ASX 200 closes up 3.5 to 6386 showing a good performance despite thin trading. US futures down 3. After a soft start, the market found its feet in quiet holiday inspired trade. Banks once again the turnarounds with resources and energy under pressure. CBA the bank standout up 0.39%. Energy stocks led down by WPL down 1.47% and in iron ore miners BHP fell 1.57% with FMG off its lows but still down 5.4%. Healthcare stocks found friends with CSL up 0.39% and bond proxies were again strong as REITs rallied. The AUD remains under pressure and has given local gold producers a nice reason to bounce with NCM up 2.42% and EVN up 3.12%. The big story of the day was the profit cut for FLT which closed near its lows, down 11.70%. In Asia markets slipped a little and the AUD is testing the 70c level.

Todays Highlights

  • ASX 200 unchanged at 6382.
  • High 6388 Low 6362. Narrow range, thin volumes.
  • For the week ASX 200 up 125 points or 2%. Not bad.
  • Banks turn sentiment around ahead of results. Iron ore under pressure.
  • FLT fails to take off. Utilities/REITS continue in favour.
  • AUD falls to 70.24c on stronger USD.
  • Aussie Gold rallies to $1823 on lower dollar.
  • Bitcoin slides to $5189 on Tether cover-up allegations.
  • US futures down 3
  • Asian markets slightly weaker ahead of Japanese 10-day holidays. Japan down 0.54% and China down 0.83%

STOCKS

  • FLT -11.70% profit downgrade.
  • HLO -1.56% CTD -2.00% WEB -0.30% sector woes.
  • WOR -4.49% oil price falls.
  • FMG -5.39% iron ore falls.
  • DMG -4.32% stuffed crust fail.
  • JBH -3.21% consumer sentiment.
  • SAR +5.47% Australia gold price rebound.
  • URW +3.60% good financials.
  • GNC +2.89% CEO steps down.
  • NHC +2.18% some positive signs for coal in China.
  • RAP +22.58% trial rethink.
  • BYE +6.45% upcoming drilling.
  • BUB +10.26% substantial shareholder notice from C2 Capital
  • MEA UNCHANGED North Sydney expansion.
  • AHG -0.84% hires new chair.
  • Speculative Stock of the Day: Tinybeans (TNY) +26.38% on good volume after the company announced a new content platform. The new platform connects parents and allows them to share parenting tips as well as TNY to curate content relevant from around the world.
  • Biggest Risers: NGI, WGX, SAR, NAN, OMH and NEA
  • Biggest Falls: FLT, FMG, WOR, DMP, NCK and ASL

TODAY

  • Flight Centre Travel Group(FLT) -11.70% profit downgrade this morning. Underlying profit guidance is now $335-$360m, down from $390-$420m. The company has placed the blame on Australian leisure travel having not recovered in line with expectations.
  • Macquarie Group(MQG) +0.16% has put its 51% stake in Hobart airport up for sale. The process has attracted the interest of Spanish transport group Ferrovial. Currently the Spanish group is looking to sell its largest local investment in its service business Broadstream which it bought for $1bn in 2016. It is likely to face competition from local groups such as QIC and IFM with maybe AMP Capital in the running for the airport asset. The 51% stake is expected to be worth around $250m. The other owner Tasplan has 49% and is looking at its options.
  • GrainCorp(GNC) +2.89% Director Mark Palmquist has resigned from the company board effective immediately. Palmquist will remain GrainCorp CEO until the completion of the demerger of MaltCo, when it is intended he will be appointed Managing Director and CEO of MaltCo.
  • IOOF (IFL) -2.56% APRA has found some IOOF units have breached their licence conditions.

ECONOMIC NEWS

  • The chance of a rate cut in May is 67%. The chances in June are odds on. Get on.

BOND MARKETS

  • 2-Year bond yields up 1bps to 1.32%
  • 5-Year yields up 1bps to 1.38%
  • 10-Year yields down 1bps to 1.78%

ASIAN NEWS

  • Asian chip makers are on the nose following Intel slashing its revenue and earnings forecasts.
  • Japanese industrial production fell at its fastest pace in almost four years in March. 2/3rds of South Korea’s large cap companies that have so far reported, have missed forecasts. First quarter earnings have been lowered by 3.7%. Estimated earnings per share has fallen to the lowest level since the end of 2016.

EUROPEAN AND US NEWS

  • Amazon are looking to roll out one day shipping worldwide.
  • UK’s biggest steel works at Port Talbot has seen an explosion early this morning.
  • Uber is pitching its IPO at between US$44 to US$50.
  • Macron is now promising tax cuts for more French workers and significant reform. Yellow is his favourite colour now too.
  • The collapse of the merger talks between Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank will create significant uncertainty in Euro banking circles.
  • Spain heads to the polls on Sunday. Not going to clarify anything.
  • Daimler has reported falling sales in China and flat markets in Europe and the US. More issues for German car makers.
  • Double demerit points apply until Sunday night. Be careful out there.

And finally……………

Dave had tried to be particularly careful about his language as he played golf with his priest. But on the 12th hole, when he twice failed to hit out of a sand trap, he lost his resolve and let fly with a string of swear words.

The priest felt obligated to respond.

“I have observed,” he said in a calm voice, “that the best golfers do not use foul language.”

“I guess not,” said Dave. “What the hell do they have to swear about?”

 

A crowded city at a busy bus stop, a beautiful young woman wearing a tight leather skirt was waiting for a bus.

As the bus stopped and it was her turn to get on, she became aware that her skirt was too tight to allow her leg to come up to the height of the first step of the bus. Slightly embarrassed and with a quick smile to the bus driver, she reached behind her to unzip her skirt a little, thinking that this would give her enough slack to raise her leg. She tried to again take the step, only to discover that she couldn’t.

So, a little more embarrassed, she once again reached behind her to unzip her skirt a little more, and for the second time attempted the step.

Once again, much to her embarrassment she could not raise her leg. With a little smile to the driver, she again reached behind to unzip a little more and again was unable to take the step.

About this time, a large guy who was standing behind her picked her up easily by the waist and placed her gently on the step of the bus. The went ballistic and turned to the would-be Samaritan and screeched, “How dare you touch my body! I don’t even know who you are!”

The guy smiled and drawled, “Well, ma’am, normally I would agree with you, but after you unzipped my fly three times, I kind’a figured we were friends.”

 

Thanks to Unijokes for that one. http://www.unijokes

Clarence

XXXX

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