Today’s Headlines

  • ASX 200 improves as US futures gain. Up 20pts to 5809
  • High 5817 Low 5771.
  • Low volumes. Narrow range.
  • Banks find support as do defensives.
  • Healthcare and staples improve.
  • Miners positive but energy remains unloved.
  • New CBA CEO says sorry.
  • AUD firmer at 76.91c
  • Bitcoin higher at US$7128
  • US futures up 151
  • Asian markets slightly firmer with Japan up 0.74%, China CSI up 0.29%.

STOCK STUFF

Movers and Shakers

  • AGL -0.05%% Liddell continues to be an issue.
  • BLA +0.88% directors shoring up defences.
  • IPH +5.26% short squeeze.
  • MQA +4.60% investors like new arrangement.
  • AWC +6.28% supply issues help aluminium pricing.
  • MFG -0.52% UBS upgrades.
  • TAH+1.90% broker maintains buy.
  • SUN – unchanged- broker upgrades.
  • NAB -0.24% job cuts begin in central credit risk.
  • HVN -1.68% sell down continues.
  • MGG +3.09% weekly NAV.
  • SDA +2.68% new CFO appointed.
  • MIN -6.90% slips on AGO acquisition.
  • RAP +16.67% trading halt pending a trial result.
  • UPD -4.33% media comments on outlook.
  • Speculative stock of the day: New entrant Acrow Formwork (ACF) +59.38% has made a successful debut today in the market. Bell Potter raises $27m to give a market cap of $32.3m at 20c.
  • Biggest risers –AWC, IPH, MQA, ELD and NHC.
  • Biggest fallers –MIN, OMH, NWL, UPD, LOV and GSC.

TODAY

  • Macquarie Atlas Roads (MQA) +4.60% The company is moving to internalise management with an agreement with Macquarie (MQG) on the terms. Main points – No consideration to be paid to Macquarie – MQG will remain as manager for another year from May 2018 – New CEO and management team will be appointed – MQG will be paid $750k a month for a further six months – performance fees will continue until forthcoming and MQG will continue to receive fees for management of the APRR holding. The company will also change its name to Atlas Arterial and its code to ALX. Although no vote is required the company will put it to shareholders on 15th May at its AGM.
  • Mineral Resources (MIN) –6.90% Atlas Iron Directors unanimously recommend the proposed scheme for MIN to acquire AGO to its shareholders. The scheme outlines that each shareholder will receive 1 MIN share for every 571 AGO shares, implying an offer price of 3.02c per Atlas share, representing a 59% premium as of the April 4 closing price.
  • EBOS Group (EBO) – unchanged – A subsidiary of Ebos, Symbion, Australia’s largest Pharmacy wholesaler has signed an agreement with cosmetics developer and distributor, Bod Australia (BDA), to stock BDA’s entire range of natural medicines, pregnancy supplement and skincare range.
  • Murray Goulburn (MGC) –unchanged- Respond to media release last Friday, which said Slater and Gordon have opened registration for a class action against Murray Goulburn, clarifying that no such action has commenced.

 

ECONOMIC NEWS

  • Performance of Construction Index was up 1.7 points to 56.0, rising for the 13th straight month. Drivers were a rise in both activity and new orders, particularly in housing. The increased demand supported employment and wage growth in the industry for the month.

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  • Sydney house prices continue to fall. Prices in Sydney are now down 2.6% from a year ago, a larger decrease than the 2.3% drop recorded in Perth over the same period.

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BOND MARKET UPDATE

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ASIAN MARKETS NEWS

  • Chinese artificial intelligence developer SenseTime has raised $600m in its latest funding round.
  • China will ban the sale of some sensitive technologies to North Korea.
  • Predictions that the Chinese fund industry will grow 500% by 2025 to US$7.5trillion.
  • HSBC uses AI to spot money laundering. CBA seem interested.

EUROPE AND US MORNING HEADLINES

  • Deutsche Bank head falls on his sword. John Cryan is exiting with Chrisitian Sewing taking up the helm.
  • US denies bombing Syrian airport.
  • Novartis is buying the AveXis company for US$218 a share in a US$8.7bn deal, representing a premium of 88% to AveXis’s closing price Friday. Novartis last month sold its stake in its consumer health-care joint venture to GlaxoSmithKline Plc for US$13bn.
  • The $4.2 billion Sequoia Fund bought a small position in Facebook Inc. as the stock slid late in the first quarter. Alphabet now top holding with 11% of its portfolio. Amazon is its seventh biggest holding.

 

And finally……………

While on a road trip, an elderly couple stopped at a roadside restaurant for lunch.

After finishing their meal, they left the restaurant, and resumed their trip.

When leaving, the elderly woman unknowingly left her glasses on the table,

and she didn’t miss them until they had been driving for about forty minutes.

By then, to add to the aggravation, they had to travel quite a distance before they could find a place to turnaround, in order to return to the restaurant to retrieve her glasses.

All the way back, the elderly husband became the classic grumpy old man.

He fussed and complained, and scolded his wife relentlessly during the entire return drive.

The more he chided her, the more agitated he became.

He just wouldn’t let up for a single minute.

To her relief, they finally arrived at the restaurant.

As the woman got out of the car, and hurried inside to retrieve her glasses, the old geezer yelled to her,

While you’re in there, you might as well get my hat and the credit card.

 

 

Clarence

XXXX

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