The ASX gained back 24 points to 5951 in quiet pre-election trade. Dow futures up 29 points. After a weak start, the market found some mojo and pushed higher led by consumer stocks and big miners. BHP up 0.1% and NCM up 1.2% on better bullion prices. WOW up 1.0% and COL up 1.8% with the banks mixed as WBC fell 0.6% after numbers and reflection, ANZ up 2.4% though with the Big Bank Basket relatively unchanged at $124.75. Interest rate sensitive stocks firmed ahead of the expected rate cut tomorrow, with the RBA meeting that stops a nation. Tech better in spots but speculative stocks suffer from a crisis of confidence and sellers leaking out and cashing up. APT rose 1.6% and the All Tech Index down 0.5% but WTC dropped 1.2% and SEK clawed its way back after the rebuttal to the rebuttal saw buyers return, ending down 0.8%. Incorporate news, AMP confirmed interest at around 185c from Ares, the stock rose 9.8%. CSR up 5.7%, first half profit $66.4m ex-items vs year-ago $71.6m. DXS up 2.2%, to sell its North Sydney office tower for $273m. IAG down 1.9%, appoints acting CFO Michele McPherson as CFO. On the economic front, the seasonally adjusted estimate for total dwellings approved rose 15.4% in September according to the ABS. MI Inflation gauge for October: -0.1% to be up 1.1% on a year ago. CoreLogic home value index for October: National +0.4%; Capital cities +0.2%; Regions +0.9%. 10-year yields rose slightly to 0.82% and the AUD just above 70c. Asian markets firm with Japan up 1.3% and China up 0.4%.
- ASX 200 up 24 to 5951.
- High 5961 Low 5904Average volume.
- Big Bank Basket rises slightly to 124.75
- All Tech Index down 0.5%
- ‘Twas the day before the election and all around the house…
- Dow Futures up 29
- Gold rises to AUD$2685
- 10-year bond yield rises to 0.82%
- AUD falls to 70.05c.
- Bitcoin rises to US$13685
- Asian markets firm with Japan up 1.3% and China up 0.4%.
- AMP +9.80% bid talk and price named.
- SYD +4.40% lockdowns easing.
- DRR +3.31% demerger implemented.
- SDA – Still suspended sells managed services to NBN.
- PXS +25.00% FDA approval.
- LOV -3.20% shuts shops in France and UK.
- PLS -4.76% profit taking.
- PNV -4.62% enters Greece.
- SVY +11.43% exceptional high-grade gold at Cayley.
- TLX +28.96% strategic licence and commercial partnership.
- AYS +11.19% Optus takeover bid.
- DSK -15.50% falls on debut.
- TNT -17.81% blown away.
- 4DS -6.00% profit taking.
- BTH -10.00% everyone back to the office.
- Speculative Stock of the Day: Ironbark Zinc (IBG) +46.15% receives a LOI from US government s Export-Imports bank re financing deal potential.
- Biggest Winners: AMP, CSR, BLD, CIA, CMW, SYD and ABC
- Biggest Losers: HUB, MMM, SPL, BRN, DEG, CRN, DTL and PLS.
- Westpac (WBC) -0.61% Full-year cash profit $2.61bn vs consensus $2.62bn. Cash earnings excluding notable items was $5.23bn vs year-ago $7.90bn. Final dividend, fully franked 31c. Revenue down 2% to $2.18bn. Net interest income decreased $211m compared to FY19 predominantly due to a decrease in net interest margin of 9 basis points to 2.03%. Total impairment charges $3.18bn vs year-ago $794m. Common Equity Tier 1 (internationally comparable) 16.50%, +65bp vs year ago.
- AMP (AMP) +9.80% Confirms that Ares’ proposal values AMP at 185c per share. AMP emphasises the preliminary nature of the proposal and discussions between itself and Ares, and that there is no guarantee that a transaction will eventuate and no certainty with regards to price.
- Amaysim (AYS) +11.19% Optus to acquire amaysim Australia’s mobile business for $250m. Amaysim estimates that ~$207.2m to $225.7m will be available for distribution to shareholders, equivalent to 67-73c/share. The amaysim board believes Optus’ all-cash offer provides shareholders with a premium and certainty in an increasingly competitive market and removes the risk of wholesale tender outcome.
- Dexus Property Group (DXS) +2.21% Sells North Sydney office tower for $273m. The tower at 60 Miller St is understood to have been sold to Hong Kong group Huge Linkage at a 3% premium to book value.
- Insurance Australia Group (IAG) -1.89% Appoints acting CFO Michele McPherson as CFO. CEO Nick Hawkins also announced that the Australia Division will be split into Direct Insurance Australia and Intermediated Insurance Australia, effective immediately. As a result, IAG CEO Australia, Mark Milliner, will leave the company at the end of November.
- Abacus Property Group (ABP)- 2.89% To acquire the remaining 75% stake in Storage King operating platform and other Self Storage assets for $50m.
- CSR (CSR) +5.67% First half profit $66.4m ex-items vs year-ago $71.6m.Trading revenue $1.08bn vs year-ago $1.15bn. EBIT $94.4m vs consensus $84.0m. Interim dividend 8.5c + special dividend of 4.0c for a total of 12.5c (fully franked). Building Products – Revenue for the first four weeks of H2 is down 6% vs pcp. Property – Delivery of the first tranche of the Horsley Park Stage 2 project is on track to deliver earnings of $53m in H2. In addition, ~$2m of earnings is expected from property sales at Brendale, QLD and Chirnside Park, VIC. Aluminium EBIT for the year-end March 21 to be in the range of $14-23m, assuming all other cost and revenue areas are unchanged.
- SEEK (SEK) -0.84%Claims Blue Orca report is littered with inaccuracies. “The Report contains many inaccurate statements and makes allegations of a very serious nature that are unsubstantiated. We believe the goal of the Report is to use speculative assertions to generate adverse publicity and then draw SEEK into a public debate, which is consistent with the usual practice of short-seller firms. SEEK is in compliance with its continuous disclosure obligations and we remain confident in SEEK’s long-term outlook.”
- Blue Orca’s rebuttal to SEEK’s response to short report: “Since the report, Zhaopin has removed 64 of the 66 employers on its platforms we identified as likely fake, which we believe is a clear validation of our work. Recall that in the markets we sampled, these employers accounted for almost 20% of the posts on these platforms, making it a significant admission of rot on Zhaopin. Seek’s only response of substance is that Zhaopin is a “strong business with a long history” because it “continues to generate strong operating cash flows.” Seek argues that investors should have faith in Zhaopin, despite all of our evidence of zombie resumes and fake posts, because it generates cash. But if that is the case, then how does Seek explain the absence of cash flows from the Zhaopin business? If Zhaopin has really generated so much free cash flow, why does Zhaopin’s indebtedness keep increasing? If Zhaopin’s business generated so much cash and profits, why would it need to borrow to fund this dividend? Moreover, if Zhaopin has really generated so much free cash flow, why doesn’t it pay dividends upstream to help Seek service or pay down its near toxic levels of debt?”
- Lovisa Holdings (LOV) -3.20% Notes temporary closure of European stores due to lockdowns. All 24 stores in France have temporarily closed from 30th October. The UK government announced its intention to enter a new lockdown phase from midnight on November 5 until at least 2nd December 2020. 40 stores in the UK will also be temporarily closed for this period, with 2 stores in Scotland remaining open at the current time.
- ANZ job ads for October: Up 9.4% to 129,544 available positions. Down 16.2% over the year.
- Melbourne Institute Inflation gauge for October: -0.1% to be up 1.1% on a year ago.
- CoreLogic home value index for October: National +0.4%; Capital cities +0.2%; Regions +0.9%.
- Building approvals have soared in September, following relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions, with Western Australia and South Australia leading the way. Building approvals rose 15.4% against expectations of a 1.5% rise. In August, they had declined 1.6%.
- S&P Global Ratings said that Victoria remains on credit watch with negative implications
- New home loan commitments – excluding refinancing of existing mortgages – rose 5.9% from August to $22.5bn, marking the fourth straight month of increase and the highest monthly total since March 2017.
Wage Price Index
- The seasonally adjusted WPI rose 0.2% in June quarter 2020.
- The seasonally adjusted WPI rose 1.8% over the year to June quarter 2020.
- The seasonally adjusted Private sector rose 0.1% in June quarter 2020.
- The seasonally adjusted Public sector rose 0.6% in June quarter 2020.
- Prince William contracted Covid-19 in April, around the same time as his father Prince Charles, the BBC reported.
- The U.K. reported more than 20,000 cases for a seventh straight day. It had 23,254 new cases on Sunday, a day after the country passed the 1 million mark and announced a four-week partial lockdown for England.
- Italy reported 29,907 new cases on Sunday. The U.S. added 78,157 new cases on Saturday, after two straight days of national records that pushed the daily case count near 100,000.
- The month-long partial lockdown announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson late Saturday might have to be extended if it fails to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
- A pilot program on digital currencies has been rolled out in four Chinese cities with more than 4m transactions worth over US$299m so far.
- Xinjiang outbreak now at 280 cases. Roughly the size of Alaska, Xinjiang has a population of 22 million, or around 1.5% of the national total.
- Ant Group debuts November 5th.
- The Caixin/Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index for Chinese manufacturing came in at 53.6 for October, better than the 53.0 forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll.
- Over the weekend, China said its official manufacturing PMI for October was 51.4, the eighth consecutive month of expansion.
EUROPEAN AND US HEADLINES
- EU is now expected to see a 2.3% contraction in the fourth quarter on fresh lockdowns.
- Trump is threatening legal action over swinging states and mail in votes.
- UK lockdown begins Thursday. Xmas is cancelled.
- EU and UK trying to work out what went so wrong. Pretty simple, you let everyone go on summer holidays.
Sean Connery walks into a bar and takes a seat next to a very attractive woman. He gives her a quick glance, and then casually looks at his watch for a moment. The woman notices this and asks, “Is your date running late?”
“No,” he replies, “Q has just given me this state-of-the-art watch. I was just testing it.”
The intrigued woman says, “A state-of-the-art watch? What’s so special about it?”
Bond explains, “It uses alpha waves to talk to me telepathically.”
The lady says, “What’s it telling you now?”
“Well, it says you’re not wearing any panties.”
The woman giggles and replies, “Well it must be broken because I’m wearing panties!”
Bond smirks, taps his watch and says, “Bloody thing’s an hour fast.”