A sloppy start to the week with some specific company weakness leading to profit taking in places. In the end we closed down 20 at 5507 with a high of 5535 and a low of 5501.Financials were mixed with National Australia Bank Limited (A$34.89, -0.3%) and Westpac Banking Corporation (A$34.55, -0.7%) weaker following another record from Gail and her team.Woolworths Limited (A$34.24, -4.9%) plunged after reporting slower sales but I felt heartened by the numbers from Masters. Material stocks though copped a hiding as Newcrest Mining Limited (A$8.61, -7.6%) went into freefall following the price of bullion dropping through the floor, BHP Billiton Limited (A$33.71, -0.7%),RIO Tinto Limited (A$59.78, -1.0%) and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (A$3.35, -4.3%) all joined in the rout together with Independence Group NL (A$4.25, -6.4%),Cudeco Limited (A$1.28, -7.6%) and the golds getting battered. Resolute Mining Limited (A$0.29, -9.4%),Silver Lake Resources Limited (A$0.255, -7.3%),Northern Star Resources Ltd (A$1.00, -9.1%),Evolution Mining Limited (A$0.53, -11.7%),Regis Resources Limited (A$1.27, -8.0%),Kingsgate Consolidated Limited (A$0.67, -7.6%) all looking like it was Halloween all over again! The horror show in iron ore tiddlers continues with Atlas Iron Limited (A$0.31, -7.5%),MGX#,BC Iron Limited (A$0.975, -9.3%) and Arrium Limited (A$0.325, -3.0%) looking like shot ducks!
In Industrials ,Telcos were better led by Telstra Corporation Limited (A$5.67, +0.7%) and ##TPG# but healthcare stocks suffered a little with Csl Limited (A$78.80, -1.7%) easing back as did Greencross Limited (A$8.30, -3.5%). Retail stocks came down to earth with a thump as it was revealed that online sales are continuing to soar. Net shopping grew by 12.8 per cent in the year to September, and Australians spent an estimated $15.9 billion online through Australian retailers. The rest they spent in H&M,GAP and Zara!
In the enclosure today holding ribbons and prizes were Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (A$3.92, +5.4%),Henderson Group PLC. (A$3.93, +4.8%),Corporate Travel Management Limited (A$9.38, +3.9%),Virgin Australia Holdings Limited (A$0.40, +3.9%),#TPG#,Kathmandu Holdings Limited (A$2.89, +2.5%) and Amcom Telecommunications Limited (A$2.32, +4.0%) whilst in eth small caps were #IPD#.#CUV# and Brookfield Prime Property Fund (A$5.50, +20.6%). Looking like heading to the knackers yard were #MEZCA#,Independence Group NL (A$4.25, -6.4%),Northern Star Resources Ltd (A$1.00, -9.1%),Newcrest Mining Limited (A$8.61, -7.6%),Regis Resources Limited (A$1.27, -8.0%),Senex Energy Limited (A$0.50, -6.5%),Super Retail Group Limited (A$6.94, -5.3%) and Mermaid Marine Australia Limited (A$1.785, -4.0%) with small (and getting smaller) caps Troy Resources Limited (A$0.515, -12.7%),Evolution Mining Limited (A$0.53, -11.7%),Saracen Mineral Holdings Limited (A$0.25, -12.3%),Medusa Mining Limited (A$0.54, -9.2%) and BC Iron Limited (A$0.975, -9.3%). Volume was not too bad for a Monday at around $3.3bn.Dollar at 87.30 and bitcons at 4380 and gold at $1335.Asian markets were dominated by China with Japan closed today. Honkers was down 0.14% and Shankers was up 0.5%.
Stocks and Stories
Woolworths Limited (A$34.24, -4.9%) sales rose 3 per cent to $16.15 billion in the three months to October 5, the slowest rate of quarterly growth in more than four years. Same-store sales in the Australian food and liquor business rose 2.1 per cent – the lowest rate of growth since the fourth quarter 2013 – compared with 2.5 per cent in the first quarter 2014.
Westpac Banking Corporation (A$34.55, -0.7%) profits have jumped 8 per cent to a record $7.6 billion. Profits were also enhanced by a further decline in the charge for bad debts, which fell 23 per cent to $197 million.
Shareholders will receive a fully franked final dividend of 92c a share, up from 88c a share last year. No special dividend though.
Australian job advertisements in newspapers and on the internet rose for a fifth straight month in October to reach their highest in 20 months, a sign of gradual recovery in labour demand.
A survey by ANZ showed total job advertisements rose 0.2 percent to 137,284 per week on average in October.
Ten Network Holdings Limited (A$0.22, unch) Billionaire Gina Rinehart has quit the board of the Ten Network.
Big winner today and this year Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (A$3.92, +5.4%) announced they would double the planned size of its LNG export venture planned for Canada’s Nova Scotia coast.The 8 million tonnes a year of export capacity now envisaged for the Bear Head LNG venture is on a fast-track to development
Brambles Limited (A$9.60, +0.7%) has raised its earnings guidance for 2014-15 and reported a 6 per cent rise in sales for the September quarter. Sales revenue rose to $US1.37 billion in the three months ending September.
Approvals for building new homes in Australia fell far more than anticipated in September, a development which could help fuel house prices even more.New home construction fell 11 per cent month-on-month, much more than economists’ expectations of a 1 per cent drop and the biggest fall since July 2012.
Growth in China’s manufacturing sector slowed in October. The country’s Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) fell to a lower-than-expected 50.8, from 51.1 official numbers suggested.
Tomorrow’s News Today
Let’s face it the only thing of interest tomorrow will be the Melbourne Cup as the race that stops a nation stops the nation. There is of course a RBA meeting, where they will try to stay relevant but no change to rates and no sign of a change either. Sure there will be lots of talk about the strong dollar, end of the mining boom and house prices but it’s the same themes every month. Yada, yada, yada!
Ze German Chancellor “Moaning Mertle” has considered the UK leaving the EU for the first time.
Altice has made a Euro7bn offer for Portugal Telecom.
Here’s a thought the S&P 500 index has now notched 35 record closing highs this year. At least 1 a month since July 2013! And a 9.9% correction to boot!
Over in the UK taxpayers will get a transparent statement telling them what their tax pound was spent on. Should prove interesting reading!
Looking forward to getting our allocation of Medibank Private. Hopefully soon!
A man taxied his light aircraft down the street to the pub in the Pilbara. Police are expected to charge him with something!
Time of year to be an expert! My tip for tomorrow ‘Au Revoir’ and “Unchain my Heart” and Keith Richards will present the Melbourne Cup. Not before filling it with Jack and skulling it though! It’s only rock and roll!
That is all