ASX 200 closed up 32 points at 5956 after a mid-morning sell off in the banks subsided. Industrials, insurers and telcos did well though materials continued to struggle. Asian markets mixed as China continues to trend down off 0.20% and Japan up 0.44%. AUD 74.86c and US Futures up 22.
Banks and BHP rally into the close. Significantly closing at 5950 the previous resistance. Good results from ANZ will see us push through.
STOCKS AND SECTORS
- Miners again struggled to make headway with BHP +0.67% though as the US share activist is said to be meeting with local shareholders this week, RIO -0.98% and Fortescue Metals (FMG) -1.13% no such luck. Base metals also continued to attract sellers with South 32 (S32) -2.16%, Independence Group (IGO) -2.15% and Oz Minerals (OZL) -0.56%.
- Energy stocks mainly weaker Woodside (WPL) +0.16% a rare bright spot, Santos (STO) -0.86% and Oil Search (OSH) -0.55% remained under pressure.
- Gold miners mixed with small gains and losses. Silver Lake (SLR) -3.19%, Beadell Resources (BDR) -6.67% and Westgold (WGX) -4.12% the worst of the bunch.
- Banks and financials stronger today as we kick off with ANZ +0.58% results tomorrow. The Big Bank Basket rose to $189.80 with insurers IAG +1.29%, QBE Insurance (QBE) +1.24% and Suncorp (SUN) +1.52%. Wealth Managers better despite the bad news from Platinum (PTM) -6.65%. Macquarie Group (MQG) +1.17%
- Industrials a hot space today as infrastructure stocks did well. Transurban (TCL) +1.56%, Sydney Airport (SYD) +2.03% and Macquarie Atlas Road (MQA) +3.37%. Mining services also doing well on hopes of an infrastructure budget CIMIC (CIM) +1.89%, ALS (ALQ) +2.08% and Seven Group (SVW) +1.71%. Consumer stocks were also bid with Wesfarmers (WES) +1.42% and Woolworths (WOW) +0.56% together with Costa Group (CGC) +2.27%. Utilities were also strong today as AGL +1.64%,APA Group (APA) +2.62% and Ausnet Services (AST) +1.14%
- Healthcare mainly better. Sirtex (SRX) +3.02%, Australian Pharma (API) +3.59% and Fisher and Paykel (FPH) +0.76%.
- IT and Telcos pushing higher with Vocus Group (VOC) +1.78% Telstra (TLS) +0.95% and TPG Telecom (TPM) +0.68%. In IT, Altium (ALU) +1.46%, Carsales (CAR) +1.11% and Computershare (CPU) +1.15%.
- Speculative stock of the day: And it is back Stemcell United (SCU) +66.67%. Remember this is the company that skyrocketed 35000% in a day on news that a adviser the so called ‘King of Cannabis’ had been hired to explore opportunities in the sector. The company released its quarterly last week.
- RCG Corporation (RCG) -27.11% joined the ‘two strikes and you are out club’ this morning with its second profit warning for the year. Full year profit is now expected to be down 11% after sales of some of its key brands failed to match expectations. Like-for-like sales in the Accent Retail and Hype business in March and April were flat. The Athletes Foot also failed to grow its sales despite gains in other retailers. Clearly competition is a factor from Rebel.
- Mayne Pharma (MYX) -10.41% also disappointed after a sales update blaming a tougher generic pricing environment for Teva products. The company is still fighting a price collusion charge along with its peers. In the US 8 out of 10 prescriptions are for generic drugs.
- Santos (STO) -0.86% has revealed that Chinese gas company ENN and private equity firm Hony Capital are ‘acting in concert’ and have 12.81% between them.
- Platinum Asset Management (PTM) -6.65% after cutting its fees on some of its international funds leading to a $24m negative impact on revenue. Intense competition in passive international investment fees has hurt PTM. One analyst believes that the group would need another $3bn FUM to compensate for the fee losses.
- Ramsay Health Care (RHC) -1.39% is being accused by the ACCC of threatening to block access to operating theatres in Coffs Harbour. The ACCC has brought a misuse of power claim in theFederal Court. A group of surgeons attempting to establish a rival day surgery facility are at the heart of it.
- In CoreLogic data from the Hedonic Home Value Index, capital cities apartment prices fell 1.2% while house prices rose 0.3% in April. Sydney and Melbourne apartment prices fell 1.2 and 0.9% respectively. Brisbane apartment prices had the largest fall at 1.9%.
- The manufacturing PMI fell to 51.2 in April from an almost five-year high of 51.8 in March, missing the median estimate of 51.7. The services PMI decreased to a six-month low of 54 from 55.1.
- Chinese investment in Australia surged 11.7% last year to $15.4bn amid booming demand for agricultural assets and infrastructure. Only 2 of the 105 deals announced last year were knocked back with S.Kidman &Co and Ausgrid being the knock backs.
EUROPE AND US
- US House and Senate negotiators reached a tentative deal on Sunday night on a $US1.1 trillion bill to keep the government open until the end of September, according to Republican and Democratic sources.
- A 10-kilogram box of Hass avocados from the state of Michoacan, Mexico’s biggest producer, cost 530 pesos (US$27.89) Thursday, according to the government. The price, which is subject to seasonal swings, is more than double what it was a year earlier and the highest going back 19 years. Avocado consumption has doubled since 2006. Positive for Costa Group (CGC). Mexico supplies 82% of the US avocado supplies.
- According to one report from McKinsey these are the cities of the future which will drive growth. Haven’t even heard of some.
- Facebook is just shy of 2bn users.
The FBI had an open position for an assassin.
After all the background checks, interviews and testing were completed, they had narrowed the field down to 3 possible agents.
For the final test, the FBI agents took one of the men to a large metal door and handed him a gun. ‘We must know that you will follow your instructions no matter what the circumstances.’
Inside the room you will find your wife sitting in a chair… we need you to kill her’
The man said, ‘You can’t be serious. I could never shoot my wife.’
The agent said, ‘Then you’re not the right man for this job. Take your wife and go home.’
The second man was given the same instructions. He took the gun and went into the room. All was quiet for about 5 minutes. The man came out with tears in his eyes, ‘I tried, but I can’t kill my wife.’
The agent said, ‘You don’t have what it takes. Take your wife home.’
Finally, the last man was given the same instructions, to kill his wife.
He took the gun and went into the room. Shots were heard, one after another. They heard screaming, crashing, banging on the walls. After a few minutes, all was quiet.
The door opened slowly and there stood the man, wiping the sweat from his brow. ‘Some idiot loaded the gun with blanks’ he said. ‘I had to strangle her to death’.