- ASX 200 gains 14 to 5950 as banks regain some poise.
- High 5963 Low 5935
- Banks breathing some sighs of relief.
- Energy stocks enjoy oil spike
- Broad market still Waiting for Godot
- Tax cut edges closer
- RIO sells coal assets. MYR sells little
- Iron ore down 16% this month
- AUD slips below 77c to 76.98c
- Bitcoin rallies to US$9070
- US futures up 13
- Asian markets semi closed with Japan shut and China up 0.76%
Movers and Shakers
- FSF -0.36% CEO resigns and first half loss.
- RIO -unchanged – rules out special dividend.
- MQG +0.74% continue to push up, avoiding RC.
- TPM +3.82% broker upgrade.
- BSL +4.39% daily share buy-back.
- BIN – unchanged – talks up Queensland numbers.
- DMP -1.49% sellers appear.
- SEK -0.05% broker downgrade.
- FNP -3.29% capital raise.
- WES -0.81% still sagging.
- IVX +7.41% good momentum after yesterday’s positive announcement
- MOC-1.32 % still under pressure.
- SIV +6.23% finally some bargain hunters.
- BYE +10.77% oil price helps as cashflow looms.
- NHC +2.38% coal asset valuations
- WHC +8.79% misses out on Rio assets.
- IVC -2.49% sellers take the opportunity.
- Speculative stock of the day: CLV +23.44% after releasing very good results. Revenue up 60% to $31.0m Omega 3 gummies doing well. Tuna oil a big seller 71% of sales.
- Biggest risers – SM1, WHC, KDR, NUF, BSL and APX.
- Biggest fallers – CVW, NCZ, MSB, FNP and NGI
- Crown Resorts (CWN) -0.92% said billionaire and major shareholder James Packer has resigned from the company’s board due to personal reasons, without disclosing any details. “We have appreciated James’s contribution to the board and respect his decision to step down from his role as a director at this time,” said Executive Chairman John Alexander in a statement. Crown said earlier this month that Mr Packer’s investment vehicle, Consolidated Press Holdings, would seek to sell shares in Crown to maintain a 47% ownership stake in the company. The sale came as Crown was implementing a share buyback, which reduces the total shares outstanding. Crown also said earlier this month that it was under investigation by the Victoria gaming regulator for a trial involving the use of “blanking buttons” on electronic gaming machines.
- Nufarm (NUF) +5.45% 1H net profit of $12m down 40% on year. Group revenues increased by 7.4% to $41.46bn despite a period of little to no growth in the overall industry. The performance reflected sales growth in North America, Europe, Asia and the company’s seed business. Revenues were generally in line with the prior period in Australia/New Zealand, but lower in Latin America. 1H earnings were impacted by production interruptions due to the planned upgrade of its Laverton manufacturing plant and challenging operating conditions in Brazil. EBITDA was down 4% to $123.2m, and EBIT fell 11.8% to $75.0m, in line with guidance. FY18 underlying EBIT is expected to rise by 5 – 10%. The company announced it has completed its Century portfolio acquisition and will now be integrated into the business.
- Synlait (SM1) +14.59% The company has announced a record first-half result of $40.7m NPAT. This compares to $10.6m and shows the huge benefit of the deal with A2M as its exclusive partner in Australia, NZ and China. Net debt was $49.7m being a substantial reduction from $147m in FY17.
- Myer (MYR) -3.49% Results today show the bad news was somewhat in the price. Focus on the online market with news on a new selling technique on Instagram. Sales declined 3.6% to $1.7197bn. Online sales grew 48.9% to $105.2m. Margins declined by 5.5%. No dividend.
- Australian home loan arrears rose in January according to the Standard & Poor’s Performance Index for Australian prime mortgages, which increased to 1.30% from 1.07% versus December 2017.
- The Westpac-Melbourne Institute Leading Index rose from positive 0.68%in January to positive 1.30%in February.
- The growth proxy indicates the economy’s prospects are improving for the first half of 2018. Westpac forecasts growth in 2018 of 2.7% and 2019 of 2.5%. The bank sees rates on hold in both 2018 and 2019.
ASIAN MARKETS NEWS
- Thailand exports up 10.3% ahead of forecasts.
- Fitch reaffirms China A+ rating. Notes caution on possible trade wars.
- Tencent is now worth US$72bn more than Facebook.
EUROPE AND US MORNING HEADLINES
- FOMC report 5.00am our time.
- Facebook faces FTC probe. Like? No. Cambridge Analytics CEO suspended.
- Salesforce has confirmed it will acquire Mulesoft in a deal valuing the network software maker at US$6.5bn.
- Toyota has suspended trials of self-drive cars.
- Nick Sarkozy has been taken into custody in France over alleged Libyan funds scandal.
The argumentative drunk in the club bar had been looking for a fight all afternoon since losing his match. Finally, he threw a punch at the player on the nearest barstool.
The mark ducked and the drunk, losing balance, fell off of his stool and onto the floor. By the time he’d untangled himself from the barstool’s legs and dusted himself off, his opponent had left.
“Did you see that, barman?” he complained. “Not much of a fighter, was he?”
“Not much of a driver either, sir. He just hit your clubs with his truck,” said the bartender, gazing out the window.