ASX 200 closes up 79 points to 5321 (1.5%) after a slow start. Dow futures up 211 points. Plenty of talk about reopening different economies helped sentiment. NAB was the surprise package this morning stealing early momentum as it hit institutions up for $3bn at 1415c. A surprise raise and a cut to the dividend highlighted how fragile the sector is and how geared to the economy it has become. The Bank Basket fell to $105.09 despite NAB in a halt. CBA the least affected having already paid its interim dividend. WBC the most vulnerable it seems, with a drop of 4.4%. Other financials rebounded with MQG up 4.2% and ASX up 2.5%. Industrials did well though led by CSL in the healthcare stocks up 2.6% with consumer and bond proxy stocks rebounding on hopes for a V-Shaped recovery grew. WES up 2.6%, TCL up 3.7% and BXB up 4.2%. Miners though fared worse with BHP down 0.1% and FMG drifting up 0.1%. Some sporadic gains in gold miners as NST rose 3.0%. In tech stocks a positive update for DHG up 18.60% and XRO going from strength to strength up 4.9%. The All Tech Index rose 4.0%. REITs were in demand with SCG up 4.0% and GMG up 3.3%. Energy stocks missed out on the Koolaid, WPL down 0.9%, and STO down by a modest 0.2%. The star stock of the day was MSB up 41.0% after a huge run in Australian Friday and a great move in the US on the latest CV19 treatment that MSB has been using in REMESTEMCELL. In corporate news, NAB hit hard and early, MVF also hit investors up as did QUB. 10-year yields rallied to 0.91%, AUD better at 64.58c. Asian markets were cheered by more Japanese bond buying. More, yes more. Japan up 1.83% and China up 0.42%.
- ASX 200 closed up 79 to 5321. Slow start but buyers return
- High 5329 Low 5215. Volume drops.
- Dow Futures up 211
- Banks weigh as NAB launches a $3.5bn issue.
- Miners flat line but industrials firm.
- Brent crude down around 4%.
- 10-year bond yields rally to 0.91%
- AUD rallies to 64.58c.
- Aussie gold slips to $2663
- Bitcoin firms to US$7729
- Asian markets rallies on BoJ moves, Japan up 1.83% and China up 0.42%.
- MSB +41.03% plays catch up with US listing.
- SMR +1.01% downgrades guidance.
- ALX +2.89% broker flags potential covenant breach.
- RHC +3.70% Wilsons cuts PT to 4150c
- AMP +2.31% MS says recovery will take longer.
- ANZ -2.31% Bell Potter sees 40% dividend cut.
- SZL -5.17% no impacts from CV19 in the first quarter.
- DHG +18.60% market update.
- WAF +6.61% broker report.
- KGN +7.81% heading higher again.
- EML +8.07% credit funders doing ok.
- WBC -4.37% fears of a raising.
- ECX +21.93% division sales.
- NTO +10.98% positive business update.
- PGL +18.06% credit stocks improving.
- AX1+16.11% business update.
- Speculative stock of the day: No huge volume moves. Adslot (ADJ) +53.85% after announcing a partnership with Marathon, a leading player in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).
- Biggest Rises: MSB, DHG, APE, CDA, NWH, Z1P, PMV, and EML.
- Biggest Falls: WBC, MGX, NHC, COE, BPT, AGG, and ANZ.
- Costa Group (CGC) +4.51% appoints Wayne Johnston as CFO, effective June 29. Johnston is currently interim CFO at Sigma Healthcare. Costa’s Deputy CFO, Amin Ikram, will act in the role of CFO until Johnston’s commencement.
- Aristocrat (ALL) +1.85% Since mid-March, almost all land-based customers globally have suspended operations. Venue reopening is expected to take place on a phased basis, with a gradual ramping up of gaming floors. The digital business has continued to perform strongly over recent months, with higher bookings and player engagement evident across most of the portfolio. Around 1,000 staff will be stood down until the end of June 2020. Notes excess of $1bn of liquidity. To suspend dividend policy and does not intend to declare an interim dividend.
- NAB (NAB) – H1 cash earnings $1.44bn vs year-ago $2.95bn. Statutory net income $1.31bn vs year-ago $2.69bn. Interim DPS $0.30 vs year-ago $0.83. CET1 ratio 10.39%. Net Interest Margin (NIM) declined 1bp to 1.78% in 1H20. Launched a capital raising, comprising of a fully underwritten institutional placement of $3bn & a Share Purchase Plan of ~$500m. The Institutional Placement of new shares will be undertaken at a fixed price of $14.15/share. This represents an 8.5% discount to NAB’s adjusted closing price on Friday (adjusted to take into account that Placement shares will not receive 2020 interim div of 30c).
- Domain Holdings (DHG) +18.60% March quarter total revenue +1% for the quarter, and +10% for the month of March. While April listing volumes are reflecting COVID-19 impacts, March’s performance (prior to the impact of COVID-19 restrictions), provides confidence that Domain is well-positioned when markets return to normal. Secured new debt facility of $80m. Launched a voluntary staff program to deliver a 20% reduction in staff costs, while retaining employee talent and business momentum for the long term.
- Monash IVF Group (MVF) – $80m equity raising at $0.52/share. Funds will be used to reduce debt which will enhance balance sheet flexibility to navigate COVID-19. Year to date trading through to February 2020, and volumes through to March 25, were largely in line with previous guidance. A gradual return of patients is expected following the lifting of elective surgery restrictions. A material hit to trading performances was experienced during that period. No FY20 guidance provided. The board does not currently expect to pay a final dividend in respect of FY20 or an interim dividend in respect of H1 FY21.
- Viva Energy (VEA)+1.10% has launched preparations to shut down the Geelong Refinery’s Residual Catalytic Cracking Unit and associated processing units, with effect from early May 2020. The company expects refining intake to be reduced to approximately 2.5m Barrels per month. The main Crude Distillation Unit and all other processing units will continue to operate.
- Accent Group (AX1)+16.11% Digital sales have grown from an average of $250K per day prior to stores closing in March, to between $800K and $1.1m per day for the last 2 weeks of April. Will be progressively re-opening all Group Stores to the public by 11 May 2020.
- RBA Snapshot at beginning of April
- Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) sees house prices falling 11% by end of the year.
Plant shutdowns are leaving the U.S. dangerously close to meat shortages as coronavirus outbreaks spread to suppliers. Almost a third of U.S. pork capacity is down, the first big poultry plants closed on Friday,
- Bank of Japan has removed its cap on the purchase of government bonds. The BoJ said it would also increase its scope for buying corporate bonds and commercial paper, raising its ceiling on holdings to ¥20 trillion (US$290bn).
- North Korea continues to play Where’s Wally?
- Chinese Industrial company profits dropped 35% in March.
- In the first quarter, China’s industrial profits dropped 36.7% from a year ago. Those at state-owned firms fell 45.5% and private firms were down 29.5% on year during the same period.
- Singapore is now the most infected nation in Asia just behind China and India.
EUROPEAN AND US NEWS
- Positive opens expected for European markets. Italy and France particularly. Adidas lower on results, Bayer higher.
- Airbus is bleeding cash according to CEO over the weekend and may not survive. He warned employees to Brace! Brace! Brace!
- Deutsche Bank results beat expectations. Says it will miss capital targets as recession looms.
- BoJo goes back to work. In one UK small and medium business survey has said that 50% of businesses will run out of cash in 12 weeks.
- Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said Italy will begin lifting a nationwide lockdown on May 4th (be with you).
- France’s reported the smallest rise in deaths since March 25 and the amount of Covid-19 patients in intensive care decreased.
Two Marines boarded a quick shuttle flight out of Dallas, headed for Houston. One sat in the window seat, the other sat in the middle seat. Just before take-off, an Army soldier got on and took the aisle seat next to the two Marines. The Soldier kicked off his shoes, wiggled his toes and was settling in when the Marine in the window seat said, “I think I’ll get up and get a coke.” “No problem,” said the Soldier, “I’ll get it for you.” While he was gone, the Marine picked up the Soldier’s shoe and spit in it. When the Soldier returned with the coke, the Marine in the middle seat said, “That looks good, I think I’ll have one too.” Again, the Soldier obligingly went to fetch it and while he was gone, the Marine picked up the soldier’s other shoe and spit in it. The Soldier returned and they all sat back and enjoyed the rest of the short flight to Houston. As the plane was landing, the Soldier slipped his feet into his shoes and knew immediately what had happened. “How long must this go on?” the Soldier asked. “This fighting between our services? This hatred? This animosity? This spitting in shoes and peeing in cokes?”