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ASX 200 closes up 18.6 points at 5697.9. No rate rise and off the agenda. Dollar rallies. Industrials run hard. CSL hits $100.China behaves, up 1.8%.US futures down 3.
Todays’ index action
Another very solid day as the market continues to push ahead clearing the psychological 5700 mark with ease before the RBA decision took some of the wind out of the markets’ sails to close just under 5700. Industrials and the banks led the way early but eased with iron ore miners slipping again despite arise in iron ore last night but price falls in metals and oil. Commonwealth Bank (CBA) +0.76 % was the stand out of the four with insurers also doing very well with QBE +1.24 % and Cover More (CVO) +2.52 %.
Energy stocks were lower but no blood bath following the big oil price fall Santos (STO) -2.59 %,Woodside ( WPL) – 0.77% Oilsearch (OSH) -0.83 % and high flyer Liquefied Natural Resources (LNG) -9.06 %
Gold stocks were back in the dog house despite the talkfest in Kalgoorlie at the moment. Last year the faithful gathered hoping that there would be light at the end of the tunnel after an ‘annus horribilis’, however it has been deja vue again this year with large falls in commodity prices and the Bloomberg Commodity Index keeping pessimism the order of the day. Crude oil prices have fallen by more than half over the last 12 months. Copper is down 27% and aluminium is down 19%. Iron ore has fallen around 22% in 2015
The Bloomberg CRB (Commodity) Index. One way traffic.
The RBA decision was pretty much as expected with no change to the headline rate but importantly the RBA has dropped the bearish commentary on the AUD and suggested the currency “is adjusting to the significant declines in key commodity prices”. They also said that the economy seems to be able to generate jobs growth even with a slower pace of economic growth. Growth is still below long term averages but Stevens seems to be more relaxed about this. This seems to be a signal that rate are now unlikely to be cut unless something horrible happens. The dollar jumped to 73.7. Previously they have talked it down considerably but now seems content to see it where it is. They may well be concerned that any further falls in the AUD will feed through into the inflation rate.
Looks like the RBA will be lowering the growth rate for the local economy
Industrials were strong especially in infrastructure and healthcare sectors.AGL (AGK) +1.82 % and Ramsey Healthcare (RHC) +1.11 %, the respective standouts.
Suncorp (SUN) +1.54 % announced a good profit number this morning of around $1.13bn, up 55% despite catastrophe payouts rising from $595m to $1.07bn.The dividend was once again raised to 38cents and they rewarded shareholders with a special dividend of 12 cents.The market applauded Snowballs stint as CEO with these, his last numbers before returning to the UK.
CSL +1.96 % hit the magic $100 level to day as the competition fell away in their wake. This one has been a truly spectacular success story .If you include dividends, the return since listing in 1994 is around 14,000 %.The stock is still only trading on a PE of around 26 so perhaps more to come. They have hit $100 before but split the stock with a 1:3.share split, which may again be an option.
Harvey Norman (HVN) +6.07 % popped the champagne today given the strong consumer confidence and retail figures today. Also another plus was the news from AV Jennings (AVJ) + 3.85%that the property boom is showing no sign of abating with a number of projects completed earlier than expected. This is very positive for the white goods and furniture business of Harvey Norman.
Federation Centres (FDC) -2.09 % once again hit the skids today after the surprise announcement yesterday that current CEO, Stephen Sewell would be replaced by Angus McNaughton. The market seems to be uneasy with this news and there are fears that some followers of Sewell may take this opportunity to shuffle their holdings.
AV Jennings (AVJ) + 3.85% has upgraded its full-year profit guidance after weather failed to slow its projects as much as expected. The company made $18.8 million in profits last fiscal year, and has lifted its expectations for net profit after tax for this financial year from about $40m to “$47m or higher”.
News today that the Origin Energy (ORG) -1.61 % has sold its $NZ1.8bn stake in NZ power supplier Contact Energy. The stock was sold to a range of institutional investors at NZ$4.65 to realign debt and reduce operating costs and capital costs.
Cudeco (CDU) – 11.24 % went into another trading halt as they look to finalise a capital raising with major Chinese shareholders. Gold Road (GOR) -11.24 presented today at the Diggers and Dealers as did Northern Star (NST) -5.58 % and Fortescue Mining (FMG) – 4.57 % .Obviously the crowd were not impressed with what they heard. Independence Group (IGO) – 7.58 % and merger target Sirius (SIR) – 5.24% both suffered today after an update on their plans yesterday.
Retail Sales rocketed beating expectations as the follow through from the ‘have a go’ Budget seem to be working. Electronics, furniture, housewares and do-it-yourself renovations and hardware were the stand outs with household goods accounting for a 2.2% rise month on month .The Australian Bureau of Statistics said the seasonally-adjusted month-on-month growth in retail turnover was 0.7 per cent, compared with 0.4 per cent in May and expectations of 0.4 per cent.
The ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence index rose 0.4 per cent to 112.9 points in the week to August 2, following a 0.6 per cent lift the previous week. Levels remain muted and are down 1.8 per cent, on a year-on-year basis, according to the survey.
Settling into our seat for a look overseas, Japan slipped 0.34%,Hong Kong down 0.14% but Chinese stocks rebounded 1.8% helped by a ban on short selling but volume is falling (48% below the 30 day average for this day) allowing the US market to regain its crown. Margin debt levels have also dropped by around 41% from the June high.
More measures have been put in place outlawing short sellers from selling and buying in a day.
Looking to European markets, Greece will once again be a sideshow after the heavy falls yesterday. Early losses of 23% were cut after trading curbs were brought in but hard to see any sustained bounce whilst negotiations are still ongoing. However the rest of Europe has moved on and pronounced great place for a holiday, terrible place to invest.
And finally in TV land, Channel Seven has pulled the plug on its ratings disaster Restaurant Revolution and replaced it with a new hilarious show called ‘Cats make you laugh out loud’. A new low for Free to Air TV perhaps, but really cheap.
MARKET HEAT MAP