Beware the Ides of March!

Today’s Headlines

  • ASX 200 starts week down 34 to 5895.
  • Trade war tweet threats weigh.
  • High 5927 Low 5890 Volume low.
  • Risks grow and enthusiasm wanes.
  • Banks hit as CBA cops another ASIC breach.
  • BHP and miners suffer.
  • Gold miners better on risk off.
  • AUD steady at 77.50c
  • Bitcoin continues to climb US$11,549
  • US futures down 112 as sentiment sours.
  • Asian markets fall on trade wars fears with Japan -0.79% and China CSI down 0.12%


Movers and Shakers

  • MSB +2.90% US interest.
  • MYR +15.00% strange move on big volume.
  • KGN -3.35% profit taking.
  • SGH +40.57% thin volume.
  • RFG -36.52% disaster strikes.
  • PDN –15.38% ceasing to be a substantial shareholder.
  • ISD -6.00% sell off continues.
  • WHA -9.17% AFR article.
  • NEC +3.56% rally continues.
  • MGC -2.41% Saputo to sell assets to satisfy AAAC.
  • RRL +2.29% change in substantial shareholder.
  • WHC +3.87% broker upgrade.
  • NWL – unchanged – positive media comments.
  • PLS -5.68% profit taking.
  • CSL +0.64% quality defensive and broker upgrade.
  • BLA – trading halt – $100m equity raising.
  • TCL -0.86% bond proxy sell off.
  • CWN -2.31% Casino licence under threat according to media reports.
  • TLS +0.92% defensive buying and conference optimism on 5G.
  • Speculative stock of the day: Patrys (PAB) +60.61% investor interest following successful trials
  • Biggest risers – VAH, LYC, DCN, WHC, RSG and NEC.
  • Biggest fallers – CLQ, SKI, GSC, ZEL, PLS and WGX.


  • Lynas (LYC) +4.76% 1H profit A$63m versus loss of $19.3m. Adjusted EBITDA increased to $85.5m versus $2.1m. Revenue growth of 75% to $200.9m due to higher sales volumes and higher selling prices. Operating costs were constant at $133.9m and debt was cut to $236.5m in January.
  • Oil Search (OSH) – 0.42% Released announcement today on the impact last week’s earthquake had on its PNG LNG Project. Operator ExxonMobil has said that it may take around eight weeks to repair and restore production caused by the magnitude 7.5 earthquake that struck the PNG highlands last week. There has been minimal impact on its Gobe production facilities and the liquids export pipeline and offshore facilities remain undamaged. Further, damage to OSH’s Central Processing Facility is less than feared and set to be operational again in one to two weeks.
  • Retail Food Group (RFG) -36.52% The stock returned from its suspension. A loss for the half of $87.8m, compared with a profit of $32.7m in the first half of the 2017 financial year. Closure of up to 200 stores. Non-cash impairments of $138m. RFG said on Friday that it was suspending dividend payments until further notice.
  • Aussie Framers Direct falls into administration.


  • The Australian Industry Group’s Performance of Services Index (PSI) fell 0.9 points to 54 points in February, but remains above the 50-point expansion indicator which signifies an acceleration in expansion.
  • A survey by Australia and New Zealand Banking Group showed total job advertisements dipped 0.3% in February, from January when they jumped 6.2%
  • The average total number of ads per week was 177,284, up a brisk 13.3% compared to a year ago.

Australia Inc. ended 2017 very well with companies reporting the second-largest surge in pre-tax profits for a fourth quarter on record, while wages rose faster than 1% for a third-straight quarter. Pre-tax profits rose 19 % in the final three months of the year from the previous quarter, the biggest increase in a year, while wages rose 1%, the ABS reported today.

company profits.png

More from the ABS

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  • The number of dwellings approved rose 0.1% in January 2018, in trend terms, after falling for the previous three months.
  • The value of total building approved fell 1.4% in January, in trend terms, and has now fallen for four months. The value of residential building rose 0.5% while non-residential building fell 4.7%.

dwelprivate sector


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China set a 2018 growth target of around 6.5% at National People’s Congress in Beijing.

Other key economic objectives included:

  • Retail sales growth of about 10%
  • Consumer prices will rise about 3%, the same as last year’s ceiling
  • Creation of 11m new urban jobs, the same as last year
  • Yuan exchange rate to remain stable at an equilibrium level.
  • Military outlays are expected to rise 8.1% to 1.11 trillion yuan (US$175 billion) this year, the Chinese Ministry of Finance said today. Aggressive moves.



  • Italian elections – Looks like a hung parliament with Five Star and Northern League gaining votes.
  • No exemptions for US steel tariffs. Trade war risks grow in tit for tweet escalation.
  • Merkel finally forms a government after four months.
  • Libya’s Sharara oil field has stopped pumping crude oil. The exact cause of the pipelines closure is unknown.

And finally………………..

Two blondes are walking in the park and come up on a set of tracks
One blonde says I think these are bear tracks, the other blonde argues they are deer tracks
They were still arguing when the train hit them.


My Granddad died last week because our family couldn’t remember his blood type. He kept telling us to be positive, but it was such a sad day.


So there’s a man and a woman in a bar and the man turns to the woman and says “Hey, I’ve got this magic water that can make me fly.” Then the woman says “I don’t believe you. Show me.”
So the man downs a magic water and gets on the top of the roof, jumps off, and flies back on. The woman says “Wow! Do that again!”
And so the man goes back downstairs to drink another magic water, gets back on the roof, jumps off, flies back on. The woman says
“Whoa! I gotta try that for myself!” The woman goes downstairs, asks the bar tender for some magic water, drinks it, gets on the roof, jumps off, and dies.

When the man comes back downstairs the bar tender says to him,
“You know Super Man, you’re a real jerk when you’re drunk.”




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