• An anaemic day as commodity stocks slid after falls in base metals and gold overnight and a less than inspiring outlook form the Chinese economy as the latest official PMI slipped to 56 from last month’s 56.3.Nothing more than a flesh would but with a market struggling to find a new upward momentum it was sufficient to keep things weaker across the board. We waited of course with baited breath for the RBA decision at 2.30pm and of course we had no huge surprise as Uncle Glenn kept things on hold. Expect a little more of that as the RBA would be pretty chuffed with itself in the last few months. Lower dollar, retail numbers picking up, property prices now levelling off at a sufficiently high level to make homeowners warm and fuzzy. In the final washup the index slipped 23 points today, closing today at 5256, as we look to test the 5200 level in the coming days. Financials were weaker led by Westpac Banking Corporation (A$32.30, -0.9%) and the AMP Limited (A$4.54, -1.9%) with Suncorp Group Limited (A$13.00, -0.4%) the worse of the insurers as Insurance Australia Group Limited (A$5.99, +0.5%) and QBE Insurance Group Limited (A$15.73, +1.2%) actually rose slightly.
• Resource stocks were the villains today with BHP Billiton Limited (A$36.45, -1.2%),RIO Tinto Limited (A$65.49, -0.5%) and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (A$5.47, -1.8%) down and the less said about the rapidly diminishing gold sector the better. Newcrest Mining Limited (A$7.25, -6.7%) at these levels says it all. It looks like it will only be days before 1 bitcon is worth more than 1 ounce of Gold! Digital gold continues its run while physical gold and silver look set to trade in a death spiral!
• Healthcare stocks showed their defensive qualities today with gains for Csl Limited (A$68.40, +1.0%),Ramsay Health Care Limited (A$39.79, +1.6%) and ResMed Inc. (A$5.41, +1.1%). Retailers softened with Harvey Norman Holdings Limited (A$3.15, -0.3%), David Jones Limited (A$2.89, -0.7%),Super Retail Group Limited (A$13.59, -0.3%),Premier Investments Limited (A$7.62, -0.9%) and MYR# all a tad easier despite some better than expected news on sales numbers.
• The pariahs of the market were mixed today as Monadelphous Group Limited (A$16.15, +1.9%) rose Leighton Holdings Limited (A$15.70, -2.5%) fell as did Seven Group Holdings Limited (A$7.14, -1.1%),Forge Group Limited (A$0.565, -8.9%),Watpac Limited (A$0.915, -1.6%),Maca Limited (A$2.38, -1.2%) and Bradken Limited (A$5.43, unch). Probably best not to mention the gold stocks today! Other resource stocks also fell as Panaust Limited (A$1.465, -3.9%),Lynas Corporation Limited (A$0.275, -6.8%),Oz Minerals Limited (A$3.03, -4.7%),Sirius Resources NL (A$1.95, -5.8%) and Cudeco Limited (A$1.855, -1.3%) failed to find support despite the lower dollar.
• In the white hats today were Whitehaven Coal Limited (A$1.725, +6.5%),Hutchison Telecommunications (Australia) Limited (A$0.09, unch),Technology One Limited (A$2.38, +3.9%),Energy Resources of Australia Limited (A$1.325, +2.7%),Santos Limited (A$14.30, +2.4%),Southern Cross Media Group Limited (A$1.555, +1.6%),Bega Cheese Limited (A$4.65, +2.2%) and Beach Energy Limited (A$1.38, +2.2%) whilst in the black hats were #FLN#,Beadell Resources Limited (A$0.685, -9.3%),Lynas Corporation Limited (A$0.275, -6.8%),Regis Resources Limited (A$2.75, -8.9%),Newcrest Mining Limited (A$7.25, -6.7%),Oceanagold Corporation (A$1.73, -4.4%),#AIZ# and Oz Minerals Limited (A$3.03, -4.7%).
• Volume was boosted by the Queensland government deal in Aurizon Holdings Limited (A$4.75, +1.7%) and stillness and quiet conditions continue to plague the pre IPO season. Tomorrow we get little Dickies back on and later this week we get NINE. After the Freelancer float which opened at 2.50 and a one billion dollar market cap to today’s more realistic $436m it’s been a long way down.
• Asian markets were slightly positive with the exception of HK which fell 0.68%.The S&P Asia 50 CME index was up 0.11% as I write. Aussie dollar dropped to 90.6cents following the RBA non move.
Stocks and Stories
• RBA kept rates at record low of 2.5%.No surprise.
• The Queensland government moved today to offload some more Aurizon Holdings Limited (A$4.75, +1.7%) as the sold t had sold 74.3 million shares, worth $350 million, in the formerly state-owned coal and bulk freight rail business. They are using the proceeds to repay debt.
• Australia is expecting its third-biggest wheat crop on record after the government forecaster raised its estimate for the 2013/14 crop by 7 per cent, in a surprise move that could put pressure on global wheat prices.
• The Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) forecast wheat output of 26.213 million tonnes, up from its September estimate of 24.467 million tonnes, citing favourable weather across the west coast.
• Australian retail spending rose 0.5 per cent in October, slightly above the expected rate of 0.4 per cent. Total retail spending was $22.285 billion in October, up from $22.180 billion in September.
• In house stocks today REY Resources Limited (A$0.105, +5.0%) bobbled up as the started their share buyback.
• RIO Tinto Limited (A$65.49, -0.5%) held an investor day today and flagged capex reductions across the board to pay back debt. Looking at reducing by around 20% in 2014 and more to come in 2015.
• Brambles Limited (A$9.38, -0.6%) held their meeting today to jettison Total Recall from the fold.December 9th is when it all happens with shareholders to get 1 Recall for every 5 Brambles.
Tomorrows News Today
• Maybe this is the real reason Amazon is looking at Drones. Maybe they will launch a strike against the Supreme court as they have rejected an appeal to re-evaluate a New York state law that requires internet retailers like Amazon and Overstock.com to pay sales tax in the state. The law forces internet retailers to collect taxes on purchases in New York. The case could set a precedent in the US, where an estimated $23bn (£14bn) a year is lost in uncollected sales tax.
• ‘GI Joe’ Biden is on his ‘Kissenger’ diplomacy tour of the Far east as he looks to turn down the Sino/Japan tension over some locky outcrops.
• The new head of Blackberry has said the company is not for sale and it is alive and well. Think they should rename themselves Ribena. Blackberry squash.
• More talk of Japanese stimulus helping Nikkei. Canon Inkjet printers at the ready.
• PC sales are heading for their worst year on record as who buys these things anymore!
• Non-farm payrolls in the US as Taper seems to be the only game is town at the moment. Will Uncle Ben cut stimulus before he leaves?
• And in a Beatrix Potter deal, Apple has bought Topsy for $200m some sources suggest. A rare acquisition for them as they paid big time for a company with tools to spot trends on twitter. World has gone mad!
• WTO meeting in Bali today to thrash out a global tarde deal that could stimulate the world GDP by $1 trillion according to some. Apparently they are so close to a deal. Plenty of talkfests to go though.
• And finally something to think about ,in the UK a loss making KG chemical cracker plant in Grangemouth is being instantly transformed to a profit as it signs a 15 year deal with a US shale gas supplier allowing it to access energy that is 75% cheaper than it can get from UK. Now I suspect there will be a few players around the World taking note of this deal as the US moves to export its frackingly good shale business around the globe. Am I Bothered? Suspect Aussie LNG guys may need to take note!
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