ASX 200 rallies 339 points to 5181 (+7%). After a tentative start, buyers emerged, although volumes were lighter meaning perhaps sellers stepped back and the buyers filled the void. Silliness at the close again as the index put on 120 points in the match out. Computer trading systems went beserk. Dow Sunday night futures started deeply in the red but rallied throughout the day, taking the ASX 200 with it. Currently up 40. News on the rescue packages continued and banks look to have got an APRA reprieve on Basel requirements for a year. The big action was in healthcare today with hope springing eternal on a cure, vaccine or treatment. CSL rose 12% accounting for 50 index points on its own, RMD up 6.9% and RHC up 11.8% as private surgeries surged to beat the deadline. Consumer stocks were dragged out and bought with WES up 11.3% and even ALL up 7.0% together with COL up 6.9% and WES up 11.3%. Financials were pushed higher by buying in the banks as the Big Bank Basket rose to $113.20. Elsewhere insurers did better, IAG up 10.9% and SUN up 10.4% as the avalanche of CV19 earnings forecasts are easing. MQG jumped 7.0% and MFG up 10.6%. Bond proxies still under a small cloud with TCL down 2.6% and SYD down 1.8% on distribution cut fears. Miners though missed some of the love, BHP managed a 4.0% rise and FMG reaffirmed production guidance and rose 5.2% whilst energy stocks struggled for traction. STO down 0.9% and CTX up 2.2% on a late rally. The tech sector lagged but not by much with the All Tech Index up 5.7%. In corporate news, ANN reaffirmed guidance as rubber glove sales grew although industrial gloves suffering from the slowdown, the stock rallied 25.1%. NEC +11.7% cheered the market as it confirmed that fear sells papers and TV ads. CGF up 11.67% after updating the market on its capital notes. In economic news, the government is readying yet another wage rescue package. It would be nice to see some cold hard cash rather than promises but sure it will happen. 10-year bond yields dropped to 0.75% and the AUD is seeing buying as money leaks out from USD havens. Asian markets ease with China down 1.6% and Japan down 3.3%
- ASX 200 up 339 to 5181. Late surge from computers adds 120 points at match out.
- High 5093 Low 4833. Volumes down.
- Dow futures modestly higher.
- CSL leads healthcare higher. Banks do well.
- Big Bank Basket up to $113.20
- 10-year bond yields steady at 0.75%
- AUD rises to 61.48c.
- Aussie gold falls to $2629
- Bitcoin tumbles to US$6029
- Asian markets ease with China down 1.6% and Japan down 3.3%
- ANN+25.08% gloves are off.
- COH +9.82% instos doing well after placement.
- CGF +11.67% capital notes update.
- NEC +11.70% fear sells.
- FPH +10.85% pumping it up.
- CGL +1.00% almost reaffirms. Almost.
- MGX -6.71% operational update.
- AUB -5.34% CV19 update.
- CAT -13.04% down to eight lives.
- RAP +46.43% Initial integration.
- WHC +12.61% becoming a substantial holder.
- PBH +18.71% buyers back again.
- ADH +28.47% bouncing back.
- NCK -2.60% shops to close.
- GSS +23.64% kits heading for approval.
- PET +15.85% management changes.
- FAR +20.00% agrees with WPL on Senegal case.
- Speculative stock of the day: Cellmid (CDY) +213.13% news of a distribution deal with a Chinese testing kit provider. Always sure to drag the punters in. Big volume.
- Biggest Rises: ANN, UMG, NXT, TGR, WHC, REA, ALX, and CSL
- Biggest Falls: MGX, IAP, EVT, CIP, AUB, AIA and ARF.
- Ansell (ANN) +25.08% has provided a COVID-19 business update, reiterating its FY20 guidance. ANN states that it is experiencing very strong demand for AlphaTec hand and body protection products. In addition to high demand for many of Microflex & TouchNTuff single-use examination gloves and for Gammex & Encore surgical gloves. However, this will be offset by declining demand for some industrial products, by temporary lockdowns, by export restrictions within the EU and elsewhere, by restrictions imposed to contain the spread of the virus combined with lowered economic growth outlook. FY20 guidance of EPS of 112-122c is maintained.
- Insurance Australia Group (IAG) +10.92% provides a business update with FY20 guidance unchanged. Last week the company announced several measures across its Australian business to support customers and suppliers, including deferred premium payments, travel insurance refunds, full refunds for small businesses that cancel their insurance, maintenance of full insurance cover and reduced payments times to suppliers. IAG has completed the sale of its 26% interest in SBI General in India. As a result, IAG will book a net profit on the sale of approximately $310m in H2 of FY20. The completed sale of the interest in SBI General has increased IAG’s regulatory capital position by nearly $450m.
- nib Group (NHF) +6.15% Health insurance premium increases (averaging 2.9%) were set to come in on April 1. This has been postponed until at least October to support members throughout the COVID-19 crisis.
- The Reject Shop (TRS) +6.25% CFO Darren Briggs to leave the company. TRS’s financial function will be led by Clinton Cahn, Head of Strategy & Corporate, with support from Tanya Lomax, Head of Finance.
- OM Holdings (OMH) -4.76% Defers half of its 1c dividend. Notes travel restrictions in Australia have the potential to impact its NT mining operations. Will pay 0.5c of the previously announced 1c final dividend on May 29.
- Challenger (CGF) +11.67% has provided a capital update, maintains FY normalised profit guidance of $500-550m. Challenger has additional financial flexibility and liquidity, including a group banking facility of $400m, which has been fully drawn and is being held in cash outside of Challenger Life. Challenger has the capacity to inject $250M of this facility into Challenger Life as regulatory capital – APRA has confirmed no objection to this.
- Sigma Healthcare (SIG) -2.36% appoints Wayne Johnston as Interim CFO.
- APN Property Group (APD) +6.25% withdraws FY20 distribution guidance. Notes a solid balance sheet position with limited drawn debt.
- SpeedCast International (SDA) – reports FY underlying NPAT ($27.9m) vs year-ago $8.5m. Revenue $722.3m vs consensus $733.2m. EBIT $16.9m ex-items vs year-ago $43.3m. A downturn in the cruise ship industry on the back of COVID-19 has had a negative influence on FY earnings. Unable to provide a reliable outlook.
- Pro Medicus (PME) +6.89% completes buyback; announces new buyback for up to 10% of shares over 12 months from April 1.
- Fortescue Metals (FMG) +5.21% FY20 shipping guidance continues towards the upper end of the 170-175 mt guidance range. Shipments continue from Port Hedland as scheduled.
- Seven West Media (SWM) -5.19% Bauer Media reportedly looking to restructure the $40m acquisition of Pacific Magazines from SWM.
- ARB Corp. (ARB) +4.53% Whilst trading during January, February and H1 of March 2020 was in line with guidance, ARB said it is not possible to reliably forecast where the current financial year will end due to the increasing levels of uncertainty. The board has decided to defer the payment of the interim dividend to October 23. The record date has also been deferred from April 3 to October 9.
- Woodside Petroleum (WPL) +6.71% CEO comments on COVID-19, “In a nutshell, we’re halving our forecast expenditure for 2020 and deferring final investment decisions for Scarborough, Pluto Train 2 and Browse, while taking other steps to protect our revenue. At the end of February, we had $4.9bn cash on hand, total liquidity of $7.9bn, and low gearing of 13.8%. Our debt profile is well balanced and low cost.”
- Myer (MYR) -9.52% To stand down around 10k employees. The retailer temporarily closed all stores for an initial period of 4 weeks on Sunday. Its online business continues to operate.
ECONOMIC and CV19 NEWS
- The government is set to release its CV19 modelling. Let us hope it is more reliable than the RBA or Treasury ones.
- Also ScoMo is expected to unveil his rescue package soon for people impacted by CV19.
- The Monetary Authority of Singapore, which uses the exchange rate as its main policy tool rather than a benchmark interest rate, lowered the midpoint of the currency band and reduced the slope to zero.
- OneWeb files for bankruptcy. Softbanks falls 10% on news.
EUROPEAN AND US NEWS
- Cases top 713,000; 33,600 dead, 149,000 recovered: Johns Hopkins. US deaths could reach 200,000. Easter no longer the target date.
- New York Governor Cuomo said total deaths for the state as of Sunday reached 965 up from 728 a day earlier.
- Jefferies Group said long-time Chief Financial Officer Peg Broadbenthas died from coronavirus complications, he was only 56.
- The conservative American Enterprise Institute has released a “road map to reopening” the U.S., offering a four-phase plan for navigating the pandemic and emerge from tough restrictions.
- U.K. lockdown measures could last for months and the death toll will probably get worse in the coming weeks, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England Jenny Harries said.
- UK’s Michael Gove has said that China will one day face a reckoning for not sharing accurate data about the scale and magnitude of the pandemic. To be fair, suspect many just were not listening. They are not listening still, perhaps they never will. Looking at you Brazil. Crazy President.