Market wrap

A very quiet start to the week as UK and US markets are closed Monday and the budget continues to dominate local thinking. Despite the lack of volume the market was once again firm as yet another Private equity bid hit the market. This one had a twist as SAI Global Limited (A$5.01, +17.1%) gave their relatively new CEO the boot as Private equity, tin the shape of Pacific Equity, came calling. Telstra Corporation Limited (A$5.34, -0.7%) released a mobile update today and with no sign of Magda anywhere it seems the market was happy to take some profits. Financials were mixed with National Australia Bank Limited (A$33.52, -0.1%) down but the remainder slightly positive, even the insurers joined with QBE Insurance Group Limited (A$11.03, -0.5%) and Insurance Australia Group Limited (A$5.88, +0.9%) firmer and #CVO# enjoyed a day in the sun. The only exception was Challenger Limited (A$7.14, -2.9%) as they suffered a little profit taking after their meteoric run. In the final analysis the ASX 200 closed up 20 to 5512 with a range of 5496 to 5512.says it all really!

In miners we saw some renewed strength with Lynas Corporation Limited (A$0.15, +15.4%) finding some friends as the pricing period for its SPP is coming to an end on Tuesday. Iron Ore stocks also showed some pluses with BHP Billiton Limited (A$37.91, +0.7%),RIO Tinto Limited (A$60.95, +0.7%) and the much maligned Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (A$4.56, +1.1%) even managing to eke out some small gains. Gold stocks got hit again as Regis Resources Limited (A$1.585, -7.3%) continued to tumble(still a outperform?) and now have started to drag others into their whirlpool of disaster with Silver Lake Resources Limited (A$0.36, -6.5%),Newcrest Mining Limited (A$10.26, -0.3%),Evolution Mining Limited (A$0.805, -0.6%) and Kingsgate Consolidated Limited (A$0.755, -4.4%) falling into a Thai hole.

Building materials were better with Fletcher Building Limited (A$8.51, +0.7%),James Hardie Industries PLC (A$14.37, +2.6%),Duluxgroup Limited (A$5.72, +0.7%) and Csr Limited (A$3.41, +0.9%) to the good whilst 21st century Infrastructure stocks like Tpg Telecom Limited (A$6.05, -0.3%),iiNet Limited (A$7.06, -0.7%),Amcom Telecommunications Limited (A$2.10, -2.8%) and Chorus Limited (A$1.565, -1.3%) eased. Healthcare stocks improved on talk that the co-payment was to be watered down to g et through the Senate.
 On the Podium today were SAI Global Limited (A$5.01, +17.1%),Aquarius Platinum Limited (A$0.48, +4.3%),Sundance Energy Australia Limited (A$1.04, +4.5%),Donaco International Limited (A$1.15, +2.2%),Greencross Limited (A$8.71, +3.0%),#GMA# and Senex Energy Limited (A$0.715, +3.6%) in the ‘bigs’ whilst Lynas Corporation Limited (A$0.15, +15.4%) and #OBJ# dominated the small caps. Having a bad tyre change in the pits were Regis Resources Limited (A$1.585, -7.3%), Challenger Limited (A$7.14, -2.9%),Myer Holdings Limited (A$2.13, -4.1%),SP AusNet (A$1.38, -1.8%).#IGO and Mount Gibson Iron Limited (A$0.77, -1.3%).

Volume was pretty bad with bad holidays, $2.5bn for the day. The Aussie dollar was 92.38 and digital tulip have been quietly cruising ahead to $628,with Gold still stuck below $1300 despite all the troubles. In Asian markets, Tokyo was up 0.7% with HK almost unchanged and a small positive for China up 0.4%.

Stocks and Stories

SAI Global Limited (A$5.01, +17.1%) up on the back of the disclosure earlier today of the dumping of its chief executive and the receipt of a preliminary takeover approach from private equity group PEP, with an indicative offer priced between $5.10 and $5.25.

Tangiers Petroleum entered a trading halt again today as they announced another capital raising!Buru Energy
Limited (A$1.22, +0.4%) appointed Eric the Viking as Executive Chairman.

Sedgman Limited (A$0.41, -9.9%) issued a company update. More a down date I am afraid as business in the coal sector looks bleak.

Service Stream Limited (A$0.19, -9.5%) also had a bad day as a new MD was appointed.

What’s the best performing sector in 2014.Surprise the Ultilities! The utilities sub-index of the S&P/ASX 200 is up 10.5 per cent this year.

So far in may we are up a huge 23 points. Ok so it’s not a ‘sell in May’ type performance but May ain’t over yet!

Tomorrows News’ Today

Zombieland has just got a whole lot more interesting post the Euro Parliament elections over the weekend. Big changes afoot as right wing neo nazi parties have made significant inroads especially in France and Greece with the UKIP killing it in the UK under Zombie sceptic Nigel Farage. This movement at the station probably presents a bigger risk to a broken Europe than the Greek crisis.

Meanwhile in Siam ,the King and I have endorsed the military coup. In Ukraine a chocolate billionaire has won the election emphatically and has vowed to rid the country of corruption. Of course when you are a billionaire it’s easy to say that! And in Egypt polls are opening for two days of voting for a new president.

In China, Liu Han, who is the former head of mining conglomerate Sichuan Hanlong Group, has been sentenced to death.He was 230th richest man in China before his arrest. His former company once tried to take over Australian miner Sundance Resources Ltd.

Gold production in Western Australia’s goldfields region has got off to a weak start for the year, with wet weather wreaking havoc at several mines.Output dropped seven per cent to 68 tonnes between the March and December quarters as intense storm systems dumped rain on large areas of the state.

One for the nerds out there. The recent wonder discovery has been Graphene. Discovered by two physicists at the University of Manchester who later won the Nobel prize for their work, conducts electricity better than copper. It is also 200 times stronger than steel and six times lighter. Now everyone is looking for uses for this wonder material. Recent new listing in the UK, Applied Graphene Materials (AGM), made its stock market debut last November, the float was more than two times oversubscribed. Within a couple of days, the share price had tripled. Interesting.

Outgoing deputy governor at the Bank of England is suggesting rates may have to rise there sooner rather than later. Should be the second cab off the rank after NZ. Early 2015 anyone?

Close encounters of the Chinese kind again today as Japanese spy planes had an aggressive and ‘dangerous’ approach from their friends across the water. The planes came within 30 m of each other.

As they say not much to go on today.