ASX 200 limps to close up 8 points to 5475 in quiet debate trade. Banks and financials helping the sentiment. Asian markets partly closed but China returns posting a 0.57% higher. AUD hovers around 76c with US futures up 34 ahead of the Columbus Day Holiday in the US.
STOCKS AND SECTORS
- Banks remain firm today with the big four up on average 0.5% with extra push from fund managers and Insurers like Magellan Financial (MFG) +3.01%, BT Investment (BTT) +8.11% and Challenger (CGF) +2.8%. Insurers did well too, led by IAG +1.81% and QBE Insurance (QBE) +1.4%.
- REITS showed some signs of life at times with Scentre Group (SCG) -0.0% one of the few unchanged as Folkestone Education Trust (FET) +0.0% one of the stand outs early up 2.8% finished unchanged too.
- Emperor industrials continued to slip with former darlings Sydney Airport (SYD) -1.36%, Auckland Airport (AIA) -2.32% and Transurban (TCL) -1.12%.
- Finally, some support in the Telstra (TLS) +1.2% share price together with Vocus (VOC) +1.07% despite Morgan Stanley Portfolio wealth dumping the stock from its model portfolio.
- Consumer stocks were a mixed bunch with some good gains in Thorn Group (TGA) +5.5% and iCar Asia (ICQ) +1.67% and even cash converters (CCV) +7.14%. JB Hi Fi (JBH) -2.14% fared less optimistically as did Bapcor (BAP) -3.31% and Corporate Travel (CTD) -1.74%.
- In resource stocks gold miners seemed to have found a base at least today, Northern Star (NST) +1.81%, Resolute Mining (RSG) +5.2%, Perseus Mining (PRU) +4.3% and Dacian Gold (DCN) +4.42%. In base metal stocks, Syrah Resources (SYR) +5.71% knocked the lights out following some recent big falls. Whereas Independence Group (IGO) – 4.98% slid away aggressively.
- Energy stocks took a breather with Santos (STO) -2.82% although coal company New Hope (NHC) +4.82% played a little catch up today.
- Speculative stock of the day: LBT Innovations (LBT) +94.74% following news the company had been granted an approval for its automated plate assessment system from the US FDA. The Automated Plate Assessment System enables microbiology labs to diagnose and report infectious diseases much faster than human microbiologists who are analysing culture plates after incubation.
- Cimic (CIM) +0.59% following a dawn raid for a slice of UGL Limited(UGL) +48.6% and subsequent cash takeover offer at 315c with yet more M&A activity propelling the sector higher.
- BT Investment (BTT) +8.11% following a FUM statement showing inflows of $1.9bn from its institutional channel driven by fixed interest demand. Total FUM at year end was $41.2bn and rose to $44.1bn at September end.
- IAG +1.81% has completed its share buyback with 63m shares bought back for a round $314m.
- Macmillan Shakespeare (MMS) +5.09% following news one its subsidiaries Remuneration Services has been appointed to the novated leasing panel in Queensland. The company is one of eight authorised to originate and manage novated leases.
- Origin Energy (ORG) +%1.07 has commenced exports from its second LNG production train with its maiden shipment.
- Fortescue Metals (FMG) +1.82% after acquiring a 75% interest in the Nullagine JV for $1.FMG will pay BC Iron (BCI) +16.22% will receive a royalty after a rehabilitation scheme assured by FMG.
- Scott Morrison has told the media he is opposed to rate cuts arguing that monetary policy has ‘exhausted its effectiveness’. The Treasurer said instead of RBA rate cuts, the Turnbull government’s policies needed to do the heavy lifting to “boost incomes and lift living standards”. His message on the diminishing value of low rates was consistent with a growing acceptance among central bankers and finance ministers in Washington last week that the efficacy of monetary policy was waning.
- More promising news for our tourist sector with ABS numbers showing continued strength in arrivals from China especially.
Short-term visitor arrivals are 11.7% higher than in August 2015. China up 14.1%, Japan up 10.6% and US up 23.6%.
Japan and Hong Kong Closed
- China’s central bank has allowed the yuan to slip past 6.7 a US dollar, weakening its reference rate beyond that level for the first time in six years.
- A construction rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell 1.4% at 2,232 yuan ($US335) a tonne after falling as far as 2,209 yuan, the lowest since September 19.
- On the Dalian Commodity Exchange, iron ore was off 1% at 403.50 yuan. It touched 398 yuan earlier, a level last seen on September 22.
EUROPE AND THE US
- It was all about the Trump/Clinton debate today with little fireworks to keep viewers that entertained. The Mexican Peso fell suggesting the standoff may have actually gone Trumps way slightly. Still plenty more to come in this race for POTUS.
- No news from the Deutsche Bank discussions with the US DOJ over its proposed US$14bn fine for mortgage bond wrongdoings.
- Samsung Electronics has temporarily halted production of Note 7 smartphones after customer complaints about safety issues with replacement devices thought to be safe.
- Hard Brexit or Soft? That seems to be the question with hard causing business leaders like the head of the UK CBI to warn new PM May that a hard Brexit risks “closing the door” on an open economy.
- Interesting to see what a currency at a 31-year low can do for an export driven stock index. Sterling down FTSE up.
- Facebook paid £4.16m in UK corporation tax last year, as it expanded its business in the UK. It is a big increase on the £4,327 paid in 2014. Amazing when you consider how much money they must make. Must have a better accountant than I do.
And finally…thanks to my old friend Hans….
A young man and a priest are playing together.
At a short par-3 the priest asks, “What are you going to use on this hole my son?”
The young man says, “An 8-iron, father. How about you?”
The priest says, “I’m going to hit a soft seven and pray.”
The young man hits his 8-iron and puts the ball on the green. The priest tops his 7-iron and dribbles the ball out a few yards.
The young man says, “I don’t know about you father, but in my church when we pray, we keep our head down.”
Apologies for this one…
There is a beautiful desert island in the middle of nowhere where the following people are stranded:
2 Italian men and 1 Italian woman
2 French men and 1 French woman
2 German men and 1 German woman
2 Greek men and 1 Greek woman
2 English men and 1 English woman
2 Macedonian men and 1 Macedonian woman.
One month later on this beautiful desert island in the middle of nowhere…
The first Italian man killed the other for the Italian woman.
The 2 French men and the French woman are living happily together in a “menage a trois”.
The 2 German men have a strict weekly schedule of when they alternate with the German woman.
The 2 Greek men are sleeping with each other and the Greek woman is cleaning and cooking for them.
The 2 English men are waiting for someone to introduce them to the English woman.
The Macedonian men took one look at the endless ocean, one look at the Macedonian woman and started swimming.
Have a good one