ASX 200 surprise to the upside with a 34-point gain to 5775.6 in modest trade. Bank and consumer stocks again in demand. Miners suffer with REITs falling too. Asian markets positive as Japan up 1.38% and China up 0.10%. AUD holding steady at 75.18c and US futures up 48 points.
- For the week, the ASX 200 up from 5730 a rise of 0.7%
- The Big Bank Basket is up from $180.43 to $184.74 up 2.4%
- Whilst the resource market is down from 3388 to 3267, down 2.3%
STOCKS AND SECTORS
Miners once again soggy to finish the week with BHP -1.21%, RIO -1.95% and Fortescue Metals (FMG) -2.24%. Base metals also weak South32 (S32) -0.37%, Oz Minerals (OZL) -0.48% as were lithium stocks again Orocobre (ORE) -2.83% and Galaxy (GXY) unchanged.
Energy stocks though remarkably resilient Santos (STO) +1.41% and Woodside Petroleum (WPL) +0.52% but coal stocks Yancoal (YAL) -8.11% and Coal of Africa (CZA) -9.43%. The Paladin Energy (PDN) suspended as the Chinese move to exercise their 75% option over the Langer Heinrich project.
Banks were once again in the spotlight as bond yields rise towards 3% for 10 year bonds. Stand out was Commonwealth Bank (CBA) +1.16% Rising rates means bigger interest rate margins. We seem to be seeing some switching out of Telstra into banks especially given three are still cum dividend. Some modest gains too in the insurance sector with QBE Insurance (QBE) +1.19%. REITs though weaker with Westfield (WFD) -1.27%, Vicinity (VCX) -2.10% and Scentre Group (SCG) -1.84%.
Consumer stocks finished the week on a high note. Flight Centre (FLT) +3.78%, Wesfarmers (WES) +1.72% and Woolworths (WOW) +1.34%.
Telcos and IT stocks still under a cloud with Telstra (TLS) +0.22% and Vocus Group (VOC) -3.63%. Tech stocks Aconex (ACX) -4.10% slid again as did Freelancer (FLN) -1.55% though Appen (APX) +9.28% bounced hard on inclusion in the ASX.
Healthcare doing well with CSL +2.65% leading and Sirtex (SRX) +4.53% too although US exposed Generic Mayne Pharma (MYX) -2.26% as the US administration continues to talk drugs down. Medicinal cannabis stocks continue to find friends although Creso Pharma (CPH) +4.63% well off the highs. MMJ Phylotech (MMJ) +21.79% took up the running though surging ahead.
Speculative stock of the day: Cradle Resources (CXX) +36.96% after Tremont Investments made a 33c all cash offer for their partner in the Panda Hill Niobium project.
- Hunter Hall (HHL) +5.37% after a merger with Pengana Capital was announced. Soul Pattinson (SOL)+ 0.29% with emerge as the largest shareholder with a round 33% of the $3bn refail funds manager. RusselPillemer (founder of Pengana) will hold about 26%. Peter Hall’s remaining stake in Hunter Hall will dwindle to around 7%post the merger. Pillemer founded Pengana in 2003 with Malcolm Turnbull.
- Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) +3.88% held an investor day in the Napa Valley with the focus on creating brands.
- Central Petroleum (CTP) +21.21% has agreed to the improved terms from Macquarie Group (MQG) for a cash consideration of 20c up from 17.5c.
- Gemworth (GMA) +0.35% announced its second largest customer would stop offering its products exclusively. The contract represents about 14% of Genworth’s gross written premium, but the move does not affect its full- year guidance of a 10% to 15% decline in gross written premium.
- Home loan approvals up 0.5% in January, beating market expectations of a 1% fall. Loans approved for owner-occupied housing fell 0.2% in January to a record low 7.1% of the total value of commitments, while loans for investment housing rose 4.2%.
- The country’s energy crisis may be sorted thanks to Elon Musk and Mike Cannon–Brookes from Atlassian. Tesla will install a 100-300 megawatt hours worth of batteries in 100 days. If Cannon–Brookes comes up with the money then Tesla will deliver in 100 days or its free. Chump change for Cannon-Brookes
- South Korean President Park Geun-hye has been removed from office and is due to be impeached on corruption charges. The move will trigger a presidential election within 60 days.
- Another rare event too from China where the PBoC Governor Zhou Xiaochuan held a briefing saying the yuan’s rate should be relatively stable this year even as rising U.S. interest rates contribute to foreign exchange volatility. Zhou hasn’t spoken publicly since the middle of last year. Zhou has led the PBOC for almost a decade and a half.
EUROPE AND US
- Non-Farm Payrolls (NFP) expected around 200,000 at around 12.30am our time.
- There’s trouble at mill for UK PM Theresa May, as she is being accused of breaking core election promises on tax rises in the budget this week. Obviously haven’t hear of core and non-core promises.
- Just to make life more complicated for the Brexit negotiations the Scots are set to have yet another referendum on independence.
- MGM in talks to acquire Cable Channel Epix for US$1bn.
- AkzoNobel, the owner of Dulux and Polyfilla, is set to spin off its sprawling specialty chemicals arm after rejecting a €20.9bn takeover offer from US Based PPG Industries.
And finally….love this one
An 85-year-old man was requested by his doctor for a sperm count as part of his physical exam.
The doctor gave the man a jar and said, “Take this jar home and bring back a semen sample tomorrow.”
The next day the 85-year-old man reappeared at the doctor’s office and gave him the jar, which was as clean and empty as on the previous day.
The doctor asked, what happened and the man explained.
“Well, doc, it’s like this–first I tried with my right hand, but nothing. Then I tried with my left hand, but still nothing. Then I asked my wife for help. She tried with her right hand, then with her left, still nothing. She tried with her mouth, first with the teeth in, then with her teeth out, still nothing.
We even called up Arleen, the lady next door and she tried too, first with both hands, then an armpit, and she even tried squeezin’ it between her knees, but still nothing.”
The doctor was shocked! “You asked your neighbor?”
The old man replied, “Yep, none of us could get the jar open.”