ASX closed up 219 points to 5287 (+4.3%) as optimism grew on the CV19 outlook. Dow futures took their cue from The Sunday Trump briefing and rose 750 points. Broad across the board gains today. After a subdued start buyer returned after a weaker Friday session. The banks rallied with the Big Bank Basket at $111.83 and CBA up 3.9% and WBC up 5.4%. Other financials did well as MQG went hard up 9.1% and MFG rose 12.8% after its FUM announcement was not as bad as it could have been. Insurers too in demand, QBE up 3.3% and IAG up 2.7%. Miners too rallied hard led by BHP and FMG up 4.8% and 6.2% respectively. Gold miners too found friends with NCM up 3.6% and EVN up 3.9%. Energy stocks greeted news from Friday in a positive fashion as an OPEC plus meeting looks to be rescheduled for Thursday, WPL up 6.35% and STO up 8.5%. Trump has toyed with tariffs on both Russia and Saudi if they do not play nice with each other. In the industrials, another round of guidance being withdrawn together with capital raisings continue to dominate. FLT, SXL, PAR, REH, and OSH are heading for the begging bowl. REITs and bond proxies rallied, TCL up 0.5% and SYD up 0.6% with GMG finding friends at lower levels up 6.4%. Consumer stocks did well WOW up 4.6%, COL up 2.3% and TAH up 8.9%. In tech stocks, the index rallied 3.7% with XRO up 5.7% and APT up 2.9%. In other corporate news, MSB was the stand out rallying 34.9% on hopes its RESTEMCELL trial drug could help treat CV19. In economic news, the inflation gauge from the Melbourne Institute lifted 0.2%.10-year yields drifted higher to 0.77%. AUD 60.18c and in Asia, China was closed for a holiday and Japan rose 4.2%.
- ASX 200 up 219 to 5287.
- High 5302 Low 5077. Lower volumes again.
- Dow futures up 800.
- Big Bank Basket $111.83
- Crude futures down slightly in Asia.
- 10-year bond yields steady at 0.75%
- AUD falls to 60.18c.
- Aussie gold rises to $2688
- Bitcoin drifts higher to US$6924
- Asian markets higher with China closed for a holiday, Japan up 4.2%.
- MSB +34.94% trial drug approved by FDA for CV19.
- TYR +15.87% market update
- JIN +12.32% hope springs eternal.
- MFG +12.77% FUM released.
- AVH +12.64% corporate presentation
- RWC +10.36% update on UK operations.
- CCP +9.47% ceasing to be a substantial shareholder.
- CTD +16.41% travel sector finds money.
- CTX +6.57% shuts refinery.
- NXT -4.57% locking in profits from recent raise.
- IEL -2.97% profit-taking.
- RHC +6.49% Citi cuts price target.
- WEB -8.86% MS cuts PT to 250c.
- LOV +2.54% store closures.
- FLT to shut 800 stores. Raises $700m
- HLO -8.70% goodbye world more like.
- QUB + 4.95% withdraws guidance.
- SHJ -0.63% Mesh Class action.
- AD8 +9.95% withdraws guidance.
- PAR – Raising $35m for Phase III trials.
- KMD -9.87% Ex entitlement. Easter is cancelled.
- WSP +20.91% new leadership appointments.
- CGL +7.95% completion of the acquisition.
- LEG +13.33% good drill results.
- NEA +13.36% tech stocks bounce.
- ZNO +3.55% quarterly.
- Speculative stock of the day: Skin Elements (SKN) +138.89% following collaboration with HCT last week.
- Biggest Rises: MSB, CTD, HUB, TYR, Z1P, CIA and MFG.
- Biggest Falls: MEZ, NAH, NXT, IEL, IFT, and EVT.
- Caltex Australia (CTX) +6.57% To extend the duration of the planned shutdown for the Lytton refinery. Operations will recommence when margin conditions have sufficiently recovered. Diesel demand has been relatively stable, given resilience demonstrated from segments such as mining, agriculture, and transportation. Jet fuel demand expected to decline 80- 90% as previously advised. Targeting 2020 CAPEX of $250m vs the previous target of $300m. Has $2.7bn of committed available debt facilities, currently has $1.5bn of undrawn committed facilities and cash.
- Flight Centre (FLT) – to launch a $700m fully underwritten equity raising at 720c per share. The business is also targeting cost reduction measures of more than $1.9bn with plans to close more than 50% of its global leisure shops. Total transaction value is tracking at ~20-30% of normal levels with further declines expected. A very low revenue environment likely to continue in the short term.
- Reliance Worldwide (RWC) +10.36% to layoff in excess of 40% of its UK workforce due to COVID-19 pandemic and UK government restrictions. RWC’s Australian and US manufacturing facilities are continuing to operate as normal at present.
- Dexus Property Group (DXS) +4.17% To enter a new JV with GIC to acquire a 50% interest in the Rialto Towers, Melbourne for $644.
- Reece Australia (REH) – launches $600m equity raising at 760c per share; temporarily suspends dividends. At this stage, Reece has not experienced any material impact on its supply chain as a result of COVID-19.
- SEEK (SEK) -1.65% To defer its interim dividend payment until 23 July 2020 to help manage cashflows. SEK was expected to pay its 13c dividend on 9 April. Notes it has felt the direct impact of COVID-19 in all of its market segments, withdraws FY20 guidance.
- Avita Medical (AVH) +12.64% reports Q3 revenue $6m vs consensus $6.8m. Cash balance $129.9m vs year-ago $124.7m, weighted down by a weak AUD. US RECELL Sales totaled $3.9m, up $0.7m on the previous quarter. Remains well-capitalized and does not currently require additional funding
- Origin Energy (ORG) +3.99% notes COVID-19 impacts haven’t been material and can be absorbed within its existing FY2020 guidance range.
- ASX (ASX) +6.06% reports March activity. Volatility 4.1% vs year-ago 0.3%. Total capital raised $4.16bn vs year-ago $5.33bn. Average daily number of trades +96% y/y. Average daily value $10.52bn vs year-ago $5.65bn.
- Southern Cross Media Group (SXL) – launches $169m equity raising at 9c per share. Debt Facility (expiring January 2023) amended to increase leverage covenant from 3.5x to 4.5x (Net Debt / EBITDA). FY20 interim dividend canceled ($21m cash retained) and no FY20 final dividend will be paid.
ECONOMIC and CV19 NEWS
- Melbourne Institute Inflation gauge for March lifted 0.2% over the month to be up 1.5% from a year ago.
- Japan is looking at a two-stage stimulus plan. Phase one is designed to stop job losses and bankruptcies and Phase two a support package to enable a V-Shaped recovery.
- South Korea sees the lowest new cases since the start of the surge on February 21st.
- China closed today for a National Holiday. Finds 78 Asymptomatic cases.
- India has banned all exports of potential virus drugs that Dr. Trump has been prescribing.
- Fujifilm at a record high as the maker of anti-flu drug Avigan.
EUROPEAN AND US NEWS
- A strong start to European trade. EU President calls for a new ‘Marshall’ Plan for Europe. Germany says ‘nein’ to Corona bonds.
- German Industrial orders down 1.4% v forecasts of 2.4% though it was for February.
- OPEC plus meeting is delayed until Thursday.
- The first tiger has tested positive for CV19. At the Bronx Zoo in NY. Expected to recover. Mike Tyson relieved.
- The global GDP tracker shows the recession has already started. Down 0.5% in March and 0.1% in February.
- Queen rallies UK. Boris goes to Hospital.