Well, ‘Waiting for Godot’ is more exciting than today’s market as a killer combo of Zombie holidays for Mayday mingled with the upcoming Non-Farm Payrolls number from the US kept most people sidelined. Oh, and the Commission for Business and the Budget. In the end the ASX200 closed up 9 at 5458 in a late book squaring buying surge with a small range of 5430 to 5458.Mixed news in the financials with Macquarie Group Limited (A$58.70, +0.9%) falling 2% after the figures but then rallying hard to close up for the day. The high street banks were mixed ahead of next week’s frenzy of numbers from National Australia Bank Limited (A$34.56, -0.4%) and Westpac Banking Corporation (A$34.87, +0.5%),although a late rally made them look better than they were. Seems the market is not in a forgiving mood judging by the reaction to Macquarie Group Limited (A$58.70, +0.9%) today so unless we get some seriously bullish comments looks like the banks will follow the script and get sold off after the numbers. In other soggy issues today BHP Billiton Limited (A$37.27, -0.6%) also slid away capping off a rubbish week for them falling around 2.6% for the week. The golds fell hard too just for a change as Newcrest Mining Limited (A$10.13, -1.6%) worsened as did Beadell Resources Limited (A$0.64, -3.0%),Evolution Mining Limited (A$0.81, -4.7%),Kingsgate Consolidated Limited (A$0.85, -1.7%) etc etc.
Industrials fared better though with REA Group Ltd (A$47.64, +3.4%) going ballistic, as did Crown Resorts Limited (A$16.33, +1.3%),Aristocrat Leisure Limited (A$5.10, +2.4%),Donaco International Limited (A$1.22, +5.2%) and Echo Entertainment Group Limited (A$2.76, +0.7%) in the gaming sector whilst consumer stocks like Wesfarmers Limited (A$43.05, +0.7%) and Woolworths Limited (A$36.60, +0.2%) improved. Retailers were mildly positive with Country Road Limited (A$10.00, +2.0%),Kathmandu Holdings Limited (A$3.38, +1.8%),JB Hi-Fi Limited (A$18.90, +0.2%) and David Jones Limited (A$3.94, +0.3%) the best of them. Telstra Corporation Limited (A$5.20, unch) were pretty unchanged after their recent strength. Numbers from Myer Holdings Limited (A$2.12, -2.3%) failed to excite coming in pretty flat. Not sure that is ever going to change really!
Hitting the weekend nightlife feeling a million dollars were Treasury Wine Estates Limited (A$4.09, +6.5%),Transfield Services Limited (A$1.05, +5.0%),Mermaid Marine Australia Limited (A$2.20, +3.3%),Primary Health Care Limited (A$4.71, +3.7%),REA Group Ltd (A$47.64, +3.4%),Macquarie Atlas Roads Group (A$3.18, +2.9%) and Dart Energy Limited (A$0.12, +4.3%) whilst lying in the gutter starring up at the stars were #PDY#(more on that debacle later!),Iron Road Limited (A$0.30, -9.1%),APN News & Media Limited (A$0.67, -3.6%),Beadell Resources Limited (A$0.64, -3.0%),Sirius Resources NL (A$2.55, -4.1%),Panaust Limited (A$1.535, -3.5%) and Sundance Energy Australia Limited (A$1.01, -1.9%). Volume was Friday on my mind at around $3.2bn.Asia was also on a holding pattern given the importance of the NFP tonight and some markets still shut due to May day holidays.Uk on Monday. Aussie dollar was 92.70,Bitcons 490 and Gold $1284.
For the week the ASX 200 was down 80 points or 1.4%.Sell in May and go away?
Stocks and Stories
Padbury Mining Absolute debacle returning from suspension and no Oakajee deal to show for it. The company should be sued for this complete fiasco of the on/off deal from “private equity” firm Alliance Super Holdings, which is ultimately controlled by colourful Sydney entrepreneur Roland Bleyer.
Macquarie Group Limited (A$58.70, +0.9%) Well I thought they were good numbers. Stock promptly dropped around 2% before the punters woke up to the numbers. There was some disappointment on the forecast and the Divy but these guys are conservative. Under promise, over deliver.. MQG delivered a stronger than expected result, with net profit of $1,265m which was 5% ahead of consensus of $1,204m.
Treasury Wine Estates Limited (A$4.09, +6.5%) Rumours today that Pernod Ricard ,maybe running the slide rule over this one. Who remembers slide rules eh? Me! Anyway where there is smoke there is fire as they say and I would not be surprised to see more than one global booze company interested in this one. Perfect timing as the World economy improves and the new CEO comes to grips with his new plaything.
Lynas Corporation Limited (A$0.165, unch) Looks like the company is raising money at around 15cents.Still in a trading halt!
Ramsay Health Care Limited (A$44.71, +1.3%) sad news today that Paul Ramsay passed away. The market was spooked about his 36% but the man has left the shares to his trust to run charitable programs. Fine example. It’s a shame that Lang Hancock didn’t do the same. Then we may have been spared Gina!
Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (A$0.655, unch) has attracted four US institutional investors as the main backers in a $49.5 million capital raising, to be announced on Monday, that will fund it through to the financial close of its $US3.5 billion Magnolia LNG export project in the US.
Myer Holdings Limited (A$2.12, -2.3%) announced flat sales and blamed refurbishments as the cause. Weekend at Bernie’s also confirm he is staying on for a few more years. Obviously hoping for one last big feed on a takeover like his DJs counterparts! It reported a slight decline in total sales for the third quarter to $646.5 million. Myer this morning reported that total sales had fallen 0.93 per cent, while same-store sales growth – which removes the impact of new store openings – lifted 0.24 per cent for the 13 weeks to April 26.
Transfield Services Limited (A$1.05, +5.0%) has run up 15% in the last few days as it engages in ‘refinancing’ activities.
Tomorrow’s News Today
U.S. employers probably added 218,000 workers to payrolls in April, up from an increase of 192,000 in March, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 94 economists.
RBS 1st Quarter profit of 1.2 bn pounds versus 400m last time. The BOE has also warned on the housing bubble bursting as a report shows that half of British young adults will live with their parents because of the housing crisis within a generation.
Another NSW Liberal Pollie has resigned aside following corruption claims at ICAC. They are selling more tickets to that than Strictly Ballroom now! It’s probably better too!
Treasurer Joe Hockey has attacked wind farms as “utterly offensive and “a blight on the landscape” in the latest sign that the Abbott government intends to cut back on renewable energy.
In Ukraine, the Government has brought back conscription to try to quell the growing “Russianisation” of the east of the country. They reckon the next ten days will be very dangerous. Upcoming referendum will be a big test. Sanctions are tricky because Zombieland is so dependent on Russian oil and the French have a massive exposure of around $50bn which is not far off the $70 billion exposure they had to Greece in 2010.Soc Gen also owns Russia’s ninth largest bank Rosbank worth $22bn..so tread carefully my Euro buddies.
More cities in China are experiencing property price decline, according to the China Index Academy, a private data vendor, 45 of the 100 cities surveyed in April experienced month-on-month property price declines, up from 37 cities in March.
Westpac results are due Monday and NAB on Thursday. CBA has a conventional financial calendar with a June 30 rule-off date but will address investors May 14 in a trading update.
LinkedIn swung to a loss in the first quarter and issued subdued guidance for a second consecutive earnings statement, sending its shares down in after-hours trading in the US. The quarterly net loss of $13.4m, compared with net income of $22.6m a year ago, was better than expected though.
Speculation is growing that Pfizer, the maker of Viagra, is preparing to raise its takeover offer for AstraZeneca, Britain’s second-largest drugmaker, to more than $115bn. Just had a 1987 flashback there are so many deals around. These drug companies are so embedded now into the health system with their expensive treatments on the PBS that it’s easy to see why 1.We will be bankrupt at this rate and 2.Why these deals are so large. The spoils are huge.$1m treatments just round the corner!
Have a great weekend