ASX 200 rose 182 points to 5259 (3.6%) bucking lower Dow Futures and an early afternoon wobble. Another big late surge on the chocolate wheel matchout. Dow futures down 400 points and Europe looking at a weaker open. A good start to the new quarter with energy stocks in high demand, STO rose 9.6% and WPL up 7.8% whilst WOR put in a spurt up 14.5%. Miners also rebounded after the sell off yesterday with BHP up 4.3% and FMG up 3.5%. Elsewhere healthcare remained in the pink with CSL up 3.5% and FPH back in demand up 3.3%. Banks though were lacklustre and mixed as European and Asian banks have cancelled dividends and biscuits in the board room. CBA rose 3.0% and the Big Bank Basket rose to $114.37. Other financials fared better with MQG up 4.2% and MFG up 11.0%. Tech stocks mixed WTC had a shocker down 7.0%, APT up 9.9% and the All Tech Index up 3.8%. Industrials did well TLS up 4.2%, REA up 10.4% and BXB up 6%. In corporate news, rescue/recap raisings ramped up with both WEB and IEL tapping the capital well at deep discounts. KMD also raising funds to shore up the balance sheet. In economic news, we got Feb Building approvals, almost meaningless, but RBA minutes point to trouble at mill. Its coming there will be a reckoning. 10-year bond yields flop to 0.65% and the AUD is steady at 61.27c. In Asian markets, we saw mixed markets again as China rose 0.8% and Japan fell 2.4%.
- ASX 200 up 182 to 5259. Late surge again.
- High 5272 Low 5110. Lighter volumes.
- Dow futures down 400 points.
- Big Bank Basket $114.37
- 10-year bond yields flop to 0.65%
- AUD rises to 61.27c.
- Aussie gold falls to $2591
- Bitcoin drifts to US$6353
- Asian markets mixed with China up 0.8% and Japan down 2.5%
- OSH +12.61% oil rally.
- WOR +14.47% geared to a oil price recovery.
- PNV +12.15% many burnt fingers to treat.
- TYR +14.29% rally continues.
- SCG +12.46% liquidity update.
- EML -4.35% completes acquisition
- WTC -7.02% some profit taking.
- JIN -5.63% comes up lemons after CV19 update.
- VAH -5.26% government says no.
- RMS -3.96% March quarterly update.
- MNY -10.20% bounce over.
- REG -6.93% withdraws guidance
- TCL +1.74% distribution update on CV19.
- CGL +21.70% finding friends.
- AKP +19.78% new wafers received despite CV19. Pathetic volume as usual.
- PLS +14.71% quarterly update.
- DMP -1.68% Citi says sell.
- WES +4.11% UBS downgrades.
- NUF +3.53% completes South American sale.
- GSS +12.29% CE-IVD received for CV19 test.
- CTD +3.33% Macquarie cuts PT by 50%.
- UMG +2.95% Macquarie upgrades.
- ALG +33.33% update on Main Event in USA.
- Speculative stock of the day:Noxopharm (NOX) +92.86%. The company announced it is investigating potential for its idronoxil anti- inflammatory to have a use in helping CV19 infections. Will need money for trial.
- Biggest Rises: MYX, SKC, APE, WOR, NAN, TYR, CGF and NWH.
- Biggest Falls: WTC, RWC, JIN, IMF, VAH, VG1 and EML
- Scentre Group (SCG) +12.46% obtains additional unsecured bank facilities to increase liquidity to $3.1bn. The group has $2.5bn of bonds and bank facilities maturing through to December 31 2021.
- Regional Express Holdings (REX) +8.41% to reverse yesterday’s decision to suspend Queensland services due to Queensland government intervention. Rex will resume full services today and while a final agreement has not been reached the company said it would run in good faith until April 8.
- Brickworks (BKW) +1.82% to commence a phased process of re-starting facilities in Pennsylvania. The company anticipates further impacts on production and demand across its operations over the coming months.
- Regis Healthcare (REG) -6.93% withdraws FY20 guidance due to COVID-19 and defers its interim dividend of 4.02cps until September. Notes a strong balance sheet and access to significant liquidity and funding. At the end of March spot occupancy across the company’s steady-state homes was 90.5%, consistent with the average experienced in H1 of the financial year.
- Wesfarmers (WES) +4.11% is reportedly more likely to look at acquisitions and investment over returning capital to shareholders. Following the sale of its stake in Coles yesterday, CEO Rob Scott told the AFR the company would look to acquisitions or to invest in existing businesses in the current environment.
- Transurban Group (TCL) +1.74% Due to the current uncertainty in trading outlook TCL withdraws its existing distribution guidance for the six months to June 30. Expects to pay its H2 distribution in line with free cash (excluding capital releases). Traffic volumes across the group’s network was down 14% in March according to the AFR, although commercial traffic has remained resilient.
- Sims (SGM) +0.98% completes sale of its European compliance scheme operations to TSR Recycling for €83.5m ($149m).
- Monash IVF Group (MVF) –1.10% Notes fertility activity will be significantly impacted by the suspension of elective surgery. MVF will defer the payment of its interim dividend until October 2. In discussions to secure an additional working capital facility.
- Evolution Mining (EVN) +2.09% Sees no material impact on operations from COVID-19. Maintains current FY20 Group guidance of ~725Koz at an AISC in the range of $940 – $990/oz (excluding production from its Red Lake Gold Mine which is forecast to be around 25Koz).
- Kathmandu (KMD) – In trading halt. The retailer is looking to raise NZ$207m. KMD also released 1H20 earnings, NPAT down 45% to NZ$8.1n on the back of costs from the Rip Curl acquisition. Sales jumped 58% to NZ$363.
- Webjet (WEB) – announces a $275m equity raising at 170c per share, a 55% discount to its last closing price on March 18. WEB will also defer its H1 dividend.
- IDP Education (IEL) has launched a $190m capital raising in a bit to boost its balance sheet as it faces the economic uncertainty coronavirus has brought. The company has announced a $175m fully underwritten institutional placement and a non-underwritten share purchase plan to raise up $15m.
ECONOMIC and CV19 NEWS
Click here for RBA meeting minutes. The board noted that it had no appetite for negative interest rates in Australia. Cash rate likely to remain very low for an extended period & would not be increased until progress is made towards full employment and inflation sustainably within the 2–3% target range.
Building approvals for February were up 19.9% in February vs market expectations of a 3% lift.
- AiG performance of manufacturing index jumped to 53.7 in March, up from a reading of 44.3 in February. The index was buoyed by a lift in demand for food, grocery and household consumables.
- Westpac’s chief economist Bill Evans has forecast the size of the federal government budget deficit to hit $100bn this financial year and $210bn in 2021
- China’s private March Caixin manufacturing PMI has come in ahead of expectations.The index printed at 50.1 during March, beating forecasts of a 45.5 result and well ahead of 40.3 in February.
- Standard and Chartered and HSBC both fell heavily in HK after cancelling dividends. RBS, Barclays and Lloyds Bank have also cancelled outstanding 2019 dividnds and buybacks with no payments to come in 2020. HSBC said it would cancel an interim dividend slated to be paid this month and also make no payouts or do any buybacks until at least the end of the year.
- Singapore home prices fell the most in more than three years in the first quarter.
- The Indonesian economy is now projected to grow 2.3% this year, compared to an initial estimate of 5.3%
EUROPEAN AND US NEWS
- European futures seeing losses at the open.
- European banks have cancelled dividens as regulators including the BoE have told banks to preserve cash. Bonuses canned too.
- New York state reported a 9,300 increase in coronavirus cases on Tuesday to 76,000.
- Trump warns of up to 240,000 deaths in US.
- Infrastructure spending of US$2 trillion rattling around. Couldn’t agree in it before.But it takes time.
- US will suspend some tariffs on apparel and light trucks for 90 days.
- The Dutch have had a very different response to CV19 and are now being urged to reconsider their ‘herd immunity’ position.
- Uber East accelerates its push into grocery delivery.
- Taiwan to donate 10m masks to Europe and US.
Its April Fools Day….maybe just maybe this is all just that….would be nice.