HEADLINES TODAY

  • ASX 200 slips 20 points to 5763 on profit taking and Korean nerves.
  • Banks ease as miners continue to rally. Insurers stronger. Retail mixed.
  • New vehicles sales up 4.4% in June.
  • AUD 76.17c
  • ATO to target negative gearing.
  • Dow Futures +9. US Markets reopen.
  • FOMC minutes tonight in US.
  • US-South Korea fires missile back in response to North Korea ICBM.
  • Asian markets higher, China +0.40%%, Japan +0.13%%.

STOCK STUFF

  • FLT +10.36% Reaffirms guidance, underlying profit to be at top of range. Big volume.
  • CTD +1.67% follows FLT higher.
  • SHL -3.87% Biggest intra-day drop in two years on Broker downgrade.
  • VOC +2.11% allows Due Diligence for KKR.
  • ANZ -0.48% has three bidders for Wealth Management business.
  • ARI Administrators reach agreement for sale of Whyalla to UK group.
  • GXY +8.14% & ORE +4.51% Lithium players find footing on short covering.
  • SYR +7.83% on positive outlook for graphite and electric vehicles.
  • LYC +9.09% positive reaction to higher rare earths prices and media comments.
  • GGG +20.00% on rare earth update yesterday.
  • CGC -2.37% more acquisitions in JV with Macquarie.
  • RKN -0.31% 1.3m shares crossed at 161c.
  • INA -1.89% record settlements of 211 homes.
  • Biggest risers – FLT, GXY, SYR, PLS, ASL and FNP
  • Biggest fallers – PEP, CKF, SHL, IFN, OSH and WHC.

TODAY

  • Vocus Group (VOC) +2.11% KKR Granted the right to non-exclusive due diligence.
  • Flight Centre (FLT) +10.36% The company is on track to achieve the top end of guidance, underlying PBT of between $325m -$330m, after achieving record FY sales and posting solid second half growth. Total Transaction Value (TTV) is expected to top $20bn. Strong USA results are now on track for a record profit and European operations deliver another record. FY17 results to come on August 24th.
  • Pepper Group (PEP) -7.2% Have received a non-binding proposal from KCA Credit advisors to buy the company for 360c. PEP would also pay a dividend of 3c to shareholders. The company has allowed KCA access to undertake due diligence. Fall after 9% rally yesterday.
  • Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) +26.79% Announced a $1.5bn commitment from Stonepeak to fund the equity requirement of the Magnolia project.
  • Costa Group (CGC) -2.37% Has signed an agreement for the acquisition of the Lankester Avocado orchards and packing operations. The three farms are in the Atherton Tablelands in FNQ. This is another deal in conjunction with Macquarie Agricultural Funds (MAFM). CGC will have a 20-year agreement to operate the farms. MAFM will own the farms.
  • Wisetech (WTC) +3.61% Has acquired a Brazilian customs solutions provider for $11.8m plus a potential earn out payment. Bysoft Solucoes em Sistemas Para Comercio Exterior currently has revenue of around $3.4m.
  • Arrium (ARI) – A UK bidder has emerged for the suspended group. GFG is bidding for the manufacturing, distribution and recycling business based in Whyalla. The deal still needs FIRB approval but given its importance to the survival of the local steel making business and the 2000 workers it will be passed very quickly.
  • G8 Education (GEM) +3.48% after announcing that it would repay a $70m 7.65% fixed interest note after the successful placement to raise $195.6m recently.
  • Mineral Resources (MIN) +2.84% announced an increase in the concentrate prices at MT Marion for Lithium from US$750 to $841 a dry metric tonne.

BOND MARKET UPDATE

  • A single buyer has bought all the $800 million of government bonds sold today, the largest ever amount bought by one bidder since they started in 1982. The 3.25% notes maturing in April 2029 went off at a yield of 2.72%. The buyer has not been named.

 

ECONOMIC NEWS

  • The Australian Performance of Services Index increased to 54.8 in June of 2017 from 51.5 in May, pointing to a fourth straight month of expansion in the services sector and the highest since December 2016 as all five of the activity sub-indexes were positive.
  • The Australian Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries’ VFACTS report out on Wednesday showed 134,171 new vehicles were sold in June, up 4.4% on the same month last year. Sales of SUV’s alone surged 11.7% in June. Sales of light commercial vehicles climbed 12.2% while the heavy vehicle market gained 9.2%.

ASIAN NEWS

  • The Caixin China Composite PMI data (which covers both manufacturing and services) pointed to a marginal increase in total Chinese business activity at the end of the second quarter.  At 51.1 in June, the Composite Output Index fell from 51.5 in May to signal the slowest rate of expansion in a year.

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  • Malaysia’s Lotte Chemical Titan has priced its initial public offering at 6.5 ringgit per share, the bottom of its indicative price range, to raise US$878m in the country’s biggest stock flotation in five years.

 

EUROPE AND US MORNING Headlines

volvo.jpgThis is a sign. Volvo has become the first car maker to shift to hybrid and electric only production. OPEC are you watching?

  • Sweden is the latest central bank to turn hawkish. The Riksbank said it did not expect to cut borrowing costs again. The bank kept rates at -0.50%. Yes minus 0.50%.
  • UK banks have been ordered to prove that the booming consumer credit is not a clear and present danger. Lenders have been given two months their loan standards and write to the Bank of England to explain themselves. One worrying product is long term zero interest rate credit cards. Some offer 40 months of free borrowing.
  • France is trying to lure more UK banks to Paris. Bruno Le Maire, the French finance minister, announced that France would set up a special English-language court to handle English-law cases for financial contracts after Britain leaves the European Union.
  • Spain has revealed its 43rd straight month of recovery in its jobs market. European recovery continues.

And finally…

A soldier ran up to a nun.

Out of breath he asked, “Please, may I hide under your skirt. I’ll explain later.”

The nun agreed… A moment later two Military Police ran up and asked, “Sister, have you seen a soldier?”

The nun replied, “He went that way.”

After the MPs ran off, the soldier crawled out from under her skirt and said, “I can’t thank you enough, sister. You see, I don’t want to go to Syria.”

The nun said, “I understand completely.”

The soldier added, “I hope I’m not rude, but you have a great pair of legs!”

The nun replied, “If you had looked a little higher, you would have seen a great pair of balls…. I don’t want to go to Syria either.”

An elderly Canadian gentleman of 83 arrived in Paris by plane.

At the French customs desk, the man took a few minutes to locate his passport in his carry-on bag.

“You have been to France before, monsieur?” the customs officer asked, sarcastically. The elderly gentleman admitted he had been to France previously. “Then you should know enough to have your passport ready.”

The Canadian said, “The last time I was here, I didn’t have to show it.” “Impossible, Canadians always have to show your passports on arrival in France!”

The Canadian senior gave the Frenchman a long hard look, then he quietly explained, “Well, when I came ashore at Juno Beach on D Day in 1944 to help liberate this country, I couldn’t find any Frenchmen to show it to.”

Please send any jokes however inappropriate to me at henry@marcustoday.com.au

Clarence

XXX

mt_tryforfree

NT Markets

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