ASX 200 down 27 points to 6762 (0.4%) after a strong opening evaporated as miners headed lower. Dow Futures down 77 points. Big miners weighed after hitting all time highs in BHP down 1.9% and RIO down 0.4%. FMG continued to fall after its dividend losing another 4.7%. S32 lost 1.8% and gold miners slipped further, NCM dropped 2.4% and NST down 4.3%. The Energy stocks eased with STO down 1.7% and WPL off 1.7%. The Big Bank Basket firmed to $160.80 with only WBC flat lining. Industrials were mixed with losses in REITS and some bond proxy stocks off like SYD down 1.5%. In the tech space, APT rose initially but succumbed to more selling falling 1.7% as news that Klarna had raised another $1bn for US expansion. SZL dropped 3.5% and Z1P came off the boil losing 5.8%. In corporate news, PMV up 0.3%, despite an investigation into Just Group’s Jobkeeper payments. ALL up 0.2% as it puts US legal matter to rest. MSB down 4.9%, completes US$110m financing via the issue of 60m shares in a private placement at 230c. On the economic front, ANZ–Roy Morgan consumer confidence ended a three-week decline to jump 1% last week as COVID–19 vaccines arrived. The current account surplus, seasonally adjusted, rose $3,817m to $14,523m vs estimates of $13bn. The seasonally adjusted estimate for total dwellings approved fell 19.4% in January vs estimates of -2%. Despite the fall, private house approvals remain 38% higher than in January 2020. 10-year yields rising to 1.72%. In Asia, Japan eased 0.8% and China off 1.0%
- ASX 200 down 27 to 6762. Closes on lows.
- High 6861 Low 6762.
- Big Bank Basket rockets to $160.80
- All Tech Index down 0.47%
- Dow Futures down 77
- Gold falls to AUD$2209
- 10-year yield pushing higher to 1.72%
- AUD rises to 77.66c
- Bitcoin continues to rally up to US$49146
- In Asia, Japan eased 0.8% and China off 1.0%
- A2M +7.55% bargain hunting.
- LTR +14.77% high grade gold drilling intercepts.
- GOR -8.05% WAF -6.45% WGX -6.03% gold stocks under pressure.
- Z1P -5.83% Klarna raise.
- NXL -5.56% selling resumes.
- MLX -6.67% change in substantial holding.
- VML -10.14% ASX speeding ticket.
- CCE -12.50% change of director’s interest.
- VXR +27.78% change of director’s interest.
- EMV +13.22% MX1 +2.5% grant win.
- RBL +3.17% bounce continues.
- LYC +3.62% rare earth rally.
- MSB -4.88% yet another capital raising.
- VXR +27.78% change in substantial holding.
- Speculative stock of the day: Cannindah Resources (CAE) +124.14% volume not too bad, Piccadilly samples confirmed high grade results from the east Section ML1442.
- Biggest Winners: LTR, PLL, A2M, HSN, GNE, JLG and SGM
- Biggest Losers: GOR,OBL, CIM, WAF, WGX and Z1P.
- Mesoblast (MSB) -4.88% Completes US$110m financing via the issue of 60m shares in a private placement at 230c. A 6.5% discount to the price at the close of trading 25-Feb-21. The investors also received warrants to acquire a further 15m shares at a price of 288c per share, a 25% premium to the placement price, which may raise up to a further $43.2m, on or before 15-Mar-28.
- Premier Investments (PMV) +0.32% PMV-owned Just Group reportedly under investigation over $70m it received from JobKeeper. Just Group says that the company has fully complied with all its legal obligations throughout the entire JobKeeper period.
- Aristocrat Leisure (ALL) +0.16% Washington litigation settlement approved by court. The amount that Aristocrat has paid in settlement of the two lawsuits is US$31m and is consistent with results in its 2020 Annual Report.
- RBA holds rates at 0.1%. Maintains the size of its bond-buying program. Added it is prepared to make further adjustment to its purchases in response to market conditions.
- To date, $74bn of government bonds have been purchased under the initial $100bn program. A further $100bn will be purchased following the completion of the initial program and the Bank is prepared to do more if that is necessary.
- The Board will not increase the cash rate until actual inflation is sustainably within the 2 to 3% target range. For this to occur, wages growth will have to be materially higher than it is currently. This will require significant gains in employment and a return to a tight labour market.
- The Board does not expect these conditions to be met until 2024 at the earliest.
- For the full transcript click here.
- The Consumer Confidence reading ended a three-week decline to jump 1% last week as COVID-19 vaccines arrived. The subindices were mixed.
- The current account surplus, seasonally adjusted, rose $3,817m to $14,523m vs estimates of $13bn.
- The seasonally adjusted estimate for total dwellings approved fell 19.4% in January vs estimates of -2%. Daniel Rossi, Director of Construction Statistics at the ABS, said: “Approvals for private houses fell 12.2 per cent in January, following the all-time high recorded in December. Despite the fall, private house approvals remain 38 per cent higher than in January 2020.
- Global cases rose for the first time in almost two months in the past week.
- China has set a goal to vaccinate 40% of its population by the end of June, up from about 3.5% currently.
- The Philippines said it detected for the first time the Covid-19 strain that initially emerged in South Africa.
- Hamish Douglass gives 40 minutes presentation on CV19 Mutations and how the vaccine works.
- Covid-19 infections in the U.S. had the biggest monthly decline in February, plunging 61% to about 2.42m.
- Vaccine Tracker 245m doses in 107 countries. 6.79m doses a day.US 76.9m doses at an average of 1.82m doses a day.
- Chinese electric-vehicle company Nio posted a wider-than-expected loss in the fourth quarter, a year after a government cash injection saved the company from bankruptcy. The net loss amounted to 1.39 bn yuan ($203.6 million), compared with 2.86 bn yuan a year earlier. Nio has embraced the battery lease model where customers buy the shell but lease the battery to enable them to take advantage of changing technology.
- Top Communist Party leaders will approve a five-year plan to cut dependence on the West for crucial components in things like computer chips, biotech and hydrogen vehicles.
- China’s top banking regulator said he’s worried about a slew of risks including the nation’s property bubble, rapid inflow of foreign capital and elevated global markets
US AND EUROPEAN HEADLINES
- FT Headlines read ‘North American groups seek to break China’s grip on rare earths supply’.
- Brazil variant is found to evade natural immunity.
- Greensill scrambling as Credit Suisse suspends US$10bn in funds.
- Nicholas Sarkozy sentenced to a year in jail.
- EU is planning Digital passports to enable travel.
And finally thanks to Adam…this is a classic…
> While riding my Harley, I swerved to avoid hitting a deer, lost control and
> landed in a ditch, severely banging my head.
> Dazed and confused I crawled out of the ditch to the edge of the road when a
> shiny new convertible pulled up with a very beautiful woman who asked, “Are
> you okay?
> As I looked up, I noticed she was wearing a low-cut blouse with a cleavage
> to die for.
> “I’m okay I think.” I replied as I pulled myself up to the side of the car
> to get a closer look.
> She said, “Get in and I’ll take you home, so I can clean and bandage that
> nasty scrape on your head.”
> “That’s nice of you,” I answered, “But I don’t think my wife will like me
> doing that!”
> “Oh, come now, I’m a nurse,” she insisted. “I need to see if you have any
> more scrapes and then treat them properly.”
> Well, she was really pretty and very persuasive. Being sort of shaken and
> weak, I agreed, but repeated, “I’m sure my wife won’t like this.”
> We arrived at her place which was just few miles away and, after a couple of
> cold beers and the bandaging, I thanked her and said, “I feel a lot better,
> but I know my wife is going to be really upset so I’d better go now.”
> Don’t be silly!” she said with a smile. “Stay for a while. She won’t know
> anything. By the way, where is she?”
> “My guess is that she’s still in the ditch.”