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Clarence on the ABC this morning with Virginia Trioli and Del Irani.

ASX 200 opens strongly nearly breaks 5800 only to fail and run out of juice, down 5.5 at 5755 at the close. Big miners holding the line just as industrials and banks wilt. Asian markets pause for breath with Japan down 0.16% and China down 0.13%. AUD 76.70c and US Futures down 7 points.

STOCKS AND SECTORS

  • Miners slipped in late trade from earlier highs, Bluescope Steel (BSL)+1.99%, Atlas Iron (AGO) unchanged, BHP -0.91%, RIO +0.28% and Fortescue Metals (FMG) unchanged
  • Base metals mixed with South 32 (S32) +4.30%, Independence Group (IGO)+1.67% Oz Minerals (OZL) -0.20% and Sandfire (SFR) +0.73%. Couple of copper stocks not enjoying the day, Bougainville (BOC) -11.90% and Avanco Resources (AVB) -4.35%
  • Energy stocks mixed Santos (STO) -1.00% feeling very unloved as Caltex Australia (CTX) +1.27%, Paladin Energy (PDN) +3.23% and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) +6.33%
  • Gold stocks shrugged off overnight weakness in bullion with Newcrest (NCM) -1.63% with St Barbara (SBM) +2.59%, Westgold Resources (WGX) +3.78% and Silver Lake Resources (SLR) +3.55%.
  • Banks and Financials started so well but profit taking ahead of Commonwealth Bank (CBA) -0.63% results tomorrow. The results from Bendigo and Adelaide bank (BEN) unchanged and National Bank (NAB) -0.16% have not been spectacular. Not too much growth to get excited about. At least not enough optimism to send prices higher without the US banking sector kicking in. The Big Bank Basket closed at $175.79 with better performances in the insurance sector. QBE Insurance (QBE) +2.00%, Suncorp (SUN) +0.15%. Medibank Private (MPL) +1.08% and AUB Group (AUB) +3.81%
  • Industrials turned soggy with losses in consumer stocks weighing. No toast for Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) -4.71%, Wesfarmers (WES) -0.47% or even Aurizon Holdings (AZJ) -3.56%.
  • Healthcare back in casualty today with Cochlear (COH) -3.59% suffering on the issues in China, Fisher and Paykell (FPH) -1.05% slid as did Clinuvel Pharma (CUV) -8.42% again.
  • IT and telcos back in red as Telstra (TLS) -0.96% slipped on pre-results nerves with Vocus Group (VOC) -2.73% and TPG Telecom (TPM) -1.48%.
  • IT stocks somewhat mixed with Megaport (MP1) -7.11%, Freelancer (FLN) -1.16% and Touchcorp (TCH) -1.89%. Winners included MYOB Group (MYO) +1.40%, Wisetech Global (WTC) +2.64% and Altium (ALU) -1.93%
  • Speculative stock of the day: Stellar (Stellar) Resources (SRZ) +28.57% after announcing that a mining lease had been granted to Heemskirk Tin project in Tasmania.

CORPORATE NEWS

  • Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) -4.71% Net profit after tax at Treasury was $136.2m compared with $58. 6m last year. The dividend is increased from 8c to 13c. Earnings from Asia climbed by 76% to $79m. The Australasian operations lifted earnings by 13.2% to $53.1m, while the Americas division increased earnings by 75.4% to $90.7m.
  • Cochlear (COH) -3.59% announced a 19% higher net profit of $111.4 million. The company raised its interim dividend 18% to 130c, fully franked. Overall sales of its implants remained solid and there was a solid reception for new products. the company is on pace to meet its its full-year guidance for net profit of $210m to $225m, up 10 -20%.
  • Nick Scali (NCK) +9.64% reported a 44.7% increase in first-half net profit to $20.45m. The result exceeded the company’s November guidance for a 30% -35% increase in net profit. The strong result has spilled over into the new year with January same-store sales up more than 10%.
  • Sealink Travel Group (SLK) -4.31% announced a 52% rise in net profit after tax for the first half of 2016-17 to $13.1m. Revenues were up 42% to $106m. The company will pay a fully franked final dividend of 6c up from 4.5c last year.
  • GPT +1.24% said it earned $1.153bn in net profit after tax for 2016.The result delivered a 5.6% increase per unit to 29.88c. Speciality sales in its shopping centre portfolio increased by just 2.6%. Whilst the retail portfolio delivered like-for-like income growth of 3.8%over the year.
  • Challenger (CGF) +2.23% after announcing a record $2.2bn in annuity sales. Normalised net profit after tax was $197 million for the half year. Challenger said that its statutory net profit after tax was down 14% to $202m compared to the previous corresponding period, due to the profit made from the sale of Kapstream Capital in the first half of 2016. Assets under management were up 12% to $64.7bn.
  • Wesfarmers (WES) -0.47% managing director Richard Goyder will step down this year after more than 12 years in charge of the company to be replaced by his deputy, Rob Scott.
  • ‘Funderbirds are go’ as fund manager Geoff Wilson has launched formal proceedings to have a bunch of directors removed at Hunter Hall Global Value (HHV) +0.42%. Wilson is also looking at cutting director’s fees in half as he hopes to get the ability to sell his shares to the company at NTA.

ECONOMIC NEWS

  • Australian business conditions jumped to 16 in January from a revised 10 in December, a National Australia Bank Ltd. survey of more than 400 firms conducted from Jan. 27 to Feb. 3 showed. Business confidence climbed to 10 from 6, the best result in almost three years, and a gauge of employment rose to the highest level since 2011.

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BOND CORNER

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ASIAN NEWS

Chinese News

  • Producer prices rose 6.9% in the 12 months through January, near six-year highs as prices of steel and other raw materials extended a recent rally.
  • Consumer inflation rose to near three-year highs, lifting 2.5%, the highest since May 2014 and just above market expectations of a 2.4% rise and following a 2.1%gain in December.

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  • Presented with no comment necessary. Japan accepted 28 asylum seekers in 2016.
  • Toshiba has fallen 8% as the company has delayed its earnings result with a warning of ‘material uncertainty.’ The company is set to announce a write down of US$6.1bn. Should never have bought Westinghouse in 2006 for its nuclear power plant exposure.

EUROPE AND US

  • First casualty of the Trump administration as security adviser Michael Flynn has resigned over contacts with Russians.

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  • Value of stocks on S&P 500 pushes through US$20tn. Apple is worth US$700bn.

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  • The UK economy will grow faster than expected this year, the European Commission has admitted after upgrading its growth forecasts by 50%. The Commission, now expects the UK economy to expand by 5% in 2017, compared with its estimate of just 1% in November. It said the country’s growth rate had held up since the EU referendum in June, and that a rise in exports, fuelled by the weak pound, would help support the economy.
  • More to come from the latest Greek crisis but think investors are now looking the other way. Will not even move the needle but the finance minister has attacked the IMF for wasting time on any bail put deal. Apparently, it is not 50% of Greeks who do not pay any taxes. Only 12%, according to the finance minister.

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And finally…………..

Its Valentines Day

2 WOMEN – are having a coffee and catching up:*

So, how was your evening last night?

A disaster! After getting home, my dear beloved hubby wolfed down in
4 minutes the dinner that took me all afternoon to prepare,
“granted” me 3 minutes of passionate love before rolling over and
falling asleep 2 minutes later.  Nightmare, and you?

Oh, mine was incredible.. My hubby was waiting for me to get back
home from work. He took me out for a very romantic dinner. We then
walked back home, under an amazing starry sky, along the canal, for
a good two hours. Once home, he lit up all the candles and we had
foreplay which lasted for an hour. We then made love for another
hour and we chatted until late.. It was wonderful…

*2 MEN – meet at the pub…*

So, how was your evening last night?


Incredible! When I came home, the food was just ready. I ate, we
shagged and I fell asleep. Wonderful night, I just love my wife, You?

A nightmare! I came home earlier to fix the kitchen shelf. When I
switched on the power drill, the fuse went out. The whole house went
into darkness. Couldn’t find the bloody fuse box, so when my better
half arrived, I took her out for dinner. It was the only thing to do
to avoid getting an ear-full…! The Dinner was so expensive that I
couldn’t afford a taxi, so we had to walk home. It took ages and
once there, the house was still in the dark, obviously, so I had to
light all these f..k..g candles to avoid knocking everything over. I
was so wound up and pissed off that it took me an hour to get a hard
on, and another one to finish. In the end, I was still wound up and
it took me ages to fall asleep, while she kept yapping on and on
about everything and nothing…….disaster.

Clarence

XXXX

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NT Markets

Get a Global take on things at http://www.ntmarkets.com

 

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