The USA CV response
ASX 200 lost another 20 points today to 5364 in very quiet and unconvincing trade either way. Dow futures barely moved up points. Another day of low volatility, tight range trading, and low volumes. The banking sector under a little pressure with the Big Bank Basket slipping to $106.93 and everyone waiting for the fifth Beatle, MQG to drop tomorrow. The bank rose 0.1% ahead of the result. Elsewhere insurers were weaker led by QBE down 2.2%. Healthcare rose as CSL rallied 0.4% and RHC down 0.9% after agreeing with the QLD government on terms and FPH put in another day of gains up 2.5%. Miners were mixed again, BHP better by 1.9% but RIO slipped 0.6%. FMG still showing them how it’s done up 1.7%. Industrials and consumer stocks fell, TCL off 1.3% and WOW down 0.6%. Energy stocks weakened as oil looks like it has finished its short squeeze, STO down 1.9%, and WPL down 1.4%. GMG had a good day on a business update showing how they are thriving in its core business up 3.7% and utilities were weaker, APA down 1.8%. In tech stocks, XRO rose 3.7% on hopes that SMEs will reopen soon, the All Tech Index rose 0.8%. In economic news, the trade numbers showed the strength of mining exports, China could have been worse and we wait to see what the BoE brings tonight. The 10-year yield rose to 0.92% and the AUD remains rock steady currently at 64.26c. In Asia, Japan returned from a holiday and rose %, China dropped 0.4% and HK down 0.7%
- ASX 200 lost 20 to 5364
- High 5388 Low 5347. Narrow range. No volatility.
- Banks slip. MQG tomorrow.
- BHP and FMG do well.
- Good trade data. Industrials weak.
- Tech in demand with All Tech up 0.5%.
- 10-year bond yields rise to 0.89%
- AUD steady at 64.26c.
- Aussie gold slips to $2628
- Bitcoin continues to rise ahead of halving US$9294
- Asian markets see China back online with a flat line and Japan still closed.
- PPH +15.71% praise be again.
- PNV +7.88% business supdate cheers.
- AVH +5.75% joins the party.
- SWM +1.16% sacks another 50 from the sales team.
- RHC -0.91% QLD terms agreed.
- OML +7.81% billboards are back.
- BUB +4.21% finding friends after Coles deal.
- MSB -4.07% profit-taking.
- JBH -3.16% change in substantial holding.
- CCP -2.92% placement allocations.
- BIN -5.53% broker downgrades
- LLC -3.25% still on the nose as capital raise weighs.
- SZL +14.29% putting on gains following update.
- WZR +3.57% credit funders doing well.
- PET +4.12% change in the director’s interest.
- Speculative stock of the day: Impact Minerals (IPT) +66.67% extensive high-grade metals at Red Hill. Rhodium, iridium, osmium, and ruthenium in 7 drill holes add to previous high-grade assays for palladium, platinum, and gold. Big volume and small market cap. Expect some profit-taking tomorrow perhaps.
- Biggest Rises: PPH, HMC, PNV, OML, OPT, VUK, and AVH.
- Biggest Falls: BIN, ALQ, COE, GMA, MSB, and URW.
- CSL (CSL) +0.37% has priced a new US$750m private placement to ‘strengthen the Group’s current debt maturity’. It will use the proceeds from the debt raisings for general corporate purposes. The placement consists of 4 maturities.
- Ramsay Health Care (RHC) -0.91% confirms it has finalised its agreement with the State of Queensland to make its facilities & services available during the COVID-19 pandemic. To receive net recoverable costs for its services in Queensland (incl. direct operating costs, corporate overhead costs, some depreciation).
- Goodman Group (GMG) +3.75% reaffirms FY20 earnings guidance at 57.3cps and full-year distribution of 30cps. Total AUM $55.1bn with 97.5% occupancy across the Group and Partnerships. The Group’s gearing remains at the lower end of its 0-25% target range and available liquidity is currently $2.5bn. Development work in progress is forecast to be in excess of $5bn in June.
- Spark Infrastructure Group (SKI) +1.28% reconfirms distribution guidance for FY20 of at least 13.5cps. The distribution comprises 7.0cps attributable to H1 and at least 6.5cps attributable to H2, subject to business conditions.
- nib Group (NHF) +2.07% Australian April membership sales 7,684 vs year-ago 9,863. Reports a material decline in ancillary claims during April (particularly dental and optical) with some recent uptick in activity.
- Blackmores (BKL) +0.39% Reportedly moving ahead with the sale of non-core assets. Powdered supplements and the infant formula business are expected to be put on the block. Analysts believe the assets will sell for a nominal amount but say they have garnered a high amount of interest.
- Bluescope Steel (BSL) +0.50% increases the size of its debt facility to $1.21bn.
- Hutchison Telecommunications Australia (HTA) +7.14% The VHA-TPG merger recently received clearances from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US and the US Federal Communications Commission, with a decision from the Foreign Investment Review Board expected shortly. Once implemented, HTAL will own 25.05% of the newly merged company. Whilst the full impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are uncertain, it is likely to continue to have a negative impact on VHA’s financial performance until the situation returns to pre-COVID-19 conditions.
- Corporate Travel Management’s (CTD) +0.67% existing banking group to waive all financial covenants for calendar year 2020.
- ANZ says house prices should bottom by June next year. Unemployment expected to remain above 7% until 2022. ANZ is now expecting dwelling prices to fall 10% from the peak in major cities.
- In seasonally adjusted terms, the balance on goods and services was a surplus of $10.602bn in March 2020, an increase of $6.737bn on the surplus in February 2020.
Credits (exports of goods and services)
- In seasonally adjusted terms, goods and services credits rose $5.558bn (15%) to $42.417bn. Non-rural goods rose $3.540bn (15%), non-monetary gold rose $2.474bn, rural goods rose $271m (7%) and net exports of goods under merchanting rose $1m (6%). Services credits fell $727m (9%).
Debits (imports of goods and services)
- In seasonally adjusted terms, goods and services debits fell $1.178bn (4%) to $31.815bn. Capital goods fell $194m (3%). Non-monetary gold rose $466m (85%), intermediate and other merchandise goods rose $31m and consumption goods rose $10m. Services debits fell $1,492m (19%).
- Japan is set to approve on Thursday the antiviral drug remdesivir for use against the novel coronavirus.
- Brazil’s Congress approved two stimulus bills that will provide financial help to states and municipalities, and set aside 700 billion reais ($122 billion) for the economic recovery.
- The U.S. coronavirus outbreak is clearly seen to be worsening if New York is excluded from the data, Governor Andrew Cuomo said.
- China is considering an option of not setting a target for economic growth this year
- Exports rose 3.5% in dollar terms in April from a year earlier, while imports dropped 14.2%, the customs administration said Thursday. That left a trade surplus of $45.3 billion for the month. Economists had forecast that exports would shrink by 11% while imports would contract by 10%.
- Exports to the EU dropped 6.6%, while to the U.S. they fell 15.9%.
EUROPEAN AND US NEWS
- European futures are slightly higher but only slightly.
- British Telecom (BT) has suspended its dividend and will resume in 2021/2022 at half the rate of last year. Not good news.
- Bank of England decision day. Rates expected to remain on hold. Boris says he could ease restrictions by Monday.
- US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said it had been 128 days since Dr. Ai Fen, director of China’s Wuhan Central Hospital emergency unit, shared information on the internet about a patient with a SARS-like virus.
And finally…times are tough
The Treasure Island casino in Las Vegas is now managed by Somali pirates.
I was so depressed last night thinking about the economy, wars, jobs, my savings, Social Security, retirement funds, etc., I called the Suicide Hotline. I got a call centre in Pakistan, and when I told them I was suicidal, they got all excited, and asked if I could drive a truck!!!