- ASX 200 up 8 points to 5760
- High 5764 Low 5729.
- Mixed performance but banks finding some support.
- Pockets of green but no real theme.
- Miners drift lower as CSL rallies again.
- Energy pushing ahead but STO drifts.
- AUD rises to 77.03c
- Bitcoin bounces to US$7320.
- US futures down 81 points
- Asian markets firm with Japan up 0.18% and China CSI up 0.88%
Movers and Shakers
- BLA -18.56% outlook turns cloudy on Glaucus issue.
- AAC -8.20% trading outlook and strategic review.
- LOV -6.00% change in substantial holding and trading update.
- GEM -4.23% former chair gets charged by Police. GEM not involved.
- UPD -5.36% sell off continues.
- CSR +3.14% broker upgrades.
- APT -5.83% talks under-age drinkers and borrowers.
- BAL +7.12% change in substantial shareholding.
- XRO +2.68% broker upgrade.
- AGL -0.09% approached to sell Liddell to Alinta.
- RFG -9.68% continuing to be heavily sold off.
- STO -0.85% concerns rise on political risks to takeover.
- BPT +2.85% enjoying STO limelight and SXY -2.35% drilling report.
- IVX +20.00% big volume as punters pile in.
- SWM -2.80% staff defect to NEC -0.90%
- COE +5.0% about time.
- Speculative stock of the day: Finders Resources (FND) +30.00% after announcing board and management changes with Colin Moorhead joining as a non-executive chair plus David Fowler joining as acting CEO.
- Biggest risers – BAL, A2M, SFR, WSA, SM1, NWL and CSR.
- Biggest fallers –BLA, AAC, LOV, APT, SGF and UPD.
- Blue Sky investments (BLA) –18.56% MD to hold a conference this morning, after denying claims made by Glaucus last week, calling the report “materially misleading”. The stock will resume trading today. Despite the vehement denials of the research report and a reference to ASIC the share price has been hit hard today. The question for investors or traders is do you believe a US-based short fund research piece or the company, its auditors and accountants together with their partners in some of the investments.
- Afterpay (APT) -5.83% the company updated the market today. Quarterly update to come next week but commented on recent speculation on systems and processes together with the intentions of founder’s escrowed shares. Responsible customer spending is a key focus for APT. Net transaction loss is 0.7% in HYFY18 which is low compared to the industry standard. Afterpay is upgrading its procedures to curtail any alleged under age usage of its service by dishonest users. Customers are legally required to confirm their identity and date of birth at sign-up.
- Flight Centre (FLT) -1.07% Following a long-running legal battle with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Flight Centre has been fined over five breaches of the Trade Practices Act between 2005 and 2009. Fines totalled $12.5m.
- James Hardie (JHX) -0.62% Completed acquisition of German-based xi Holdings. Lifts its European footprint.
- G8 Education (GEM) – Sold off heavily after it was revealed that former chair Jenny Hutson had been charged with multiple offences relating to the takeover of Affinity Education. Hutson left GEM -4.23% in October 2015 and GEM has stated it has not been questioned by Police or has anything to do with the charges since 2016. Not a great look for a business already under pressure on increasing competition. Avoid.
- ACCC approved Canadian company Saputo’s bid for dairy group Murray Goulburn (MGC) +0.53%
- Retail sales lift in Feb, up 0.6%, above expectations of 0.3%. The number was helped by a rebound in department store sales following several weaker months.
- Building approvals fell 6.2% in February, driven by a large fall in apartments. The forecast for housing is still soft as regulation regarding mortgage lending continues to weaken investor demand.
BOND MARKET UPDATE
ASIAN MARKETS NEWS
- Caixin’s composite PMI covering both the manufacturing and services sectors showed a similar pattern of softer growth, falling also to a four-month low of 51.8 in March, from the previous month’s 53.3.
- A report by Chinese jobs website Zhaopin showed competition among white-collar workers for jobs intensified in the spring. The increase in job seekers versus jobs resulted in a drop in average monthly salaries for the first time since the second quarter of 2017, to 7,629 yuan ($1,213). That was a 2.1%t decline from the previous quarter.
- Beijing announced plans to implement preferential tax policies for producers of generic drugs sending Chinese pharma companies significantly higher.
- Meituan-Dianping has bought China’s top bike-sharing company, Mobike in a deal that brings together two of the country’s biggest unicorns, both of which are backed by tech titan Tencent.
- Has to be quote of the week from the Chinese Embassy on the looming trade war. “As the Chinese saying goes, it is only polite to reciprocate”.
EUROPE AND US MORNING HEADLINES
- The board of WPP has appointed an independent counsel to investigate allegations of “personal misconduct” made against its chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell.
- A daily poll from Rasmussen Reports reveals President Trump’s rating at 49% up from 42% in January. The S&P 500 has fallen by a similar amount in that time.
- France’s rail network is in for some serious disruptions as staff at SNCF go on a rolling three-month strike against Macron’s labour reforms. Big test for new President.
And finally……………if you want to see Clarence playing in his band The Allsorts Kave Bar Newport Beach Saturday Night 9pm..until then….
A shipwrecked golfer made the best of his tiny island.
When a cruise liner spotted his distress signals and sent a boat to investigate, the landing party was amazed to find a crude but recognizable nine-hole golf course that the castaway had played with driftwood woods, a whalebone and coral putter and balls carved out of pumice stone.
“Quite a layout,” said the officer in charge of the rescuers.
“You’re too kind. It’s very rough and ready,” the goatskin-clad golfer responded. Then he smiled slyly. “I am, however, quite proud of the water hazard.”
And today’s sexist joke….
MALE VS FEMALE AT THE CASH MACHINE
A new sign in the Bank reads:
‘Please note that this Bank is installing new Drive-through cash machines enabling customers to withdraw cash without leaving their vehicles.
Customers using this new facility are requested to use the procedures outlined below when accessing their accounts.
After months of careful research, MALE & FEMALE Procedures have been developed. Please follow the Appropriate steps for your gender.’
1. Drive up to the cash machine.
2. LOWER your car window.
3. Insert card into machine and enter PIN.
4. Enter amount of cash required and withdraw.
5. Retrieve card, cash and receipt.
6. Raise window.
7. Drive off.
(Unfortunately, most of this is the Truth.!!)
1. Drive up to cash machine.
2. Reverse and back up the required amount to align car window with the machine.
3. Put hand brake on, put the window down.
4. Find handbag, remove all contents on to passenger seat to locate card.
5. Tell person on mobile phone you will call them back and hang up.
6. Attempt to insert card into machine.
7. Open car door to allow easier access to machine due to its excessive distance from the car.
8. Insert card.
9. Re-insert card the right way.
10. Dig through handbag to find diary with your PIN written on the inside back page.
11. Enter PIN .
12. Press cancel and re-enter correct PIN.
13. Enter amount of cash required.
14. Check make-up in rear view mirror.
15. Retrieve cash and receipt.
16. Empty handbag again to locate purse and place cash inside.
17. Write debit amount in cheque book and place receipt in back of it.
18. Re-check make-up.
19. Drive forward 2 feet.
20. Reverse back to cash machine.
21. Retrieve card.
22. Re-empty hand bag, locate card holder, and place card into the slot provided!
23. Give dirty look to irate male driver waiting behind you.
24. Restart stalled engine and pull off.
25. Redial person on mobile phone.
26. Drive for 2 to 3 miles.
27. Release Hand Brake.