It’s all about the Gail. A quietish day with a dead cat bounce off the lows as financials continue to weigh. However we did register our fourth straight day of losses. In the end we finished down 20 points at 5442 after hitting 5433 and a high of 5470.The big news of the day was the resignation of Westpac Banking Corporation (A$32.96, -1.1%) CEO Gail Kelly and the question of quitting at the top. Is very reminiscent of Allan Moss’ move from Macquarie Group Limited (A$60.00, -0.1%) but I guess time will tell. The new man seems to be a safe pair of hands but new men have a habit of clearing the decks so we shall see. After the rout of yesterday in resource shares we saw some bargain hunting around with BHP Billiton Limited (A$33.25, +0.2%),RIO Tinto Limited (A$59.70, +0.5%) and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (A$3.03, +2.4%) leading the diggers. Gold fell after the rally yesterday with Newcrest Mining Limited (A$8.98, unch) unchanged but others fared less favourably .Beadell Resources Limited (A$0.245, -3.9%) continues to slide into the Amazon despite some promising drill results, Resolute Mining Limited (A$0.25, +2.0%),Evolution Mining Limited (A$0.55, -3.5%),Kingsgate Consolidated Limited (A$0.635, -0.8%) and St Barbara Limited (A$0.11, -4.3%). Other resource stocks though showed a pulse as Oceanagold Corporation (A$2.07, +3.5%),Bluescope Steel Limited (A$5.10, +2.4%),Arrium Limited (A$0.28, -3.4%),Sirius Resources NL (A$2.79, +4.1%) all rallied well. Energy stocks also continued to feel the heat with Oil Search Limited (A$8.35, -2.1%),Santos Limited (A$12.17, -2.2%) and Origin Energy Limited (A$13.63, -2.1%) running out of gas. Coal stocks also in trouble with the latest moves from the US and China on climate change.#New Hope Corporation Limited (A$2.45, -1.6%),Whitehaven Coal Limited (A$1.42, -4.1%) and Resource Generation Limited (A$0.125, -7.4%) all in the black stuff but Paladin Energy Ltd (A$0.40, +3.9%) and Silex Systems Limited (A$0.70, +12.0%) improving on the outlook for Uranium.
In the industrials Csl Limited (A$79.60, +0.2%) did well as they moved to raise $350m in a low interest rate environment, Telstra Corporation Limited (A$5.78, unch) continued to hold up ,#WFD#,Seek Limited (A$17.14, +1.8%) and the flight of the QANTAS continues on lower fuel prices and no change in the fuel surcharge!Qantas Airways Limited (A$1.785, +2.6%) closing in on the $2.00 level. Consumer stocks were mixed with Wesfarmers Limited (A$44.12, -0.6%) and Woolworths Limited (A$34.00, -0.2%) losing ground but surprisingly Myer Holdings Limited (A$1.785, +1.4%) bounced as did Premier Investments Limited (A$10.79, +0.4%).
Big winners today included Bradken Limited (A$3.81, +2.1%),#GMA#,Sims Metal Management Limited (A$10.80, +2.4%),Seek Limited (A$17.14, +1.8%) and iiNet Limited (A$8.10, +1.8%) in the bigs,Silex Systems Limited (A$0.70, +12.0%),Perseus Mining Limited (A$0.28, +5.7%) and Cudeco Limited (A$1.16, +4.5%) in the smalls. Losers were Technology One Limited (A$3.22, -6.4%),APN News & Media Limited (A$0.715, -5.9%),Hutchison Telecommunications (Australia) Limited (A$0.06, -4.8%),Senex Energy Limited (A$0.435, -4.4%),Arrium Limited (A$0.28, -3.4%) and Whitehaven Coal Limited (A$1.42, -4.1%) together with #PBT#,Bougainville Copper Limited (A$0.25, -10.7%),Ausdrill Limited (A$0.53, -8.6%) and #SOM#. Volume around the standard $3.5bn.Aussie dollar at 87.30 and big rise today for Bitcons with gold at $1163.
Asian markets were mixed. Tokyo up 0.8% as it continues to assault multi year highs, HK unchanged and China slipped slightly to be down 0.5%.
Stocks and Stories
Big story today was the retirement of Gail Kelly from Westpac Banking Corporation (A$32.96, -1.1%).
Making more friends today was Smokin Joe , who called multinational companies who avoid paying tax “thieves” whose actions worsen inequality and make it harder for governments to fix poverty. That is if they even want to .
Big sigh of relief from Sims Metal Management Limited (A$10.80, +2.4%) today after the AGM with the company signalling that “underlying” December half pretax earnings will show some gains.”Even though volumes are lower than the previous corresponding period, we currently expect underlying EBIT for the first half of FY15 to be higher than the first half of FY14,” it said. Phew!
This could be a record as the Arrium Limited (A$0.28, -3.4%) is now pretty much half the price of the recent underwritten placement. Plenty of egg and burnt fingers on this one! Nasty!
Citadel Group joined the ASX today with a good opening performance. Slightly up after early highs as the company raised $46.5 million through the sale of 20.7 million shares at $2.25 apiece, giving the company an indicative market capitalisation at listing of $100 million.
GrainCorp Limited (A$8.45, -1.1%) reported a 64 per cent drop in full-year profit to $50.3 million, driven by $44 million worth of one-off charges and a smaller crop due to dry weather.In handing down his first result, new chief executive Mark Palmquist said the outlook remains tough.
Tomorrow’s News Today
The latest game to hit G20 is what will RasPutin do next? Should be some interesting conversations around the very expensive board room tables as the US and Europe mull yet more sanctions against them after incursions into the Ukraine.
Continued fallout from the huge fines Global banks are copping for fixing everything from FX ,to Gold to Liebor etc .
Seems that the Chinese have stopped enrolling at US universities. First decline in a decade.
The Saudi oil minister has dismissed claims that he is starting a price war. He has said he is working with other members to ensure price stability. Next OPEC meeting will be a crucial one. Most important one for many a long year.
“Nice work gent . . . I don my hat”, “dont mess with our ccy [currency]”, “loved that mate . . . worked lovely . . . pity we couldn’t get it below the 00” and “we need a few more of those for me to get back on track this month”. Just some of the messages between traders in the FX market fixing scandal.Bless.$4.3bn well spent! Good way to fix the budget though!
Google’s YouTube is starting a subscription service that allows users to stream ad-free music videos and to download them for offline use.
Japanese PM Abe is likely to go to the people on Dec. 14 after postponing an unpopular sales-tax increase slated for October 2015.