- ASX 200 down 4 to 5986 in quiet trade.
- High 6000 Low 5979.
- Banks weigh as resources upgraded.
- Sector rotation to defensives.
- TLS shines as NBN write off touted.
- US futures up 234.
- Aussie dollar at 76c
- Bitcoin hanging tough at US$11,448.
- Asian markets somewhat mixed as Japan falls 0.22% whilst China CSI 300 rises 0.76% and HK up 0.71%
- LOV +12.50% CFO appointment.
- AU8 +16.67% Small stock superstar.
- DCN +2.78% Investor presentation.
- GEM -23.08% profit downgrade.
- NTC +16.81% launch of new Network Connection Drive.
- LYCDA -4.19% consolidation weighs.
- BIG -3.94% profit taking continues.
- ORE -2.98% drill results.
- FCC -13.79% completes merger with Cobalt One.
- BHP +1.56% miners upgraded by broker
- RIO +1.24% new Chairman announced.
- WHA -12.43% profit taking.
- APT +7.50% broker recommendation.
- SYR +7.58% sales agreement signed.
- MTS +9.09% profit result and positive outlook. Hardware the star.
- GSW +19.44% Amazon deal in spotlight. Small stock superstar.
- Speculative stock of the day: Cape Range Resources (CFE) +41.38% on its 68m shares in Insiders insight European Lithium (EUR) +16.00%.
- Biggest risers – EWC, MTS, APT, SYR, LOV, MOE and AWC
- Biggest fallers – GEM, YAL, LYCDA, BLA, MIN and ORE.
- Metcash (MTS) +9.09% Announced half year results of revenue up 7.6% to $7.06bnProfit after tax of $92.9m up 24%. Strong performance from Mitre 10 driving the result. Outlook is positive with hardware the stand out and the group is hoping for synergies of between $20m-$25m by the end of FY18. In addition, liquor is growing well although food is a little challenging especially in SA and WA. Metcash declared its first interim dividend since 2014, paying out a fully franked 6c a share, after reducing net debt by $94m and ending the period with net cash of $14m. The dividend will be paid on January 19.
- G8 Education (GEM) –23.08% The company gave us an update today showing a recent slowing of occupancy growth of 77% compare3d to 79.7% for FY16. There appears to be supply issues in Western Sydney, Gold Coast and east Brisbane and Inner Melbourne and sluggish wage growth in North Queensland and other regional areas.
- Crown Resorts (CWN) -1.78% Class action launched by Maurice Blackburn after Chinese woes. It alleges that CWN failed in its continuous disclosure duties and engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct in statements about China.
- Rio Tinto (RIO) +1.24% has named former Anglo American executive Simon Thompson as its next chairman. Thompson has also been a director of US gold major Newmont and Swedish mining equipment company Sandvik, and will assume the role on March 5, 2018.
- ACCC has launched an inquiry into digital platforms, including Facebook and Google, and the impact they are having of competition in the media and advertising markets.
- China’s crude steel output is expected to rise 3% to 832 million tonnes this year, and by a further 0.7% in 2018. Output in 2018 will be 838 million tonnes, said the China Metallurgical Industry Planning and Research Institute (MPI) in a report.
- Iron ore futures rallied in China as momentum from the previous week’s recovery continued.
- According to Citi, “global growth to buttress raw material demand gains in 2018. Though China may slow, but capacity cuts and pollution curbs positive”.
- The Bloomberg Commodity Index has surged almost 10% since June and raw material assets under management grew nearly 20%.
EUROPE AND US MORNING HEADLINES
- The much-anticipated US tax cuts are expected to boost economic growth by around 0.3% next year and the year after according to Goldman Sachs.
- Venezuela will launch a cryptocurrency to combat what the leftist leader says is a financial “blockade” against the crisis-hit nation spurred by US sanctions. President Maduro said the OPEC member’s new currency, “petro,” will be backed by natural resources reserves although he did not provide details on the logistics of its roll-out.
- CVS Health to buy Aetna for US$69bn.
- Facebook has opened a new office in London and pledged to hire 800 new staff in the UK over the next year.