Five years ago today the market hit its GFC bottom at around 3145! Since then we have rallied nearly 70%.US market also hit its lows before its free Money rally has propelled it to all-time highs. UK market has almost doubled in that time! Solid end to the week with a rise of around 60 points now for the week as fears of a full blown crisis in the Ukraine seem to have dimmed. Obama’s threats to restrict some visas for Russian and Ukrainians seem to have done the trick and it looks like the great design of an interconnect Europe being unable to fight each other is holding. Good economic numbers throughout the world are lifting equities and news today from Uncle Glenn that he isn’t going to cut rates was enough to get the Aussie dollar rocking and rolling up to a year high at nearly 91 cents.

On the market we closed up 16 points at 5462 as news came through of the proposed index changes to take place on 21st March. Across the board rises with the only stocks failing to launch in the big caps were Westpac Banking Corporation (A$33.90, -1.2%) on talk of Gail Kelly replacement therapy and National Australia Bank Limited (A$34.74, -0.3%) easing back on the gains in the Aussie currency. Elsewhere BHP Billiton Limited (A$37.72, +0.2%) went nowhere whilst RIO Tinto Limited (A$64.94, +0.6%) went ok, as they pressed ahead with finalising an investment framework for the long-delayed Simandou iron ore project .Others in the resources sector like Paladin Energy Ltd (A$0.605, +6.1%) have also been quietly creeping up. Iron ore stocks though pretty much unchanged whilst Gold’s did not really find too many supporters despite the rise in the shiny stuff. Makes you wonder really why they bother.

Industrials and especially digital stocks were strong .Carsales.Com Limited (A$11.89, +7.8%) continue to surge ahead as did #FLN#,Iproperty Group Limited (A$3.48, +13.0%) and #NEA#. Some of the gains were linked to index changes with some in and some out. Consumer stocks also did well following the better than expected retail sales numbers yesterday with Harvey Norman Holdings Limited (A$3.31, +5.4%),Myer Holdings Limited (A$2.79, +4.9%) David Jones Limited (A$3.41, +3.3%) and Premier Investments Limited (A$8.55, +4.0%) the pick of the bunch. Possible reason as well was the announcement of the Abbott government inquiry into workplace arrangements which will help the retailers with their salaries bills. Not sure why ,there does not seem to be anyone working there most days anyway!. Energy stocks were also in demand today with Woodside Petroleum Limited (A$38.66, +1.0%) and Santos Limited (A$14.32, +2.1%) in the bigs whilst Senex Energy Limited (A$0.81, +1.3%),Drillsearch Energy Limited (A$1.645, +0.6%),Strike Energy Limited (A$0.14, +7.7%) and Sundance Energy Australia Limited (A$0.985, +1.5%) doing well in the smalls. Healthcare did well too, Csl Limited (A$71.90, +0.9%),Sonic Healthcare Limited (A$17.69, +1.8%) and Primary Health Care Limited (A$4.87, +1.7%) all to the good.
 Amongst the winners today were Leighton Holdings Limited (A$20.72, +7.7%),Seven Group Holdings Limited (A$9.35, +6.2%),Western Areas Limited (A$3.62, +4.6%),McMillan Shakespeare Limited (A$10.74, +4.9%),Nufarm Limited (A$4.11, +4.3%),Kathmandu Holdings Limited (A$3.37, +4.7%) and VED whilst in loser city we had Energy World Corporation Ltd (A$0.325, -7.1%), PBT,Medusa Mining Limited (A$2.35, -4.9%),Arrium Limited (A$1.505, -4.4%)(ex),#MFF# and Seven West Media Limited (A$2.14, -4.5%).

Volume was again not too bad at around $4bn.Asian stocks were better in front of the US Non-Farm Payrolls tonight. If it’s bad ,blame the weather! The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.3 percent extending a global rally that added $523 billion to equities this week .

The MSCI All-Country World Index has recovered to a six-year high after falling the most in a month on the Russian invasion of the Crimea.

Stocks and Stories

More bad news for the mining services sector with Boart Longyear Limited (A$0.29, -1.7%) which this morning was dropped from the All Australian ASX 200 index, and then S&P followed it up by cutting Boart’s corporate debt rating to CCC from B.

Sign of the times as S&P index dumped Qantas Airways Limited (A$1.14, -0.9%) from the ASX 50, in favour of James Hardie Industries PLC (A$15.29, +1.8%) which hit an all-time high earlier today. The power of index trackers!

More power to the index with #OFX# hitting all-time highs. Could have bought this one at $2.00 in the float!

Stunning 20:20 hindsight today from Jamie Packer as he said that Qantas Airways Limited (A$1.14, -0.9%) should have taken the $5.60 offered to them back in 2006.Couple of high profile fund managers held out.Doh!

Westpac Banking Corporation (A$33.90, -1.2%) today announced that finance chief Phil Coffey had been promoted to the newly-created role of deputy chief executive and Peter King to chief financial officer. Leadership speculation once more abounds!

Tomorrow’s News Today

China’s first bond default as Shanghai Chaori Solar has defaulted on its interest payments, as has been foreshadowed in recent days. Always a good thing to throw the odd body bag out on the runway every now and then. Concentrates the mind no end! Talk is that this is the “Lehman Moment” in China. Probably not as they really are bad with the letter ‘L’. Maybe the “Rehman Moment” then.

“Super Mario” in his pronouncements yesterday called “Europe an Island of stability”. Obviously hadn’t looked to the east recently!. Record low rates and growth upgraded!

Looks like they have found Mr Bitcon! Satoshi Nakamoto. Very high tech affair. They looked him up in the phone book and popped round to see him!!Seems it was the last thing the Geeks thought of! Ever seen Terminator?

And God I hope this guy is successful. The class action will be a doozy. A guy in the US is suing a casino for giving him more alcohol and allowing him to gamble for 17 hours losing $500,000 whilst out of his tree.Craig Thomson is watching with interest!

Been here before? UK House prices advanced 7.9pc on an year-on-year basis, the figures showed, taking the average price across the UK to £179,872 and marking the strongest annual uplift since October 2007.They reckon a small flat in London will cost $36m in 2050!Bout the same as Sydney now then!!

The fix is in as two London traders have been suspended due to the FX fixing scandal. Authorities still investigating.

Darren Hinch has left prison after serving 50 days instead of paying $100,000. Not a bad daily rate for a state sanctioned health farm and detox. Would do the same for that money!

On this day in 1876 Alexander Graham Bell patented the Telephone.

Have a great weekend and thanks for everyone’s feedback. Much appreciated.

Clarence

Xxx

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