- ASX 200 follows Trump tariff tantrum down 44 to 5929.
- Post lunch rally saves blushes.
- High 5965 Low 5902. Volume average.
- Banks hold but big miners hit hard.
- Gold stocks hold up on safe haven buying.
- TLS continue to slide.
- Healthcare in the spotlight.
- AUD steady at 77.57c
- Bitcoin continues to climb US$11,051
- US futures down 58 as sentiment sours.
- Asian markets rattled on trade wars fears with Japan -2.55% and China CSI down 0.41%
Movers and Shakers
- BSL +0.80% shrugs off tariffs
- RIO -1.27% US trade sanctions.
- WGX +2.90% broker upgrade and roadshow.
- APE +1.50% airbag recall?
- NEC -3.02% profit taking.
- HVN -1.54% selling continues.
- ALU -4.13% profit taking.
- GXY -6.61% ORE -4.23% lithium unwinds.
- SDA -4.59% TA associates sell 13.1% at 545c
- SGH +33.18% low volume. Low liquidity.
- ISX +8.57% still in spotlight post livewire write up.
- AYS -9.09% not so amazing.
- BGA -1.19% broker upgrades
- Speculative stock of the day: Taruga Gold (TAR) -30.43% yesterday’s hero todays villain. Positive Spec of the day Venus Metals (VMC) +12.50% after a thick cobalt nickel discovery at the Youanmi project (good name).
- Biggest risers – DMP, WGX, SAR, DCN, GSC and SAR.
- Biggest fallers – SYR, HUB, SDA, GXY, SXL and KGN.
- Atlas Iron (AGO) – unchanged- Announced it has signed an agreement with Sinosteel to export lithium from Pilbara Minerals’ Pilgangoora project. It said it will use its logistics chain to handle the ore at a very low capital cost and without affecting current iron ore production. It will sell up to 1.5m tonnes over a 15- month period on a fixed price basis. And as part of the arrangement, Sinosteel will advance funds to cover prepayments due to Pilbara for mine development costs. Atlas says it expects to generate an operating margin of $15-20 per tonne and is on track to commence first exports in the June quarter.
- Retail Food Group (RFG) – trading halt- The stock will return from its suspension on Monday. Underlying net result of NPAT of $24.7m down 31.8%. The company is making a non-cash impairment of $138m reporting a loss of $87.8m. Net debt was $259.7m and in the only good news is in compliance with its debt covenants. The company has called the outlook challenging.
- Speedcast (SDA) -4.59% TA Associates has sold down its 13% stake in the company at 545c
- HIA Housing data today showed sales of detached housing fell 2.1%. Now 14.9% below cyclical peak. HIA is forecasting detached housing completions to fall 5.1% this year. It expects a larger 15% drop for multi-unit construction.
- Sales in NSW fell 5.7%m leaving them down 0.8% on a year earlier.
- Victorian sales also slipped, falling 4.4% from December.
BOND MARKET UPDATE
ASIAN MARKETS NEWS
- Toyota Motor Corp said on Friday US tariffs on imported steel and aluminum would substantially raise costs and therefore prices of cars and trucks sold in America, Reuters reports. Toyota added that more than 90 percent of the steel and aluminum purchased for cars built in the United States is sourced from the country.
- The Chinese steel industry is furious, offering a powerful, early taste of the global antagonism that the curbs are likely to cause.
- South Korea, home to steelmakers including POSCO, is going into lobbying mode.
- The unemployment rate in Japan fell to the lowest level in nearly a quarter-century in January as the ratio of open jobs to applicants remained at the highest level since the early 1970s.
EUROPE AND US MORNING HEADLINES
- Donald Trump’s decision to impose a 10% tariff on imported aluminium and 25% on steel is “bad policy at a bad time and will only add to the risk of a trade war” according to Shane Oliver, chief economist at AMP Capital Investors.
- Mexico will retaliate if Trump’s tariff p[lan includes them.
- Italian elections this weekend. Another potential pinch point. Remember how the market got its knickers in a twist over Greece?
- The rich are getting richer. No trickle down.
- Qualcomm has got the backing of a large investor to reject the advances of Broadcom’s $142m hostile takeover.
Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods are playing the 16th hole when Tiger’s tee shot lands behind a huge, 100-foot fir tree. Tiger looks at Jack and says, “How would you play this one? Lay up and take the extra stroke?”
Jack replies, “When I was your age, I’d just play right over this tree.”
Tiger, not wanting to be shown up by his historic rival, proceeds to hit the ball high, but not high enough. It bounces off the tree and lands out of bounds. Tiger, really ticked at this point, asks Jack how he ever hit a ball over that tree.
Jack replied, “Well, when I was your age, that tree was only three feet tall.
Have a great weekend…enjoy the ride and stay nimble…