ASX 200 finishes down 18 points to 5545 after turning positive briefly. Materials and Banks slip as CSL bounces. Asian markets mixed on Chinese data, Japan up 0.31% and China down 0.76%. AUD 74.90c and US Futures up 11.


  • Resources turned negative as profit takers moved in ahead of FOMC. BHP -0.76%, RIO -2.45% and Fortescue Metals (FMG) -5.99%. Base metal stocks slid with Metals Ex (MLX) -8.33%, Independence Group (IGO) -3.70% and Oz Minerals (OZL) -2.92% and Iluka Resources (ILU) -3.01%.
  • Energy stocks slightly firmer with Santos (STO) +0.44%, Woodside Petroleum (WPL) -0.54% though Origin Energy (ORG) -1.03%. Coal stocks eased too with Yancoal (YAL) unchanged, Whitehaven (WHC) -1.35% and Stanmore (SMR) in a trading halt pending a capital raising.
  • Gold miners down except for Westgold (WGX) +0.31%, Dacian Gold (DCN) +4.04% and Ramelius Resources (RMS) +2.11%
  • Banks and Financials soggy after some days of string gains. Commonwealth Bank (CBA) -0.67% and QBE Insurance (QBE) -1.44%. The Big Bank Basket (BBB) fell to $171.69. REITs had a good day again. Westfield Corp (WFD) +1.47%, Dexus property (DXS) +1.20% and Stockland (SGP) +1.14%.
  • Industrials a mixed bag of lollies today. Winners and losers in different sectors. CSL +3.18% rallied finally, Domino’s Pizza (DMP) -1.37% resumed its slide. Gaming stocks came up 22 with The Star Group (SGR) -1.36%, Aristocrat (ALL) -2.10%. Some heavy selling in some former emperor stocks. Reece (REH) -3.33%, Austal (ASB) -6.57% on fears the littoral ship program could be next for a dose of Trump talk on defence spending. Silver Chef (SIV) -5.08% continued to struggle following the recent fraud at the company.
  • Telcos and IT were again mixed too. 1Page (1PG) +14.29% staged a decent rally today though Hansen Technologies (HSN) -2.30%, winners included Nextdc (NXT) +2.36%, Iress Tech (IRE) +1.64% and Freelancer (FLN) +3.00%
  • Speculative stock of the day: Norwood Systems (NOR) +25.00% a blast from the past in our speccy stable with news today that the company’s technology is being integrated into a leading CRM platform.


  • Commonwealth Bank (CBA) -0.67% is raising its standard variable rates for investor mortgages by 0.07% following earlier increases to its fixed-rate products. Its standard variable investor loan rates would be 5.56% from Friday.
  • Corporate Travel (CTD) in a trading halt as it finalises plans for a $70m equity raising and an acquisition.
  • Aconex (ACX) +2.99% finally up as it won a contract to bring its software top Fletcher Building.
  • Vocus Comms (VOC) -3.18% announced former Telstra Chair Bob Mansfield will become a non-executive director. Mansfield also had stints at Telstra and Allco Finance before they imploded during the GFC.
  • Estia Health (EHE) unchanged, returned to trading today ex entitlement.
  • Lovisa Holdings (LOV) +12.39% following a good profit upgrade late last night to a new upbeat range of $26m-$28m.


Iron ore shipments out of Port Hedland held close to record highs in November. Shipments totalled 41.156m tonnes, down 1% on October. Total throughput remains near the record high of 42.875m tonnes shipped in August this year. annual throughput in November 2011 was 213m tonnes, more than doubling in five years.



  • ANZ’s weekly consumer confidence index down by 4.4% to its lowest level since May.


  • NAB’s monthly business conditions index dropped to +5 in November (from +7), its lowest level since April 2015, dragged down by a deterioration in the retail sector, where conditions fell to the gloomy levels of mining.
  • Housing price growth slowed in the September quarteras unit values in Melbourne and Brisbane hit the brakes, the latest ABS figures show. The annual growth rate of 3.5% was the weakest level in over three years. While price growth in Sydney was little changed at 2.6% from the previous quarter’s 2.8% the rate of increase slowed in Melbourne from 2.7 %  to 1.7%



  • BlackRock, has cut its view on the outlook for US Treasuries further in a publication distributed overnight, warning investors to prepare for “pain”. Rising economic growth, wages and inflationwill likely continue to hurt long-term US government debt in particular, the world’s largest asset manager said.
  • 5-year bonds unchanged with a yield of 2.29%
  • 10-year bonds unchanged with a yield of 2.81%


Plenty of Chinese data out today.

Key Points

  • Industrial production climbed 6.2% from a year earlier in November, compared with a median estimate of 6.1%.
  • Retail sales advanced 10.8% last month
  • Fixed-asset investment increased 8.3% in the first 11 months of the year.
  • Property sales by value rose 37.5% in year to date


  • Chinese airlines will need 6,810 new planes valued at US$1 trillion in the next two decades to meet travel demand.


  • International air routes in China jumped 35% to 660 last year, the Civil Aviation Administration of China said. By 2021, Chinese will be the top overseas visitors to the U.S., according to the U.S. government.


  • And there it is the first crack in the new wordl order as the congressional republican leadership and POTUS Trump are at loggerheads over the claims Russia hacked the US Election.
  • Beijing launches action at WTO as war with the EU and the US escalates over flood of cheap Chinese steel.
  • Another executive from the Vampire Squid or Goldman Sachs, Gary Cohn, has quit the bank to work at Trump’s head of the National Economic Council.
  • FT names Trump person of the year. Rex Tillerson ex Exxon Mobil CEO is set to be named Secretary of State. Think I prefer Tea Leoni.
  • The IMF said only by broadening the tax base in Greece where more than half of households are not required to pay any income tax, and spending less on pensions could it sustain a recovery. The IMF warned that demands by Greece’s creditors for a sustained 3.5% primary surplus – which excludes debt servicing costs – were unrealistic and unnecessary.
  • Global defence budgets ramped up as weapons and equipment spending rose 1% in 2016, to a global total of US$1.57 trillion.

And finally……………..

Once upon a time there was a shepherd looking after his sheep on the side of a deserted road. Suddenly a brand new Porsche screeches to a halt. The driver, a man dressed in an Armani suit, Cerutti shoes, Ray-Ban sunglasses, TAG-Heuer wrist watch, and a Pierre Cardin tie gets out and asks the shepherd, “If I can tell you how many sheep you have, will you give me one of them?”

The shepherd looks at the young man, then looks at the large flock of grazing sheep and replies, “Okay.”

The young man parks the car, connects his laptop to the mobile-fax, enters a NASA Website, scans the ground using his GPS, opens a database and 60 Excel tables filled with algorithms and pivot
tables. He then prints out a 150-page report on his high-tech mini-printer, turns to the shepherd and says, ‘’You have exactly 1,586 sheep.”

The shepherd cheers, “That’s correct, you can have your choicest sheep from the herd.”

The young man takes one of the animals which he likes most and cute from the flock and puts it in the back of his Porsche. The shepherd looks at him and asks, “If I guess your profession, will you return my animal to me?”

The young man laughed and answers, “Yes, why not?”

The shepherd says, “You are a management consultant.”

“How did you know?” asks the young man.

“Very simple,” answers the shepherd.

” First, you came here without being wanted. Secondly, you charged me a fee to tell me something I already knew. Thirdly, you don’t understand anything about my business… now can I have my DOG back?”





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