A quiet end to the week as the Medibank Public issue closes tonight and we await developments from the impending G20 .After a lacklustre start the market rallied primarily in financials as once again Japan came to our rescue.TV screens went on early as the cricket cranked up as apathy gave way to the heat in Sydney. In the final analysis the market closed up 12 points at 5454 after touching 5419 and 5455.Volume was the lowest for the week at around $3.2bn. For the record, the week has seen losses of around 100 points or 1.8% as banks went ex div and ex CEOs and financials generally pared back their recent gains. Resources have also been whacked this week with Iron ore, coal and energy stocks in serious trouble. BHP Billiton Limited (A$33.25, unch) suffering on all counts!

Today financials were the standouts as book squaring pre the weekend took place ,only Westpac Banking Corporation (A$33.03, +0.2%) missed out on the rally with the news of Gail’s departure still sinking in. Insurers did ok a with QBE Insurance Group Limited (A$11.22, unch),AMP Limited (A$5.75, +0.5%),Suncorp Group Limited (A$14.75, +0.5%) and #CVO# in the green, whilst Macquarie Group Limited (A$60.34, +0.6%) also improved as did the REITS like #WFD#,#NVN# and Stockland (A$4.19, -0.2%).

Resource stocks were mixed with golds slightly better led by Newcrest Mining Limited (A$9.10, +1.3%), Iron Ore stocks finding a few friends especially RIO Tinto Limited (A$60.05, +0.6%) and even Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (A$3.05, +0.7%) and Arrium Limited (A$0.28, unch).Energy stocks got absolutely walloped on the continuing weakness in the oil price, Woodside Petroleum Limited (A$39.44, -1.7%),Oil Search Limited (A$8.19, -1.9%),Origin Energy Limited (A$13.63, unch),Santos Limited (A$11.98, -1.6%),Caltex Australia Limited (A$31.62, -2.0%) some of the worst casualties. Small oilers are doing it especially tough at the moment as Drillsearch Energy Limited (A$1.085, -4.0%),Beach Energy Limited (A$1.065, -2.7%),Buru Energy Limited (A$0.555, -8.3%),Lonestar Resources Limited (A$0.22, -12.0%),Senex Energy Limited (A$0.40, -8.0%) and Central Petroleum Limited (A$0.22, -2.2%) showed only too well.

In industrials, all seemed to pick up a bit Crown Resorts Limited (A$14.19, +1.0%),#VED#,Seek Limited (A$17.30, +0.9%),Kathmandu Holdings Limited (A$2.76, +1.8%) a small sample.Amcor Limited (A$12.09, +0.8%),Brambles Limited (A$9.80, +0.5%) and Duluxgroup Limited (A$5.78, +2.5%) continuing their recent runs but the W’s Wesfarmers Limited (A$44.09, -0.1%) and Woolworths Limited (A$33.72, -0.8%) slipped away.

Biggest winners today included M2 Telecommunications Group Limited (A$8.45, +3.8%),Northern Star Resources Ltd (A$1.08, +3.3%),#OFX#,Duluxgroup Limited (A$5.78, +2.5%),Independence Group NL (A$4.18, +3.5%) and Blackmores Limited (A$32.85, +2.8%) with #SFX#,Rcr Tomlinson Limited (A$2.43, +7.5%) and even Webjet Limited (A$3.15, +0.3%) bringing up the rear.losers included mostly oils like Sundance Energy Australia Limited (A$0.94, -12.6%),Senex Energy Limited (A$0.40, -8.0%),Beach Energy Limited (A$1.065, -2.7%),Drillsearch Energy Limited (A$1.085, -4.0%),Karoon Gas Australia Limited (A$2.70, -3.2%),AWE Limited (A$1.55, -2.8%) and coal stocks Whitehaven Coal Limited (A$1.365, -3.9%) and out of favour GrainCorp Limited (A$8.09, -4.3%).In the small caps,Lonestar Resources Limited (A$0.22, -12.0%),#NEU#,OM Holdings Limited (A$0.35, -7.9%) and FAR Limited (A$0.12, -7.7%).Aussie dollar at 86.95,Bitcons at $449 and Gold at $1160.

Asian markets were mixed despite early highs in Tokyo. Japan slipping 0.15%, Shankers down 0.16% and Honkers up 0.08%

Stocks and Stories

Virgin Australia Holdings Limited (A$0.39, +2.6%) Virgin Australia has raised $US300 million ($344 million) from its first corporate bond issue. The unsecured notes to punters in the US was priced at a coupon rate of 8.5 per cent, which was equivalent to 6.86 per cent above US Treasury bonds.

Lend Lease Group (A$15.94, +0.6%) making positive noises from the AGM but then why wouldn’t they given the state of the housing market in Sydney

APN News & Media Limited (A$0.715, unch) has responded to media talk that it has pulled its IPO of NZME. Apparently they are still assessing strategic options. Suspect the IPO is now not one of them!

Tomorrow’s News Today

Its all about the bass or G20 this weekend. Lots to talk about. Talk being the word. Looking forward to the Chaser stunt though. Must be one. Still looks like Obama will pledge at least $2.5bn to help poor countries fight climate change. We might be getting some money with the way we are going.

If you sold your Apple shares at current prices you could buy the whole of the Russian stock market plus an iphone for everyone in the country. The market cap of Apple now exceeds the whole Russian market by $121bn!!

US General is toying with the idea of sending ground troops to Iraq again. Not sure Obama would be too happy certainly not his plan.

We have a new buyer in the gold market as ISIS and Al-Qaeda are talking about minting their own coins from gold and silver. Apparently they do not want any part of the “tyrannical financial system imposed on Muslims”. The highest-denominated 5 dinar coin is set to contain 21.25 grams of 21 carat gold, worth about $US694 and falling!

A major world trade deal looks back on the table after India and the United States resolved a row over food subsidies. The World Trade Organisation agreement is expected to create 20 million jobs and add $1 trillion to the world economy.

The FIFA report is out on the Qatar World Cup bid. Apparently they are whiter than white. Whereas Australia and the UK are the baddies. We got one vote so not too effective at being baddies then!

The great Hong Kong China exchange link up starts next week too.

Twitter has been Junk Bonded by S&P as they would like to see a bit more revenue.Any really would be nice! Positive cash flow?

Warren Buffet is now the Duracell Bunny! He is buying the battery maker in a $4.7bn deal from P&G.

Investors are apparently at their most bearish in two years. One in five, or 22 per cent, expect the All Ords to fall, up from 17 per cent.

Next week instos will start the Medibank ‘Pin the Tail on the Donkey’ game. Will be very distracted because of it.

And don’t forget children to hang your Medibank forms in by midnight tonight to have any chance of Santa coming!

Have a good weekend

Clarence
Xxx

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