- ASX 200 climbs 41 points to 5943 as Trump softens stance.
- High 5943 Low 5896. Volume improving after quiet start.
- Banks lead charge. BHP ex–dividend.
- Healthcare rallies.
- AUD pushing ahead on export numbers 78.34c
- Bitcoin slips slightly to US$9,642
- US futures up 11 ahead of more tariff news.
- Asian markets rebound as trade risk slips Japan up 0.75% and China up 0.64%.
Movers and Shakers
- MSB -7.33% slight broker downgrade on interest costs.
- WTC +5.09% buyers return.
- DMP +3.48% buy back and CBA lodge substantial.
- ALU +5.02% half yearly accounts.
- COE -4.69% sell off on falling oil price.
- FLT -2.14% NAB cancels contract
- SPZ +7.58% directors interest.
- IEL -1.05% profit taking.
- AYS -9.39% selling continues.
- QBE +0.31% sells stake in AUB +1.03%.
- TGH -7.37% earnings update
- NBL +8.37% good volume buying.
- SUN -0.72% sale of interest in Tower.
- QUB +2.17% no ACCC opposition for MC acquisition.
- BSL -0.63% tariff optimism.
- Speculative stock of the day: Immuron (IMC) +64.91% positive results in NASH trials. Oral IMM-124E significantly reduces LPS helping with liver inflammation.
- Biggest risers –IPH, AJM, GMA, WTC, ALU and AX1.
- Biggest fallers – MSB, CIA, COE, VRL, AGI and FLT.
- Mantra (MTR) +1.16% The ACCC announced that it will not oppose Accor’s takeover of Mantra. In a statement, it said ‘The combined Accor-Mantra will still compete with other international and national hotel chains, as well as many independent hotels and accommodation providers…and will have a large number of properties in some areas, particularly in certain holiday destinations in Queensland. However, in each case and after a detailed review the ACCC has found that there are also sufficient other options nearby for visitors which will provide competition to Accor-Mantra’.
- Suncorp (SUN) -0.72% Subsidiary Vero Insurance, has sold its 19.99% stake in Tower for 80c per share to Bain Capital. The divestment follows the New Zealand Commerce Commission’s decision to decline the application by Vero to acquire 100% of Tower.
- Northern Star Resources (NST) +1.36% Has acquired Westgold Resources’ South Kalgoorlie Operations for A$80m. The acquisition comprises the project’s operating processing facility, which has an annual throughput capacity of 1.2mt, a JORC resource of 4Moz, including 250,000oz in reserves, and 800sqkm of prospective gold tenure. NST will pay Westgold (WGX) 9.5m NST shares at 630c per share, and A$20m in cash.
- Caltex (CTX) -0.69% Current Chairman of Cleanaway Waste Management, Mark Chellew has been appointed to the Caltex Board as a non-executive director.
- In trend terms, the balance on goods and services was a surplus of $94m in January 2018, a decrease of $55m on the surplus in December 2017.
- In seasonally adjusted terms, the balance on goods and services was a surplus of $1,055bn in January 2018, a turnaround of $2.201bn on the deficit in December 2017.
BOND MARKET UPDATE
ASIAN MARKETS NEWS
- Japan’s economy expanded at an annualised rate of 1.6% in the final three months of 2017, revised up from a preliminary estimate of 0.5% growth due to an upward revision to capital expenditure, the Cabinet Office said on Thursday.
- The revised gross domestic product figure compared with the median estimate of 0.9% growth in a Reuters poll of economists.
- The Financial Services Agency in Japan has issued business improvement orders to seven cryptocurrency exchanges as it launches a belated crackdown in the wake of a US$500m raid at one of the largest operators, Coincheck.
- China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi vowed a “justified and necessary response” to any efforts to incite a trade war.
- China’s February exports rose 44.5% from a year earlier, compared with analysts’ median forecast for a 13.6% increase, and an 11.1% gain in January.
- Imports grew 6.3 per cent, the General Administration of Customs said, missing analysts’ forecast for 9.7 % growth, and down from a sharper-than-expected 36.9% jump in January.
- Exports rose 24.4% on-year in Jan-Feb, much better than 10.8% in December and 4% growth in Jan-Feb last year.
- Coca-Cola is about to launch its first alcoholic drink in Japan.
EUROPE AND US MORNING HEADLINES
- UK. home prices were unchanged in February. Sluggish wage growth, high house prices, the prospect of higher interest rates and the decision to leave the European Union are undermining demand for property in the U.K.
- US winter storm forces mass cancellations of flights on east coast.
- US Steel is planning to restart steelmaking in Illinois.
- ECB Policy meeting tonight.
The wealthy are fabled for their grand style, but when one oil tycoon appreared at a local British golf course followed by a servant pulling a foam-cushioned chaise lounge, his opponents thought that this was taking style too far.
“J.R., are you going to make that poor caddie lug that couch all over the course after you?” they asked him.
“Caddie!?” explained J.R. “That’s my psychiatrist.”
Have a great evening peeps…