- ASX 200 loses 13 in a flip flop day.
- High 5958 Low 5909 Good volume
- Banks hit again as RC heats up
- Jobs numbers miss slightly
- Trump slaps a new tariff on China tech US$50bn?
- Miners and energy stocks save the day
- TLS sags with consumer staples and CSL
- AUD blips to 77.45c on jobs and Powell
- Bitcoin steady at US$8,996
- US futures up 8
- Asian markets mixed with Japan up 0.68% and China CSI down 1.06%
Movers and Shakers
- FNP +4.00% bounces back after capital raise.
- ELD +4.77% showing signs of life.
- AWC +4.68% aluminium price increases and supply issues.
- SOL +2.57% half yearly report.
- IPH -3.10% substantial shareholder notice.
- FXJ -3.45% unwinds yesterday’s rise.
- DMP -2.34% stuffed crust.
- SM1 -2.52% profit taking.
- TPM – 2.01% broker downgrades.
- WPL +2.22% oil price rise.
- RIO -2.06% Swiss probe over bribes.
- CLV +10.13% broker upgrades.
- AUZ +10.00% now trading on US markets.
- BYE +8.33% SM71 update as equipment retrieved.
- KRC -12.12% concentrate optimisation.
- MYR -4.82% no way out.
- Speculative stock of the day: TNO +42.55% acquires a high-grade vanadium project in South Africa. The SPD vanadium project is a globally significant deposit at least according to the company.
- Biggest risers – AWC, FNP, MIN, ELD, HT1, and KGN.
- Biggest fallers – SIG, UPD, WEB, IPH, NWH and API.
- Sigma Pharmaceuticals (SIG) -7.39% Revenue $4.13bn down 5.4% with EBITDA of $92.8m up 4%. Dividend payout ratio of 96.5%. Results in line with guidance. Fully franked dividend of 2.5c. Net debt FY18 ending was $113.6m. Outlook statement has reaffirmed previous guidance of around $90m underlying EBIT.
- Thorn Group (TGA) -11.89% The company issued a trading update today on its Radio Rentals business. Installation volumes are 27% lower than the prior period. Cash profits now in the $17m range. The lower end of guidance.
- Brickworks (BKW) +2.84% Record first half profits after tax of $115.6m up 4%. Earnings 77.5cps. Dividend of 18c. Outlook statement forecasts strong building products business especially in NSW and VIC with price increases already implemented. The outlook for the property trust is also strong and the company appears optimistic on the coming year.
- Jobless numbers out today. January numbers revised down 12,500 from 16,000
- Employment rose 17500 missing estimates.
- Full-time employment increased 64,900 Part time employment fell 47,000 in February.
- Headline rate rose to 5.6% from forecasts of 5.5%
- The underemployment rate decreased by 1bps to 8.3% over the quarter.
TREND ESTIMATES (MONTHLY CHANGE)
- Employment increased 19,300 to 12,480,500.
- Unemployment increased 4,300 to 729,500.
- Unemployment rate remained steady at 5.5%.
- Participation rate increased by 0.1 pts to 65.7%.
- Monthly hours worked in all jobs decreased 1.4 million hours (0.1%) to 1,730.3 million hours.
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand held its cash rate at a record low 1.75% today.
ASIAN MARKETS NEWS
- The PBoC raised the interest rates it charges on 7-day reverse-repurchase agreements by five basis points, the central bank said in a statement. The PBOC hasn’t changed the benchmark one-year lending rate since October 2015.
- Forget our banks. China’s top banks are set to surge after two dismal years. Industrial and Commercial bank and its four biggest peers will report next week a combined net income of 952 billion yuan (US$150 billion) for 2017, an increase of 2.9% on year and the fastest expansion since 2014, according to Bloomberg. That’s forecast to pick up to 8.1% in 2018 as rising global interest rates boost margins.
EUROPE AND US MORNING HEADLINES
- The ‘Zuck’ has broken his silence on the Facebook/ Cambridge Analytical scandal. He is really, really sorry. Sad face emoji.
- Europe is getting serious with taxes and imposts on tech behemoths. Any company with global revenues of more than €750m and EU revenues above €50m faces a charge of 3% of those revenues. Should raise an extra €5bn. And much ire.
- GSK leads the race to buy a Pfizer health business for US$20bn.
- This is not going to end well but the new British Passport is going to be produced by a French/Dutch group. Brexiteers will be apoplectic.
- The new dot plot
England Beached as Bro in NZ
I had a difficult childhood…
Both my parents were dwarfs
They struggled to put food on the table.