ASX shrugs off a lunch time sell off to close up 20 to 5876 as bank negativity continues with surging resource stocks. Energy shares do well on rising oil price though Telstra slips again. Asian markets dominated by China coming back on line and rising 1.12% with Japan becalmed down 0.03%. AUD 75.63c and US Futures down 5.
STOCKS AND STORIES
- Miners the stand outs today as China came back on line. BHP +3.47% RIO +3.04% and Fortescue Metals (FMG) +5.25%. Base metals and especially coal miners were sought South32 (32) +3.50%, OZ Minerals (OZL) +4.63% and even Western Areas (WSA) +4.50%. recent winner Whitehaven Coal (WHC) -% took a breather as other coal stocks did well. Yancoal (YAL) +% on small volume.
- Gold miners benefitting form a higher bullion price and a lower AUD. St Barbara (SBM) +3.56%, Gold Road (GOR) +5.26% and Regis Resources(RRL) +0.87%.
- Energy stocks doing well too on the crude price rise. Woodside (WPL) +1.64%, Santos (STO) +2.70% and Karoon Gas (KAR) +5.31% bouncing hard.
- Banks and financials again under a combination of negatives, from the present bank bashing and moves to rein in unsafe lending, to the Queensland Cyclone damage bill for insurers. IAG -0.34% though both QBE Insurance (QBE) +1.49% and Suncorp (SUN) +0.70% managed to post small gains. The Big Bank Basket $185.23 slipped a fraction with regionals unable to hang on to recent gains. Bendigo and Adelaide (BEN) +0.91%
- Industrials slightly firmer as Vita Group (VTG) +8.27% bounced hard after the loss yesterday. Aurizon Holdings (AZJ) +1.17%, Qube Holdings (QUB) +1.18% and Sydney Airport (SYD) +0.75%. Consumer staples were weaker led by falls in Metcash (MTS) -4.94% and Wesfarmers (WES) -1.16% as competition increases in the supermarkets business. G8 Education (GEM) -4.27% were an unexpected casualty as were Brambles (BXB) -1.06%.
- Healthcare mixed with Mesoblast (MSB) +1.63% giving up early gains as some profit taking moved in after the recent capital raising. CSL -0.07% and Cochlear (COH) +0.38% both doing well as pathology/radiology stocks Healthscope (HSO) +0.46% Ramsay Health Care (RHC)+0.15% and Primary Health Care (PRY) -1.44% were mixed.
- IT and Telcos continue to struggle. Telstra (TLS) -0.86% becalmed with Hutchison (HTA) -5.00%, Vocus Group (VOC) -0.96% and TPG Telecom (TPM) +0.30%. Some gains though in the IT stocks led by Computershare (CPU) +1.29% and Codan (CDA)+6.50%. Thin volume though.
- Speculative stock of the day: Opthea (OPT) +34.57% has successfully completed a placement and institutional offer to raise $45m with a $3m retail component to fund the clinical development of OPT-302 a novel therapy for wet age related macular degeneration.
- Fairfax Media (FXJ) -0.48% has announced a major structural change to its editorial staffing with another $30m of costs to be taken out of the business. The new CEO of the division believes that FXJ is now within reach of its goal to create a ‘sustainable publishing model’.
- Infigen Energy (IFN) -3.10% competed their capital raising with a 97% take up by institutions for the $100m issue at 89c. The stock is now trading ex entitlements of the 1:4.6 issue.
- TPG Telecom (TPM) +0.30% updated the market on its Singapore spectrum acquisition. It has now bought another 2 lots at auction for $23.8m in the 5MHz of spectrum.
- Insurance Group Australia (IAG) –0.34% trimmed the margin guidance and estimated Cyclone Debbie costs at around $140m. The company lowered its insurance margin guidance to 10.5% to 12.5% as result of higher than expected claims.
- Metcash (MTS) -4.94% weaker as media reports that the company was looking at further price cuts to its range to counter moves from Coles and Woolworths. The second iteration of Price Match will cut prices by around 3%.
- CBL Insurance (CBL) -3.88% after a number of directors and management sold down 20m shares at 300c to enable increase liquidity in the stock. Directors and management had stock released from escrow following the FY16 results and preceded CBL being included on the ASX All Ords.
- Galaxy Resources (GXY) +7.23% after appointing a new CFO, Alan Rule, to the team.
- According to the ABS today there are 5m internet subscribers in December 2016 up 4.7% Fibre connections increased to more than 1.4m up 122% in the year.
- Mobile handset subscribers rose 2.6% to 25.4m. There are 63 ISP providers in the country.
- Data downloaded was 2.6m Terabytes up 23.3% compare to the previous three months and up 51% on the year. Fixed broadband accounted for 98% of the data used.
- Back from a break, Chinese stocks have had a very strong day with news that the Beijing authorities are launching a new economic zone in Hebei Province. It is described as a 1000-year project to build clusters of hi tech and innovation.
- China’s coking coal futures have jumped as much as 7% in early morning trade due to Cyclone Debbie and disruptions to supply. ANZ estimates 13m tonnes of coking coal and 3m tonnes of thermal coal will be lost due to this disruption. The bottom line: ANZ expects prices to surge well above USD200/t in coming weeks as buyers struggle for supply.
EUROPE AND US
- China National Chemical has won U.S. antitrust approval for its $43bn takeover of Swiss pesticide maker Syngenta. The EU has an April 18 deadline to end its review. The companies have said they expect to close their deal by the end of June.
Head of JP Morgan, Jamie Dimon has sent his annual letter to shareholders. 45 pages in all. His main points include:
- Concern the U.K.’s departure from the EU might trigger political unrest throughout the region that could split the currency union.
- He said if the government eased several capital and liquidity requirements to instead match lesser international standards, it could permit an additional US$190bn of loans.
- JPMorgan spent more than US$9.5bn on technology in 2016, including $3bn on new initiatives.
- Lowering taxes would improve wages, he argued, citing a 2007 Treasury Department review.
- He has confidence underlying growth in the U.S. economy will propel JPMorgan’s consumer businesses.
- Dimon asserted that the Dodd-Frank Act effectively ended the possibility of government bailouts for “too big to fail” banks.
What is the difference between a cat and a comma?
A: One has claws at the end of its paws and the other is a pause at the end of a clause.
For a period, Houdini used a trap door in every single show he did…I guess you could say it was a stage he was going through.
A guy took his blonde girlfriend to her first football game.
They had great seats right behind their team’s bench.
After the game, he asked her how she liked the experience. “Oh, I really liked it,” she replied, “especially the tight pants and all the big muscles, but I just couldn’t understand why they were killing each other over 25 cents.”
Dumbfounded, her date asked, “What do you mean?”
“Well, they flipped a coin, one team got it, and then for the rest of the game, all they kept screaming was, ‘Get the quarterback! Get the quarterback!’ I’m like, hello? It’s only 25 cents!”