Today’s Headlines

  • ASX 200 climbs 20 points to 5964
  • High 5978 Low 5942. Quiet trade ahead of Labour Day holiday and NFP tonight.
  • North Korea and trade talks cheer markets.
  • The world just got a little safer.
  • ASX 200 up 42 points for the week.
  • Index changes in focus.
  • Banks lead gains as resources remain weak on metal prices.
  • Energy stocks fall on oil price woes.
  • Gold producers under pressure.
  • AUD slips slightly 77.91c
  • Bitcoin hit again to US$8732
  • US futures fire up then fade on Kim news, down 6.
  • Asian markets rally on North Korea/Steel, Japan up 0.16% and China up 0.33%.


Movers and Shakers

  • PTM +1.83% FUM announcement late Thursday.
  • UPD +10.78% company roadshow and broker comment.
  • NCZ +5.20% index changes
  • MSB -5.08%profit taking continues.
  • WGX -4.39% broker downgrade after NST deal.
  • TLS +1.47% finding support.
  • SYD +1.35% despite airport chaos.
  • BHP -1.73% metal and oil prices.
  • MYR -4.40% dropping out of ASX 200.
  • MNS +10.71% deal with Tanzanian government
  • LLC -0.06% broker downgrade.
  • TGH -0.57% broker downgrade.
  • NOX+6.91% FNN interview with CEO.
  • Speculative stock of the day: No standouts.
  • Biggest risers – AAC, GMA, UPD, NCZ, KGN and CLQ.
  • Biggest fallers – OMH, MSB, ILU, WSA and RSG.


  • Quiet day on corporate front.
  • Oz Minerals (OZL) -3.52% will get a new power line courtesy of South Australian power company, Electranet, with a $150m investment in the project. The new 270km high voltage power line is the centrepiece of a new energy strategy unveiled by OZL. This comes after BHP refused to share its power at Olympic Dam. New charges are expected to increase unit costs at Prominent Hill by up to 4% after mid 2020.
  • Royal Dutch Shell is planning to ramp up its exposure in the US shale oil with a US $10bn joint takeover of BHP’s American shale division. Shell is supposedly working with Blackstone, a US private equity company on the bid.
  • Index changes due to kick in March 19th


  • Nothing shaking but the trees.


  • The Bank of Japan stayed the course with its monetary stimulus at Governor Haruhiko Kuroda’s final policy meeting before his new term begins next month. Inflation still way off the pace though.
  • Japan has had eight quarters of economic growth and an unemployment rate of 2.4%, the lowest since 1993. Core inflation, which excludes fresh food, was 0.9% in January. Target is 2% by 2019. Tell ‘em they are dreaming.
  • People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan said market access reforms should be accelerated and the country can be more bold with opening up the economy.

Key Points on Chinese Inflation numbers

  • The producer price index rose 3.7% in February from a year earlier
  • That compares to a projected 3.8% rise in a Bloomberg survey, 4.3% in January
  • The consumer price index climbed 2.9% versus a forecast of 2.5%
  • That’s almost twice as fast as January’s 1.5% and the fastest pace since 2013.
  • On the month, consumer prices rose 1.2%
  • Food prices jumped 4.4%, consumer goods prices rose 2.5% and services jumped 3.6%


  • The European Central Bank’s deposit rate could be hiked to 0%September 2019. At least that is what UBS believes. Yes 0%. UBS is looking for a rise in rates to -0.2% in July 2019. Yes, you have to pay the bank for looking after your money. Daft or what.
  • KFC has switched the supply of 350 of its UK restaurants back to its original distributor, after a move to the German logistics group DHL last month prompted a chicken shortage.
  • US Non-farm payrolls 4.1% 190k jobs created but average hourly wages will be closely watched.
  • Amazon has fixed a bug that made its digital assistant Alexa laugh at odd times completely unprompted. The lunatic in the asylum.
  • Saudi Arabia’s Aramco signed a preliminary deal to pursue international gas opportunities with Royal Dutch Shell ahead of the US$2 trillion listing next year.
  • Elon Musk noted that China charges a 25% import duty on cars, 10 times the 2.5 % levy the US puts on China-built vehicles. Here in Australia we just call teh tariff a luxury car tax! Solves that issue nicely.

And finally………….

A young Naval Officer was in a terrible car accident, but due to the heroics of the hospital staff the only permanent injury was the loss of one ear.

Since he wasn’t physically impaired he remained in the military and eventually became an Admiral.

However, during his career he was always sensitive about his appearance.

One day the Admiral was interviewing two Navy Master Chiefs and a Marine Gunnery Sergeant for his personal staff. The first Master Chief was a Surface Navy type and it was a great interview.

At the end of the interview the Admiral asked him, “Do you notice anything different about me?” The Master Chief answered, “Why yes. I couldn’t help but notice you are missing your starboard ear, so I don’t know whether this impacts your hearing on that side.”

The Admiral got very angry at this lack of tact and threw him out of his office.

The next candidate, an Aviation Master Chief, when asked this same question, answered, “Well yes, you seem to be short one ear.” The Admiral threw him out also.

The third interview was with the Marine Gunnery Sergeant . He was articulate, extremely sharp, and seemed to know more than the two Master Chiefs put together.

The Admiral wanted this guy, but went ahead with the same question. “Do you notice anything different about me?”

To his surprise the Gunnery Sergeant said, “Yes. You wear contact lenses.” The Admiral was impressed and thought to himself, what an incredibly tactful Marine. “And how do you know that?” the Admiral asked. The Gunny replied, “Well sir, it’s pretty hard to wear glasses with only one ear.”

Have a good weekend




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