The market breathed a collective sigh of relief from analysts around the country as reporting season finished. Some of course left it until the last minute, with a staggering 262 companies releasing Friday! 114 after the market closed! Really? Fatigue and Monday trade combined with a US holiday today to give us a light start to the week. The tone was firm early as the market sized up the RBA meeting tomorrow and the ECB meeting on Thursday. However the early 20 point gains were kicked into touch as Chinese manufacturing numbers came in pretty soft. In the end the ASX200 slipped to 5630 up 4 for the day having topped out at 5654 and plumbed the 5226 level at one stage.
Mixed results from our glorious leaders today, miners were better led by RIO Tinto Limited (A$62.80, +0.3%) but Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (A$4.09, -1.9%) failed to fire as did BHP Billiton Limited (A$36.70, +0.1%) and Newcrest Mining Limited (A$11.27, -0.4%). Other miners were mixed, Mount Gibson Iron Limited (A$0.69, unch) and Arrium Limited (A$0.785, unch) to the good but BC Iron Limited (A$2.54, -9.0%) slid. Financials were also mixed with National Australia Bank Limited (A$35.12, -0.2%) the weakest link whilst the other four were pretty much unchanged. Telstra Corporation Limited (A$5.58, +0.4%) and Csl Limited (A$74.30, +0.6%) also showed how it was done today.
Construction stocks continue to build on recent gains as property prices remain very bubbly indeed. Adelaide Brighton Limited (A$3.61, +1.7%),Brickworks Limited (A$14.22, +0.9%) and Csr Limited (A$3.48, -0.6%) slightly better. Gaming stocks came up ‘22’ with Tatts Group Limited (A$3.25, -2.1%),Aristocrat Leisure Limited (A$5.40, -2.4%),Crown Resorts Limited (A$15.65, -0.9%) and Ainsworth Game Technology Limited (A$3.28, -2.4%) all bust. Utilities as well were sickly with Spark Infrastructure Group (A$1.895, -3.8%),Energy World Corporation Ltd (A$0.345, -6.8%) and #MYT suffering. Airlines and transport infrastructure stocks were mixed, Qantas Airways Limited (A$1.45, -1.4%) and #VGH# slipped, Sydney Airport (A$4.48, +1.1%) did well as did Auckland International Airport Limited (A$3.31, -0.3%).
Rolling out big grinners today were Mesoblast Limited (A$5.28, +5.0%),#VET#,Karoon Gas Australia Limited (A$3.91, +3.2%),Harvey Norman Holdings Limited (A$3.68, +3.7%),#VED# and Nanosonics Limited (A$1.02, +12.1%) and #BLT# in the smalls. Biggest losers today were Aquarius Platinum Limited (A$0.435, -5.4%),STW Communications Group Limited (A$1.23, -5.4%),Hutchison Telecommunications (Australia) Limited (A$0.071, -4.1%),Toll Holdings Limited (A$5.77, -3.4%),#CVO# and #CSE# whilst in the small end were Brockman Mining Limited (A$0.042, -10.6%),BC Iron Limited (A$2.54, -9.0%) and Silex Systems Limited (A$0.805, -7.5%) Ahead of the RBA doing nothing tomorrow the Aussie dollar was trading around 93.40,tulips at $505 and gold at $1287.Volume was slight at around $2.6bn.
In Asian markets Tokyo was up 0.3%,HK up 0.7% and China up 0.4%.
Stocks and Stories
In China, the official purchasing managers index (PMI) came in at 51.1 last month, the National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement on Monday.The figure was down from 51.7 in July, and the first decline since slipping to 50.2 in February, according to previous data. China’s official PMI data came after British bank HSBC last month announced a fall in its survey to a preliminary reading of 50.3 for August, down from a final reading of 51.7 in July and its lowest level in three months.
25 per cent stake of WDS Limited (A$1.025, +2.5%) which was sold through the market last week went to Thorney Investments as it emerged with a 6.7 per cent stake in the mine servicing outfit.
TD Securities-Melbourne Institute’s monthly measure of consumer prices was unchanged in August, following a 0.2 per cent rise in July.
Sydney house prices have risen 5% last quarter. Find it slightly weird that the auction results page is starting to look like stock market price pages!
Tomorrow’s News Today
Lots of fun at ICAC today as every politician in NSW seems to be having their day in court and hopefully some will have more than that in Jail. Probably not though. Nice to see Kristina back.
US Labor day holiday today.18 days til Scottish referendum. Interesting times. RBA and ECB this week. Whatever it takes eh Mario?
Barclays Bank (UK) has agreed to sell part of its Spanish business for £633m to the country’s third largest lender CaixaBank.The sale includes Barclays’ retail, wealth management and corporate banking business in Spain.
The latest plan it seems is for the US just to send weapons to their ‘friends’ in conflicts. Senators urging US to send guns to Ukraine to fight Russian invasion.
Sure to be popular ,Israel has annexed another 990 acres of West Bank land. Biggest seizure of Palestinian land in 30 years.
China rejected greater democracy for the Hong Kong today despite extensive protests, saying Beijing has reneged on a promise of universal suffrage in the 2017 election.
Huarong Asset Management, one of four “bad banks” in China has emerged from earlier in the year as the saviour of “China Credit Equals Gold #1” which was about to default on some serious debt. Saved the day and now it wants to list these toxic assets back on the market early next year. Bless.
That is all.