ASX up 18 to 6264 as ex-divs are shrugged off. US futures down 38 as Huawei sues the US. A good performance today given the slew of ex-dividends including the two behemoths in BHP and RIO. 40 stocks in total went ex. Banks were mixed with ANZ down 0.1% % and CBA down 0.1%% whilst NAB rose % Consumer stocks benefitting from the change in rates outlook. CSL doing well again up 0.5% with bond proxy stocks in demand on rate cut hopes. REITs up in a similar vein. Even TLS were up 1.6 %. Volume was pretty strong and the market is holding its momentum despite many companies paying out divs. Positive sign. Retails sales missed expectation but Current Account very strong. AUD firms slightly to 70.50c

Todays Highlights

  • ASX 200 up 18 to 6264
  • High 6271 Low 6244. Narrow range. Good volume.
  • Banks mixed and other financials hold fire.
  • Resources under dividend pressure though BHP and RIO make up some ex-divs.
  • Bond proxy stocks firm on more rate cut calls.
  • AUD firms to 70.50c
  • Bitcoin stronger at US$3880
  • Aussie Gold firms to $1824
  • US futures down 50
  • Asian markets weaker with Japan down 0.89% and China down 0.90%

STOCKS

  • NEA +5.56% brokers back buying.
  • CVN +2.44% broker comments.
  • CCP +2.77% sector recovery.
  • ELD +3.34% CGC+4.63% berries are up.
  • SUL +4.81% Appointment of MD Sports.
  • WTC -2.27% profit-taking.
  • BUB -6.04% warm and fuzzy rally wears off.
  • SPT +10.70% streaking ahead. Big valuation.
  • BYE +9.52% completes SM58 acquisition.
  • Speculative Stock of the Day: Red Emperor Resources (RMP) +75.44% A drilling update from Alaska as total depth has been reached. Pre-drill targets intercepted. Multiple pay zones identified, more to come.88E is the operator +43.75%.
  • Biggest Rises: NEA, SUL, CGC, MP1, KMD and ELD
  • Biggest falls: WPP, KDR, FXL, CIA ,MGX and ASL.

TODAY

  • Rhipe Limited (RHP) –1.13% Chairman Mike Hill has retired. He will be replaced by Gary Cox as Chair and non-executive director effective March 26. Cox has held senior leadership roles with Microsoft and EMC across his 30 years working in the technology industry in the UK, US, Asia and ANZ.
  • Phil Chronican has turned down the CEO job at National Australia Bank (NAB) +0.82% in favour of becoming chair following Ken Henry’s departure later this year when the CEO has been found.
  • CIMIC Group (CIM) +1.19% have secured a $172m contract extension for Thiess, their global mining services provider, from Bayan Resources. The 12-month contract extension will allow the company to expand operations at Melak in Indonesia and extends the contract to 2023.

ECONOMIC NEWS

  • Domestic retail sales were soft in January, weighed down by a large drop in department store sales (down 2.1% following a 1.3% fall in December). The headline number missed forecasts of a 0.3% lift, with growth edging up only 0.1%. The result continues to feed the RBA’s concerns of economic slowdown following a less than stellar GDP number on Wednesday. Some newswires have even started to suggest the market has already priced in a rate cut by the end of the year.

  • In other economic news, Australia’s trade surplus has surged to $4.55bn in January from an upwardly revised $3.77nm in December, well above expectations on a $3bn surplus and marking the biggest trade surplus on record. Exports were up 5% and Imports were 3% firmer.

BOND MARKETS

  • 2-Year bond yields up 1 bps to yield 1.66%
  • 5-Year yields unchanged at 1.69%
  • 10-Year yields down 1bps to yield 2.08%

ASIAN NEWS

  • Huawei launches legal action against the US.
  • Chinese tech company Xiaomi Corp will offer the first local 5G mobile in May or June. 5G will be a game changer for China.
  • Trade talks going well apparently. So says, everyone. The deal is done it’s just now who saves the most face.
  • China Development Bank is going to play a new role in resolving hidden and off-balance sheet local government debt.
  • The world’s biggest spenders are Chinese tourists but it is slowing rapidly. Chinese authorities want the tourists to buy luxury goods at home rather than on their holidays. The government has reduced taxes on imported goods to encourage its  citizens to buy domestically. It’s also cracking down on daigous who buy products like designer handbags overseas for customers in mainland China. It’s a group that accounted for an estimated $6bn in sales in 2016.

  • Japanese chipmaker Renesas fell on Thursday after a media report said the company is planning major production cuts because of a sharp downturn in chip demand from China.

EUROPEAN AND US NEWS

  • Trump is hoping that a trade deal will give the Dow a major shove. Must be close. But so is everyone else.
  • The Federal Reserve has relaxed its stress test rules and capital buffers. Good for US financials.
  • Trump has said he will be very cross if the North Koreans are rebuilding its launch facility.
  • In the UK the latest vote will be lost again as talks in Brussels have collapsed again. How many days to hard crash out? That’s right 22 days.

And finally…………Cos its Clarence’s Birthday!!!Some extra gags from the great Mr Cooper.

So I knocked on the door at this bed & Breakfast and a lady stuck her head out of the window and said: ‘What do you want’, I said, ‘I want to stay here’. She said, ‘Well stay there’ and shut the window.

I’m on a whiskey diet. I’ve lost three days already. ”

Man went into a bar. He went ‘Ouch’. It was an iron bar.”

“Man went into a bar, he only had one arm. Guy sitting next to him said ‘Hey, you’ve got your sleeve in my drink’, man replied, ‘There’s no (h)arm in it’ ”

‘I had a meal last night. I ordered everything in French, surprised everybody.It was a Chinese restaurant.

I said to this Chinese waiter, ‘Look, this chicken I got here is cold. ‘He said, ‘It should be, it’s been dead two weeks.’

I said, ‘Not only that. ‘I said, I said… I said it twice, I said, ‘He’s got one leg shorter than the other. ‘He said, ‘What do you wanna do with it, eat it or dance with it?’

I said, ‘Forget the chicken, give me a lobster, and he brought me this lobster. I said just a minute, he’s only got one claw. ‘He said ‘Well he’s been in a fight. ‘I said, ‘Well give me the winner.’

I went to the doctors. He said ‘What appears to be the problem?’.
I said ‘I keep having the same dream, night after night, beautiful girls rushing towards me and I keep pushing them away’.
He said ‘How can I help?’.
I said ‘Break my arms!’

I went to the doctor the other day
I said ‘have you got anything for wind’
so he gave me a kite.

Tommy Cooper was introduced to the Queen after a Royal Command Performance.
‘Do you think I was funny?’ said Tommy.
‘Yes Tommy,’ said the Queen.
‘You really thought I was funny?’, said Tommy.
‘Yes of course I thought you were funny’ said the Queen.
‘Did your Mother think I was funny?’ said Tommy.
‘Yes, Tommy…’ said the Queen, ‘…we both thought you were funny.’
‘Do you mind if I ask you a personal question?’ said Tommy.
‘No, …” said the Queen, ‘….but I might not be able to give you a full answer.’
‘Do you like football?’ said Tommy.
‘Well not really ‘ said the Queen.’
‘In that case, …’ said Tommy, ‘….do you mind if I have your Cup Final Tickets?’

 

Clarence

XXXX

mt_tryforfree

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