Sorry Clarence was at Lunch Friday..it happens!
ASX 200 shrugs off early losses to rise 17 points to 5746.5 with big miners and banks again leading the gains. IT stocks continuing to recover as consumer discretionary and healthcare weighing. Asian markets mixed with Japan down 0.46% and China up 0.46%. AUD 75.71c and US Futures down 22.
STOCKS AND SECTORS
- Big Miners were the highlights today BHP +1.62%, RIO +1.99% looking good again and Fortescue Metals (FMG) +3.03%. Base metal stocks were not so good though as Metals X (MLX) -5.11% slumped along with Western Areas (WSA) -2.09% though South32 (S32) -2.96%.
- Financials the other bright spot today with the Big Bank Basket up to $181.10. Insurers mixed with wealth managers weaker.
- Consumer stocks fell today with REA Group (REA) -2.44% in the spotlight on media reports this morning on accounting treatment changes. Gaming stocks fell led by Tabcorp (TAH) -0.92% and Tatts Group (TTS) -2.20% and Crown Resorts (CWN) -0.94% on an update to the buy-back of subordinated notes.
- Technology stocks had a rare day in the sun today with Aconex (ACX) +6.76% continuing its recent bounce with Isentia (ISD) +6.87% also benefitting from some bargain hunting. DWS Ltd (DWS) +4.92% and MYOB Group (MYO) +2.00% together with other consumer stocks Woolworths (WOW) +1.14%, Coca Cola Amatil (CCL) +0.87%.
- Healthcare stocks weaker too with Reva Medical (RVA) -2.00% having fallen11% in thin trade earlier, Mayne Pharma (MYX) -3.16% and Cochlear (COH) -2.10% after failing to win part of the $37m Chinese government tender as rivals discount heavily. Winners in the tender process were Advanced Bionomics of US and local Chinese form Nurotron. The lowest price was 31% below the price COH received three years ago.
- Industrials weaker with Collection House (CLH) -4.38%, Spotless Group (SPO) -3.05% and IPH -1.54%. Travel stocks weaker too, Flight Centre (FLT) -0.39%, Helloworld (HLO) -3.61% and Mantra (MTR) -1.09%. Ardent Leisure (AAD) -0.96% also had another issue with guests stuck on a ride this afternoon at Dreamworld, reviving tragic memories. Domino’s Pizza (DMP) -0.75% holds an investor day tomorrow.
- Speculative stock of the day: Sky and Space Global (SAS) +28.95% big volume again today after the positive news week last week with GomSpace being selected as Equatorial Constellation constructor.
- Insurers Insurance Australia (IAG) +0.49% and Suncorp (SUN) -0.45% could face up to $370m in losses from the recent Sydney storms. Suncorp is up for around $150m-$170m in claims and IAG around $160m. Maximum would be around $200m.
- Navitas (NVT) -14.92% after announcing it expects earnings to fall by around $12m-$14m next year as a result of the Commonwealth government reducing the number of regions where NVT is contracted to teach new migrants English. The company’s English language unit accounted for close to a quarter of the company’s revenue in FY16
- ANZ job advertisements fell 0.7% in February, after recording a solid 3.9% rise in January. Ads were still 6.9% higher than in February last year, from 7.1% in January.
- ABS reported retail sales rose 0.4% in January, in line with market forecasts and up from a 0.1% fall in December. Sales of clothing, footwear and personal accessories dipped 0.4%, likely in part due to falling prices amid intense competition, while department stores suffered a 0.5% fall.
- Victoria has waived stamp duty for first time buyers below $600,000. Under the Victorian plan those buying a home valued between $600,000 and $750,000 will also be eligible for a concession.
- China is aiming to expand its economy by around 6.5% in 2017 as it continues to implement a proactive fiscal policy and maintain a prudent monetary policy according to the premier.
- The most traded iron ore contract on the Dalian Commodities Exchange rose 1.8% after a speech at the National Congress in China forecasting it would maintain higher infrastructure spending, last trading at 690 yuan ($US100.02). Friday’s spot price of iron ore was $US91.53, down from a high two weeks ago of $US94.86.
- North Korea has fired four missiles into the Sea of Japan as the US and South Korea kick off military exercises.
EUROPE AND US
- Standard Life is set to reveal a £11bn takeover of Aberdeen funds. The planned combination will create Europe’s second-biggest fund manager, with £660bn under management, but is being viewed as a sign of weakness, not strength. Both funds are under significant pressure from passive fund managers. A nil-premium deal is being touted as an all-share merger of equals, but shareholders in Standard Life, which has a market value of £7.5bn, compared with Aberdeen’s £3.7bn, would own two-thirds of the combined group.
- General Motors plans to announce the sale of its long-struggling European Opel and Vauxhall units to France’s PSA Group for about US$2bn. GM will carve out part of its auto-lending unit and sell it to the maker of Peugeot and Citroen vehicles, and assume about $6bn of the $9bn in underfunded pension liabilities.
And finally …love to hear from you with some new jokes…nothing it out of bounds
And so to these gems from my friend Hans…..
A Jewish man and his wife are having dinner at a very fine restaurant when an
absolutely stunning young woman comes over to their table, gives the husband a long
open mouthed kiss and says to him, “I’ll see you later”.
“Who the hell was that?” says the wife.
“That was my mistress.” says the husband.
“I want a divorce!” says the wife, “This is the last straw! I’ve had enough.”
The husband says, “Alright! You’ll get your divorce, but just remember this: There will be
no more winters in Barbados, no more summers in Tuscany, no more shopping trips to
Paris, no more Mercedes in the garage, and no more Yacht Club. But the
decision is yours!”
Just then a friend of the husband enters the restaurant with a gorgeous young woman on
“Who’s that woman with Moishe?” says the wife.
“That’s his mistress”, says the husband.
“Ours is much prettier.” says the wife.
The wife comes home late at night and quietly opens the door to her bedroom. From under the sheets she sees four legs instead of two. She reaches for a baseball bat and starts hitting the sheet as hard as she can. Leaving the covered bodies groaning, she goes to the kitchen to have a drink. As she enters, she sees her husband there, reading a magazine.
“Hi, sweetheart,” he says. “Your parents have come to visit us, so l let them stay in our bedroom. Did you say hello?”
Have a great night