (A$15.85, -3.9%),Leighton Holdings Limited (A$16.10, -1.0%)Lycopodium Limited (A$4.00, -7.0%),Boart Longyear Limited (A$0.29, -3.3%) and Bradken Limited (A$5.43, -2.2%) all weaker. As usual. Retailers were also weak with David Jones Limited (A$2.91, -2.0%),Myer Holdings Limited (A$2.79, -2.1%),Harvey Norman Holdings Limited (A$3.16, -2.2%),JB Hi-Fi Limited (A$19.69, -3.5%) all taking the economic numbers badly.

• Big grinners today included Metcash Limited (A$3.28, +7.5%),Oil Search Limited (A$8.27, +3.4%),Oz Minerals Limited (A$3.18, +3.6%),Iluka Resources Limited (A$8.99, +2.5%),Slater & Gordon Limited (A$4.50, +2.3%) and Auckland International Airport Limited (A$3.23, +2.5%) whilst in the naughty corner were Ausenco Limited (A$0.66, -38.1%) #FLN#,Yancoal Australia Limited (A$0.66, -5.7%),Hutchison Telecommunications (Australia) Limited (A$0.09, -5.3%),Chorus Limited (A$1.285, -5.5%),Qube Holdings Limited (A$1.955, -5.1%),Monadelphous Group Limited (A$15.85, -3.9%) and Breville Group Limited (A$8.02, -3.8%) as well as Ten Network Holdings Limited (A$0.285, -1.7%).

• Volume was uninspiring but not too bad for a Monday at around $3.5bn.Asian Markets were mostly negative although only flesh wounds, although HK was a little better.

Stocks and Stories

• GrainCorp Limited (A$8.41, -3.6%) suffered a loss of its CEO as Alison Watkins decided that things go better with Coke.

• And some five years after the collapse of Lehmans, IMF (Australia) Ltd (A$1.725, +0.6%) announced today that they had come to a conditional settlement. Seems the big winners apart from the councils and school boards will be IMF itself with revenue of around $30-40m from the distributions.

• Metcash Limited (A$3.28, +7.5%) appeared to be better than some expectations after reporting their half yearly numbers today. Whilst they are suffering in the grocery business they seem to be doing ok in Liquor and in the newly acquired auto businesses.

• Gonski appears to not be quite as Gonski as previously thought .Back flip with a Pynne. Good to see.

• A swag of economic news today including, Australian Industry Group’s manufacturing index for November: slipped by 5.4 points to 47.7 last month, a return to pre-election levels.

• RP Data-Rismark October house prices index: dwelling values edged up by 0.1 per cent in November following increases of 1.6 per cent in September and 1.3 per cent in October.

• TD Securities-Melbourne Institute inflation gauge for November: inflation grew by 0.2 per cent last month after a 0.1 per cent rise in October. In the year to November, inflation lifted by 2.4 per cent, above previous 2.1 per cent annual readings.

• New home building approvals for October: fell 1.8 per cent for the month, with the year to October recording a strong 23.1 per cent lift, figures from the Bureau of Statistics show.

• Company gross operating profits: grew 3.9 per cent in the September quarter as the seasonally adjusted estimate for wages and salaries rose 0.7 per cent, new Bureau of Statistics figures show.

• China’s factory activity maintained steady growth momentum in November, boosted by resilient new orders, though the pace of expansion eased slightly from October. The final HSBC/Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) came in at 50.8 in November, down from 50.9 in October but improving from a preliminary reading of 50.4

• China’s move to end a 14-month ban on initial public offerings and allow the sale of preferred shares led to a rally in financial stocks as investors bet the measures will boost fees for brokerages and ease banks’ funding

Tomorrows News Today

• GDP numbers Wednesday. RBA meeting tomorrow and the odds are still that we will get no change in official rates.
• News today that the Royal Mint is going into the Bitcon business with Gold infused physical bitcons..so if they ever become worthless you can always melt them down for the gold value. And a UK man has realised that the 7500 Bitcons that he had bought for nothing were on an old hard drive and now they are in a landfill having thrown away said hard drive. Currently worth around $7.6m .Good luck with that .Talk about a needle in a haystack. And this was months ago! May need to offer a reward and one word in the future, Backup!

• Protests in the Ukraine and protests in Thailand continue. Vice President Biden will tread a difficult line this week on his visit to China to try and diffuse the growing tension over the disputed Islands. He is heading ‘Kissinger like’ to Tokyo, Bejing and Seoul this week.

• Moody’s has upgraded Greek debt by two notches, to F minus, given the progress they have made on restructuring. Which is what?

• Big week for IPOs this week with “Clever Dickies” tomorrow and still the One, NINE later this week.

 

Clarence

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