Today’s Headlines

  • ASX 200 grinds higher up 22 points to 5795.
  • High 5788 Low 5764. Tight range low volume again.
  • Moves towards the top of the range.
  • Banks pushed up on the close.
  • CSL and WES in demand.
  • Miners wilt as iron ore falls again.
  • Energy stocks rise. Infrastructure better.
  • AUD pushes through to 78.18c
  • US futures up 2.
  • Asian markets slightly higher with Japan up 0.42% and China CSI up 0.14%.

STOCK STUFF

Movers and Shakers

  • IPH +8.53% broker upgrade.
  • SM1 +3.94% continuing interest.
  • MYX +5.11% dogs are barking.
  • LOV +11.19% US Pilot store opens as US expansion beckons.
  • MSB +7.6% as optimism surges.
  • S32 -0.92% downgraded by Credit Suisse.
  • PPH -4.36% some profit taking.
  • FMG -1.81% iron ore weighs.
  • FPH -3.27% after broker downgrade
  • NVT +3.25% new CEO.
  • WTC +2.70% $10 beckons.
  • MTR +0.26% rolls over and says bien sûr to Accor.
  • BAL +4.60% upgrade from company.
  • BKL +0.76% momentum stalling a little.
  • BOQ +1.16% special dividend cheers.
  • Speculative stocks of the day: Canyon Resources (CAY) +34.41% after a ASX query and an update on the state of the Alumina and Bauxite market.
  • Biggest risers – LOV, MSB, IPH, LYC, BAL, MYX and HUB.
  • Biggest fallers – EWC, SSM, FXL, PPH, FPH and BGA.

TODAY

  • Whitehaven Coal (WHC) -2.84% said today that its equity coal sales rose 23 percent to 4.7 million tonnes in the September quarter against the same period a year ago amid strong demand from Asian buyers. The figure topped a UBS forecast of 4.2 million tonnes. Whitehaven said it sold its thermal coal for an average $91 per tonne over the quarter, a 3.2 percent discount on the quoted average price of $94 per tonne.
  • Mantra (MTR) +0.26% Agrees to A$1.18bn takeover by Accor, or 396c per share. Mantra may pay a special dividend, deductible from the headline price. The company has rolled over very quickly. A gift horse in the mouth? The deal still needs approvals from FIRB and the ACCC so some way to go yet.
  • Regis Resources (RRL) +2.85% 1QFY18 report announced today. All-In Cost falls to A$861/Oz on the pcp. This was well below guidance. Gold output 91,921oz. Cash, and bullion totalled $131.3ml.
  • Bellamy’s Australia Limited (BAL) +4.60% Early results in FY18 have been positive and the company is now upgrading its FY18 guidance (excluding Camperdown) to a target of 15-20% revenue growth (from 5-10%) and 17-20% EBITDA margin (from 15-20%). Very positive result for BAL which not long ago was staring at a near death experience. The announcement yesterday of the ASIC settlement is also a positive.
  • Bank of Queensland (BOQ) +1.16%Good results this morning. he bank reported annual cash earnings of $378m, above the consensus forecast of $361m. The bank will also pay a special dividend on top of a fully franked final dividend maintained at 38¢ per ordinary share, in line with forecasts, bringing the total dividend before the special to 76c.
  • Transurban (TCL) +0.91% collected $567 million in toll revenue in the three months to the end of September – up 10.5% on a year earlier. Average daily traffic lifted by 1.1%. It also said it was evaluating the 51% stake the NSW Government is proposing to sell.

ECONOMIC NEWS

  • Housing finance rose 4.3% in investor lending, its biggest gain since November. The gain, combined with a 0.1% tick up in lending commitments to owner occupiers – keeping that total, excluding refinancing of existing mortgages, at $15.2bn – lifted total housing finance 2.2% from July to $33.9bn, a new monthly high.

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BOND MARKET

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ASIAN MARKETS

  • Chinese steel futures dropped more than 2% to two-month lows, pressured by increased stockpiles after the Golden Week holiday as traders anticipated winter production cuts in Beijing’s fight against smog.
  • The most-active rebar contract for January delivery on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell as much as 2.5% to 3512 yuan ($US534) a tonne, its weakest since July 31. 14 steel mills in Wu’an city in China’s top steelmaking province of Hebei have been ordered to cut production to 50% of their blast furnace capacity from October 7 to tackle air pollution.
  • BMW AG is working on a deal to outsource the manufacturing of Mini cars in China to Great Wall, the country’s biggest SUV maker.
  • Kobe Steel parts used in Japan’s bullet trains failed industry standards, officials said.

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EUROPE AND US MORNING HEADLINES

  • Donald Trump places a lot of emphasis on the only poll of his performance that he considers matters.

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  • Meanwhile the IMF has lifted growth forecasts but also suggests that risks are rising too. Chief risk is the rise in long term rates in the US. The IMF urged China’s economic leaders to accelerate their efforts to curb the expansion of credit.

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  • The IMF also upset the US with a suggestion that major economies should raise taxes on high earners.
  • Here is a number to contemplate. Blackrock is the world’s largest fund manager and now looks after US$5.9 trillion. It has taken US$264bn just this year. Most of it is heading into ETF and passive investing. US$5.9 trillion.

And finally………………..

A man comes home and sees a note on the refrigerator from his wife. She wrote, “This isn’t working. I’m at my mother’s.” The man opens the fridge, the light turns on, and he says to himself, “What the hell? The fridge is working fine!”

 

I bought my wife a mood ring, and when she’s in a good mood the ring turns blue. But when she’s in a bad mood, it leaves a big red spot in the middle of my forehead.

 

When asked if they would have sex with Bill Clinton, 86% of women in D.C. said, “Not again.”

Have a lovely evening…Clarence is back on Sky Biz at 12pm tomorrow.

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