ASX 200 lurched from pillar to post today after a strong opening saw sellers emerge with the index closing unchanged on a aftrenoon rally at 6714 (-0.5%). Dow futures up 132. After a strong international lead once again, we opened with a bang only to be ambushed mid-morning with the index down around 60 at one stage as miners and banks slid. Good fight back in afternoon trade. Miners recovered but banks struggled. The Big Bank Basket fell to $165.32 with CBA off 0.3% and MQG down 1.1%. Other financials flat lined although AMP fell 2.0% on a broker comment on the Ares JV. Big miners were mixed, BHP off 1.7% with FMG up 2.2% and RIO better by 1.0% as iron ore in China stabilised. Gold miners were back in demand maybe temporarily but some signs of life, NCM up 2.0% and NST better by 2.1%. Industrials were mixed, WOW eased 0.3%, TLS fell 0.3% and ALL did well up 2.5%. Tech stocks and the BNPL remains under pressure, APT dropped 3.7% and Z1P managed a Lazarus like recovery closing up 0.1% after steep early falls. The AllTech Index fell 0.7% as XRO joined in down 1.2%. BBN had a great day, not sure why but closed up 7.0% and travel stocks were inevitably higher after the government announced it would pay for half of us to travel to faraway spots. QAN rose 2.5% with FLT up 9.2%. In corporate news, pretty quiet really. IEL fell 5.6% after Education Australia announced plans for its stake including a distribution and sell down. In economic news, house prices both here and across the ditch continue to soar to new highs. The 10-year yields eased back after a successful US bond auction calmed fears of runaway bond yields and creeping inflation fears were doused with US CPI numbers. The AUD trading around 77.44c with yields at 1.65%. Asian markets better with Japan up 0.35% and China back in the green up 2.2%

Today’s Highlights

  • ASX 200 unchanged at 6714.
  • High 6757 Low 6649
  • Big Bank Basket slips to $165.32.
  • All Tech Index down 0.7%
  • Dow Futures up 132.
  • Gold firms to $2235.
  • 10-year yield slips to 1.65%
  • AUD firms to 77.46c
  • Bitcoin rallies to US$55907
  • Asian markets better with Japan up 0.35% and China back in the green up 2.2%

STOCKS

  • FLT +9.21% WEB +3.75% QAN +2.51% travel stimulus.
  • PLL -4.60% selling continues.
  • TPW -4.33% CV19 winners unwind.
  • RMC +10.80% record $1.5bn RMBS.
  • RAC +3.56% change in substantial holding.
  • BBN +7.02% Baby Boom?
  • HSN +4.22% broker upgrades.
  • TNT +10.20% company talking up revenue forecasts.
  • CXO +10.81% cleansing notice.
  • IOU -8.60% BNPL sentiment turns.
  • ALG +10.14% tourism bump.
  • IEL -5.65% Education Australia reveals plan for distribution and sell down.
  • 4DX -8.98% capital raising weighs.
  • Speculative stock of the day: Metalstech (MTC) +41.67% now in a trading halt after announcing it is currently assessing a commercialisation strategy to advance its high-grade lithium assets in Canada. Not huge volume before suspension.
  • Biggest Winners: AND, RMC, FLT, OML, BBN, CHN and EVT.
  • Biggest Losers: IEL, PLL, TPW, APT, NXL, BFG and CGF.

ECONOMIC NEWS

  • Sydney housing prices soared to an all-time high, gaining 5.7% since last year’s low in October.
  • New Zealand house prices jumped 5.2% in February, Real Estate Institute of New Zealand data out Thursday showed. The jump took the annual increase in house prices to 21.5%. Excluding Auckland, house prices shot up 22.2% year-on-year.

CV19 NEWS

  • Brazil reported record deaths from Covid-19 deaths rising by 2,286 in the last 24 hours. Confirmed cases increased by 79,876 to 11,202,305.
  • New York City and New Jersey restaurants can increase indoor-dining capacity to 50% from 35% beginning March 19th.
  • Vaccine Tracker: 326m doses in 121 countries. 8.35m a day. US so far has administered 95.7m doses at an average of 2.17m doses.
  • In the U.S., the latest vaccination rate is 2,168,688 doses per day, on average. At this rate, it will take an estimated 6 months to cover 75% of the population with a two-dose vaccine.

BOND MARKETS

ASIAN NEWS

  • The Chinese annual talk fest is coming to a close. Half its usual two -week sitting due to CV19. The government’s modest growth target of “above 6%” for the year was also well below the 8.4% expansion that economists predict.

US AND EUROPEAN HEADLINES

  • Warren becomes newest member of the US$100bn club.
  • Nothing left to do but sign it Joe. Now on to the infrastructure package.
  • US CEO confidence soars.
  • American Airlines launches a US$10bn bond and loan package.

And finally….

Tom was at the hospital visiting with his best friend Larry who was dying. Tom asked, “If there is baseball in heaven will you come back and tell me?” Larry nodded yes just as he passed away. That night while Tom was sleeping, he heard Larry’s voice in a dream, “Tom…” “Larry! What is it?!” asked Tom. “I have good news and bad news from heaven.” “What’s the good news?” “There is baseball in heaven after all, but the bad news is you’re pitching on Tuesday.”

I decided to make my password “incorrect” because if I type it in wrong, my computer will remind me, “Your password is incorrect.”

Clarence

XXXX