Another day of corporate earnings glow pushing us higher with the added kick of the move by BHP Billiton Limited (A$39.05, +2.3%) to undo the Billiton merger all those years ago. Seems that the current board is looking to pushing Humpty Dumpty off the wall and splitting into good BHP and bad BHP. This news was enough to galvanise a moribund market at lunch time and push it to 5567 up 18 points for a weekly gain of 131 points. Five stocks accounted for the entire rise in the ASX 200 with BHP responsible for 10 points alone. Good stuff indeed. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (A$32.39, -1.1%) was slightly disappointing with its nine month numbers which seemed to be ignored by the other banks as they continue to trade higher. Insurers pushed higher with Suncorp Group Limited (A$14.88, +0.1%) the star performer this week. Macquarie Group Limited (A$57.03, -0.1%) started sending out letters to disgruntled clients today and the stock remains very much in the dog house.
In the industrials Telstra Corporation Limited (A$5.58, +0.4%) were bought up pre the buy-back date as investors are attracted to the solid earnings, good yield and the forthcoming franking credit bonanza. Health stocks were also in demand with #Sirtex Medical Limited (A$20.20, +4.1%) punching through $20 for the first time, Csl Limited (A$70.46, +0.1%) joined in as did Mesoblast Limited (A$4.30, +1.7%) and Virtus Health Limited (A$8.03, +0.9%). Building stocks though were a little weaker following the James Hardie Industries PLC (A$12.99, -7.2%) results and the subdued outlook from the US.
Resource stocks are ignoring the falls in copper ,oil and Iron Ore at the moment. BHP Billiton Limited (A$39.05, +2.3%) was the star performer after the split announcement and Panaust Limited (A$2.33, +1.7%),Oz Minerals Limited (A$4.27, +1.7%),RIO Tinto Limited (A$65.29, +0.4%),Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (A$4.51, +1.3%) and Western Areas Limited (A$4.86, +2.1%) also joined in the fun. Missing out on the love was Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (A$4.51, +1.3%),Sirius Resources NL (A$3.97, -1.2%) and Northern Star Resources Ltd (A$1.815, -2.2%). Despite falling oil prices Woodside Petroleum Limited (A$42.43, +0.9%) led the sector higher with Origin Energy Limited (A$14.06, +0.1%) and superstar performer Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (A$3.93, +3.7%) flying.
Enjoying the winter sunshine today were Magellan Financial Group Limited (A$12.84, +8.9%),Billabong International Limited (A$0.58, +3.6%),Sirtex Medical Limited (A$20.20, +4.1%),Mount Gibson Iron Limited (A$0.765, +7.0%),Energy Resources of Australia Limited (A$1.31, +2.7%) and REA Group Ltd (A$46.52, +2.5%) with Matrix Composites & Engineering Limited (A$1.27, +11.4%),#TON and #GOR# punching some lights out while in the doggy house were James Hardie Industries PLC (A$12.99, -7.2%),#XRO#,Fairfax Media Limited (A$0.905, -3.7%) (strike action from journos) and Silex Systems Limited (A$0.845, -5.6%),Focus Minerals Ltd (A$0.011, -8.3%) and Bougainville Copper Limited (A$0.40, unch). Volume was around $4bn which was ok to end the week on. In Asian markets Tokyo was unchanged ,China up 0.9% and HK up 0.7%.Aussie dollar around 93.25 ,tulips at $555 and gold $1311.
Stocks and Stories
BHP Billiton Limited (A$39.05, +2.3%) announced that a demerger of assets was their preferred option rather than sales. Thought we had done the good co bad co thing but apparently not. Advisers salivating on proposed changes.
Iselect Limited (A$1.20, -3.6%) said it will take a one-off hit to its full-year net profit of up to $14 million because it has overstated the commissions it will receive from people who have switched health funds using its comparison website.
Automotive Holdings Group Limited (A$3.80, -0.5%) has generated a 12.5 per cent rise in net profit to $72.9 million for 2013-14 and says even though new car sales have softened slightly across the industry, this year will still be the second highest on record.
James Hardie Industries PLC (A$12.99, -7.2%) said its first-quarter net profit fell to $US28.9 million as revenue edged up 12 per cent to $US416.8 million. The building products maker lowered its full-year adjusted net operating profit expectations because of the uncertain US economic recovery.
Tomorrow’s News Today
It’s on Banana wars are here as US Chiquita has rejected a bid from some of Brazil’s wealthiest families of $1.25bn.They must be nuts! Or at least gone bananas. Seems they prefer the Irish banana company Ffife’s merger proposal because they get to domicile in Ireland and reap the low tax environment.
Coke has bought a 17% stake in Monster for $2bn!!!
After one of the biggest Central Bank stimulus packages in history I think they are on the verge of running up the white flag. The Bank of Japan may cut its growth forecast for this fiscal year for a fourth time, as exports fail to bolster an economy weakened by April’s sales-tax increase. So all that money and still nothing. Makes you wonder. Same in Europe. Same in US! Still at least low rates are here to stay.
Mobile taxi app Uber has been banned in Berlin by the city’s State Department of Civil and Regulatory Affairs.The authority said it had banned the app on passenger safety grounds
Problems in the single currency’s Big Three economies – Germany, France and Italy – resulted in no increase in Eurozone gross domestic product in the three months to June. That compares with an increase of 0.2% in the first quarter. Pressure is now being put on Super Mario to actually do something!!Whatever it takes does not seem to be working. Strange that.
Good luck to the Wobbalies these weekend. Last time they won the Bledisloe cup ,Sydney average house prices were just $447,115, nearly half the present figure of $811,837.Makes you think. Facebook wasn’t even invented. No smart phones and petrol 80c a litre. The good ol days indeed.
Nobody cares about this at the moment Shanghai rebar steel futures have dropped close to their lowest on record on weak demand that has spurred Chinese producers to cut production, with its biggest weekly fall in two months.
Good to see the US Police force now resembles a para military force as they take to the streets of “Fergustan” Missouri ,in armoured vehicles initially developed to withstand improvised explosive devices in Iraq. Glad we are set to become more like the US going forward.
ABaddie is now the PM of Iraq as Maliki steps down blaming the CIA for all his troubles. Sure he has a golden parachute somewhere.
And finally the Russian PM’s twitter account has been hacked. Could get interesting .