Today’s Headlines

  • ASX 200 closes on highs up 31 points to 6121 on futures buying.
  • High 6121 Low 6078.Good volumes.
  • Banks and energy stocks in demand.
  • Bond proxies becalmed.
  • TLS takes hit in Silicon Valley.
  • WOW better on Coles slip.
  • AUD slips to 80.00c as USD gains ground
  • Bitcoin continues to fall to US$8669
  • US futures down 68.
  • Asian markets weaker with CSI 300 down 0.36% and Japan down 0.63 %.


Movers and Shakers

  • NXT +9.76% private equity takeover rumours.
  • MND +4.98% broker upgrade.
  • BPT +3.28% catching AWE optimism.
  • EVN +3.17% change in substantial shareholding.
  • STO +4.27% oil bounces. Shell (UK) result helps.
  • MLX +1.58% rebounds on higher metal prices.
  • GXY -5.60% change in substantial holding.
  • BIG -5.31% enthusiasm wanes.
  • VOC +4.50% rally continues.
  • AAD -unchanged- business update.
  • HLO -0.63% update on Magellan Travel Group acquisition.
  • KDR -5.00% profit taking.
  • MPL -3.27% broker downgrade.
  • SYR -4.34% broker downgrade.
  • CSL +0.88% rebounds after recent softness.
  • DCC -10.91% Bitcon fail.
  • KNO +12.50% momentum builds on Singtel contract.
  • Speculative stock of the day: Centaurus Metals (CTM) +70.00% scores exceptional Ni-Co project in Brazil.
  • Biggest risers – NXT, JHX, MND, STO, WGX and CTD.
  • Biggest fallers – GXY, AJM, BIG, SYR and KDR.


  • James Hardie Industries (JHX) +6.77% 3Q report. NPAT fell 12% to US$203.7m, first half dividend of US10 cents and for the North America Fibre Cement Segment group adjusted net operating profit was towards top line growth, up 6% to US$205.5 for the 3Qs. The CEO commented in North America higher prices and growth were the drivers although other areas missed expectations. The company also lifted the bottom end of its annual profit guidance range from US$245m to US$260m with the top end still at US$275m.
  • Telstra (TLS) +0.82% announced it expects a non-cash impairment of $273 after writing down all good will and other non-current assets of its US intelligent video business ‘Ooyala’ to zero. This comes after efforts failed to improve the business over the last 18 months. Not a huge significance but does show the inherrent risks in transforming to a tech company. Just makes it that bit harder to convince shareholders that it has a tech strategy and the benefits of international expansion. Not life threatening but a small negative.
  • Murray Goulburn (MGC) -unchanged- The ACCC has extended the date it will announce the outcome as to whether Saputo can acquire all of MG’s operating assets and liabilities. The date has moved from Feb 15 to March 1.
  • Macquarie Atlas Roads (MQA) -1.76% effective yesterday, have raised tolls on APRR and AREA motorways in Europe by 2.00% and 2.04% respectively.
  • Plenty of Cherries for Aristocrat (ALL) +% as the company has won a court case brought by a gambler for misleading payout numbers on machines.
  • BHP Billiton (BHP) +0.49% is seeking to accelerate the sale of its US shale unit and may be prepared to offer the assets in as many as seven packages. It values the assets at $US10bn but still favours a sale of the portfolio to a single buyer.
  • Former high flyers 1-Page (1PG) -suspended- has joined the weekend set with an acquisition of a German medicinal cannabis company. Board now officially on drugs.
  • Ardent Leisure (AAD) -unchanged- the company has updated the market on its Main Event and theme parks business. Main Event up 1.3% with positive momentum continuing in January. In theme parks, the business is expected to break even with attendances up 41.2% and revenue up 70.6%. The company is also booking a tax credit of around US$10m-US$13m as a result of the tax changes in the US.


  • Australian Q4 PPI +1.7% Y/Y and 0.6% Q/Q
  • NAB has slashed its outlook for house prices this year. NAB has cut its capital city house price growth forecast to just 0.7% this calendar year from 3.4% just three months ago. The biggest change, though comes in Sydney, where it is now predicting a 2.4% decline in house prices, in contrast to the 3.7% increase it expected for this year at the time of its last forecast in October.
  • Goldman Sachs is as bullish as ever on commodities, leading it to lift its forecasts over the next 12 months for copper, oil, iron ore and coal. Goldman lifted its 12-month target on copper to $US8000 a tonne, from $US7050 previously. It raised its six-month target on Brent to $US82.50 a barrel from $US62.
  • As for iron ore, Goldman increased its three-month target to $US85 a tonne from $US55; its three-month target for met coal is now $US220 a tonne from $US165. Goldman’s has a woeful track record though on its forecasts.


  • Japanese authorities have raided Coincheck, a week after the exchange lost $500m to hackers.
  • Alibaba has fallen the most in 18 months after results showed margins were falling. The Chinese e-commerce giant reported revenue that topped analyst estimates and raised its growth forecast for the 12 months ending in March to 55 to 56%. But operating margin shrank to 31% in the last quarter from 39% a year earlier. It will also buy 33%of Ant Financial, helping to clear the way for an initial public offering of the Chinese payments giant.


  • Plenty of analysis and movement to come in Apple, Google and Amazon following the numbers last night.
  • Equity funds have enjoyed their biggest monthly inflows on record, attracting about $100bn in January as investors chased the greatest start to the year for global stock markets in over three decades.
  • The typical cost of buying a home in a UK city has reached its least affordable levels in a decade, a report has found. The average house price across cities equated to seven times typical annual earnings in 2017.
  • Something Matt Comyn will be watching closely, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission has fined Deutsche Bank US$70m for rigging the ISDAfix in the US. The agency has levied more than $600m in fines.

And finally…………….sorry not very PC but its funny…


 A man went to Harley Street in London , having seen an advert for a Gynaecologist’s  Assistant.

Knowing that nowadays, job advertisers aren’t able to discriminate against the applicant’s gender, he was very interested, so he went in and asked the secretary for details.

She retrieved the file and read to him: “This job entails preparing ladies for the Gynaecologist. You will be responsible for helping them out of their underwear, laying them down and carefully washing their private areas, applying shaving foam to the necessary parts and removing all unwanted foliage, and finally, you’ll be required to rub in soothing oils, in preparation for the Gynaecologist’s examination.”

Then she told him “The annual salary is £65,000 and if you’re interested, you’ll have to go to Aberdeen “.

“My goodness!”, exclaimed the man, “Is that where the job is?”.

She answered, “No , that’s where the end of the queue is…”

Have a great weekend all…expect the market to struggle a bit more next week….




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