ASX 200 falls for a tenth day as GDP and Trump fail to inspire. Late rally saves some face down 7.4 points to 5705. Resources and dividends continue to weigh on sentiment. Banks stable as consumer stocks fall. US odds increase to 80% for a rate rise. Asian markets firm on optimism as Japan rallies 1.42% and China up 0.39%. AUD 76.56c and US futures up 42.
Reporting season is over. Plenty to like. Plenty to hate but consensus is that the season was positive. So why has the ASX 200 fallen so much?
STOCKS AND SECTORS
- Miners once again struggling under the weight of expectation. BHP -0.48%, RIO -1.00% and Fortescue Metals (FMG) -0.45%. Base metals had few bright spots although Metals X (MLX) +3.01% were one after a broker upgrade. Independence Group (IGO) -2.47% and with Oz Minerals (OZL) -1.51%. South32 (S32) unchanged.
- Gold miners down but at least the pace of losses has slowed from yesterday. Northern Star (NST) -1.43%, Newcrest (NCM) -1.40% and Resolute Mining (RSG) -4.04%
- Energy stocks down again with Santos (STO) -2.11%, Oil Search (OSH) -1.15% and WorleyParsons (WOR) -4.04%. Caltex (CTX) +0.50% a winner though as was AWE +3.12% following results yesterday and finalising the Tui sale this morning.
- Industrials has another nasty day especially in consumer stocks as Gerry Harvey’s wealth took a turn for the worst with Harvey Norman (HVN) -5.83% on broker downgrades, others joined in with JB Hi-Fi (JBH) -2.65%, Premier Investments (PMV) -2.23% and Kathmandu (KMD) -4.23%. Ardent Leisure (AAD) -4.89% continue their descent with Domino’s Pizza (DMP) -0.54% and Slater and Gordon (SGH) -27.55% now a penny dreadful. Some bright spots though as Transurban (TCL) +1.27% and Sydney Airport (SYD) +1.16%
- Healthcare stocks a little mixed but will be watching the US pharmas reaction to Trumps commitment to lower drug prices. Impedimed (IPD) -4.61%, Sigma Pharma (SIP) -2.13% and Starpharma (SPL) -6.38%
- IT and Telcos weak again. Xero (XRO) -3.65%, Covata (CVT) -52.5%,MYOB (MYO) -2.23% and Netcomm Wireless (NTC) -5.24%. Telcos were weighed by Ex-Dividend in Telstra (TLS) -3.73%, TPG Telecom (TPM) -1.60% with Vocus Group (VOC) +0.91% bucking the trend.
- Banks and financials slightly better with the Big Bank Basket rising to $179.85 with Westpac Bank (WBC) +0.62%. Wealth managers eased with BT Investment (BTT) -0.93%, Platinum Asset (PTM) -2.12% and Perpetual (PPT) -2.45%
- Speculative stock of the day: Beston Global (BFC) +21.43% after announcing a product supply contract with Hondo Food Group worth around $22m.
- Macmahon (MAH) +10.00% has signed a non-binding heads of agreement with an Indonesian miner PT Amman Mineral Nusa Tengarra. AMNT is looking to exchange its mining fleet for shares in MAH at 20% giving it a 40% stake. CIMIC has bid 14.5c.
- Woodside Petroleum (WPL) -1.47% CEO Peter Coleman has been hit with a $1.1m paycut as shareholders have issued a ‘three strikes’ and you are out policy. He will still take home US$6.71m though.
- MMA Offshore (MRM) -23.33% fell hard after reporting tough times continuing and a net loss of $45.4m with a further $278m impairment
- GDP knocked it out of the park this morning with a much better than expected 1.1% rise giving it 2,4% GDP growth for the year. This was trumpeted by Scott Morrison as the highest in the G& countries. Growth was recorded in 15 out of 20 industries. Strongest growth was observed in Mining, Agriculture, forestry and fishing, and Professional scientific and technical services, each industry contributed 0.2% to GDP growth.
- The Australian Industry (Ai) Group’s performance of manufacturing index (PMI) jumped 8.1 points to 59.3 in February, above the level of 50 points indicating an expansion in activity. The Ai Group said the factory activity was at its highest level since May 2002, with printing and recorded media the only subsector to contract in the month.
- Investor demand pushed Sydney house prices 2.6% higher in February, an annual growth of 18.4%, the highest since 2002, Corelogic Melbourne prices rose 1.5% while Brisbane, Perth and Darwin house prices fell, while prices grew marginally in Hobart and Adelaide.But annual growth across all capital cities was 11.7%, the highest since June 2010, according to Corelogic.
- The Australian Tax Office will hit seven multinational companies with a combined outstanding tax bill of $2bn. Tax Commissioner Chris Jordan said at least seven major multinational audits were “expected to come to a head before 30 June”, four involving e-ecommerce companies and three in the energy and resources industries.
- China’s manufacturing sector expanded faster than expected in February, an official survey showed on Wednesday. The official Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to a three-month high of 51.6 in February, compared with the previous month’s 51.3. China’s services sector also remains well in expansionary mode, with the non-manufacturing PMI coming in at 54.2, slightly below the previous month’s 54.6.
EUROPE AND US
- Underwhelmed with Trump at least from a market point of view seems consensus. Long on symbolism and rhetoric and short on details. US$1 trillion on infrastructure is a start. Presidential performance though nothing to spook or propel markets. It’s the Fed now.
- Odds of a rate rise in the US are now 80%.
- How much does it cost to keep your knighthood in the UK? Seems around GBP363m as Sir Philip Green from the failed British Home Stores (BHS) debacle has put in his own money into the pension fund for workers. Maybe the Queen will let him keep his ‘Sir’.
And finally…not game enough to rep[eat some of teh jokes sent today but here is some of the clean ones..
A Muslim was sitting next to Paddy on a plane.
Paddy ordered a whisky.
The stewardess asked the Muslim if he’d like a drink.
He replied in disgust “I’d rather be raped by a dozen whores than let liquor touch my lips!”
Paddy handed his drink back and said
“Me too, I didn’t know we had a choice!”
Paddy takes his new wife to bed on their wedding night.
She undresses, lies on the bed spread-eagled and says
“You know what I want, don’t you?”
“Yeah,” says Paddy. “The whole feckin’ bed by the looks of it!”
Paddy, the Irish boyfriend of the woman whose head was found on Galway beach was asked to identify her.
A detective held up the head to which point Paddy said “I don’t think that’s her, she wasn’t that tall!”
Like this one..
Two Ladies Talking in Heaven
1st woman: Hi! Wanda.
2nd woman: Hi! Sylvia. How’d you die?
1st woman: I froze to death.
2nd woman: How horrible!
1st woman: It wasn’t so bad. After I quit shaking from the cold, I began
to get warm & sleepy, and finally died a peaceful death. What about you?
2nd woman: I died of a massive heart attack. I suspected that my husband
was cheating, so I came home early to catch him in the act. But instead, I
found him all by himself in the den watching TV.
1st woman: So, what happened?
2nd woman: I was so sure there was another woman there somewhere that I
started running all over the house looking. I ran up into the attic and
searched, and down into the basement. Then I went through every closet and
checked under all the beds. I kept this up until I
had looked everywhere, and finally I became so exhausted that I just keeled
over with a heart attack and died.
1st woman: Too bad you didn’t look in the freezer—we’d both still be